After covering the immediate reaction from the first leg of this tie, which ended 2-0 to Madrid, I was happy to return to duty for the home match. It made even more sense as three Castilla players made the starting line up, with another three making the bench. Gareth Bale also returned to action, coming on in the second half to change the game for Los Blancos. Like last time out, I jotted down a few notes from both halves:
- Great to see so many Castilla players involved! As aways, a shame that this generation of talents got the opportunities that the last generation really needed and deserved...
- Álvaro Tejero playing at centre back was an accident waiting to happen. He looked very dodgy playing there, simply because he does not play there. A bit of a bizarre decision as Manu Hernando was on the bench...
- Being familiar with Borja Mayoral from his Castilla days, he is a very much a striker that is better on the ball than off it. He sees far too little of the ball in the first half, and perhaps in general for the first team. Does he fit this system?
- I’ve seen a lot of the Fuenlabrada number six Luis Milla recently, and he is a diamond in the mud waiting to be picked up. 23 years old — don’t forget his name.
- There is very little chemistry up front. Perhaps this is to be expected, but I can’t help but still be disappointed with the attacking showing in the first half.
- Why is Óscar Rodríguez playing on the left? I will never understand why managers randomly misplace players and give themselves a disadvantage before the ball has even been kicked. Óscar made a couple of good runs to be fair, but was largely quiet.
- Fuenlabrada genuinely looked more likely to score. Hit the bar a couple of times, and could have easily got a result here. It was 1-0 for a worryingly long amount of time.
- Gareth Bale returns, and to the correct reception too! He instantly provides a gorgeous cross with the outside of his boot for Mayoral to head home. Saviour!
- Rinse and repeat, minutes later Bale flicks the ball past the defence, only to hit the keeper with his effort. Mayoral is there again to mop up and bag his third of the season!
- The sheer presence of Gareth Bale is clear to see. He instantly provided what every other attacking player failed to provide. Scored a nice chipped goal, but it was offside.
He also leads the team in key passes per game, both in La Liga and Champions League. https://t.co/NzmE8uvFbc— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) November 28, 2017
- It is really good to see Jaime Seoane make his debut, he has been perhaps Castilla’s best player since returning from injury. He could perhaps be a dark horse for a first team place one day. Keep an eye on his developments.
- 2-2 is a very bad result, but Fuenlabrada deserved it fully. They are a well organized side who are aiming for promotion to La Liga this year. Good luck to them!