Castilla had finally gained a win in the last game against Fuenlabrada, miraculously putting them back into the playoff spots. This week, they travelled the short distance of 20 minutes from Valdebebas, to Rayo Majadahonda. Fede Valverde was back from injury along with Philipp Lienhart on the bench. Whilst Campuzano was interestingly left out of the squad, with Solari opting to rest him to avoid injury. With high-flying Campuzano away, finally Sergio Díaz was finally going to get his chance back up top, right? Wrong. Solari started with a pretty standard 4-3-3, With Díaz and Enzo out wide, partnering Nikos Vergos up top.
The game kicked off, and it was not enjoyable at all. Castilla weren't playing badly, and kept the ball well. Majadahonda did not look like punishing the defence much who were having a fine game. The problem was that nothing was really happening. There was no excitement at all. Javi Muñoz was unable to run the game from midfield, Díaz was predictably isolated out wide, and no one else looked like scoring a goal for Castilla. Achraf was the only bright spark in the first half, and was probably the best defensively, too! The best chance of the half fell to Díaz, who missed an open goal from yards out due to a bobble. If he had any confidence in his striker-esque abilities, what must they be like now? The half dragged but luckily came to an end, and the score at the break was to nobody's shock, 0-0!
At half time it was Majadahonda making the changes, and the substitute hit the post with his first touches. Fede Valverde was brought on for his first game back, and immediately took control of the midfield. The game was still by no means fun to watch, as Tena replaced Muñoz, and it seemed destined for a 0-0 draw. To try and avoid a draw, Solari brought in Cristian Cedrés for Enzo. Minutes later, a throw-in found it's was to Fede Valverde, who took a couple of touches before striking the ball goal-bound from distance. It whistled into the back of the net to put Castilla 1-0 up! A moment of brilliance to win an otherwise dull affair. The last 10 minutes were the best phase of the game, and both sides had chances. Luckily the Castilla defence held out for the win, pushing them up to third place in the league!
Man of the match went to Fede Valverde, for his short but sweet cameo, changing the game and in result handing Castilla the 3 points! It's great to see him back and Castilla have definitely missed him. Achraf also deserves a mention for a great game and Luca Zidane was strong in goal. Big game next week as Castilla host Toledo, who are desperate for a play off spot. Be sure to check it out here, and on my Twitter @CastillaStats for live coverage!