Castilla were looking to go on a winning run of more than 2 games for just the second time this season, and were unbeaten in 5. They played host to CD Toledo, who have been having a really good year so far, challenging for 1st place for the majority of their season. They currently sat one place above Castilla in 3rd place, and lost the home game earlier in the year 1-0, meaning it was always going to be a big challenge for Castilla. But if Solari got his tactics right, then Castilla had every chance of taking the 3 points. 5 of the starting 11 had played midweek in the big u19s UEFA Youth League game against Monaco. Solari started with Campuzano up front on his own, opting to push Sergio Díaz, who had a good game upfront for the u19s midweek, back outwide. The rest of the team looked to be solid enough, whilst Philipp Lienhart and Abner were still looking to get a real look in since returning from injury.
Castilla XI: Zidane, Achraf, Sánchez, Hermoso, Quezada, Seoane, Valverde, Febas, Enzo(C), Campuzano & Díaz #RealMadridCastilla pic.twitter.com/wFLoxaipuk— RM Castilla Stats (@CastillaStats) February 26, 2017
The game started out pretty even, but wasn't very fast paced. Enzo spawned a couple of chances before Toledo were only denied because of Luca Zidane's saves. The first goal could have gone either way, but unfortunately it was Toledo who broke the deadlock. The ball bounced around in the box and Castilla failed to clear before it fell to Toledo attacker Owusu, who poked home. Castilla could not create much to get back into the game, but the one real chance they did have fell to Sergio Díaz, who dragged the ball just wide after being put clean through by Enzo. Luca Zidane kept Castilla in it with some more fine saves, but the whites were unable to carve out any more chances, and the half ended 1-0 to Toledo.
February 26, 2017
In the second half, the game was more lively as Castilla looked to find the equaliser. Unfortunately they never really looked like scoring, and things took a turn for the worst when Febas brought down an opponent to receive his second yellow(he was controversially booked in the first half for diving), and got his marching orders, leaving Castilla with 10 men. Solari then took off Enzo and Seoane, bringing on Cedrés and Lienhart. Solari wanted 3 at the back, with the full backs pushing on. With Cedrés coming on, I was sure that Díaz was finally going to be moved back into the middle, but bizarrely this was not the case. The tactical change was a risky one, and Castilla were attacking when Toledo hit them with a counter attack from a corner. Some good passing and moving saw an attacker through on goal, and his low shot could not be stopped despite Achraf's best efforts. 2-0 and out. The rest of the game was pretty dull, but Luca Zidane continued to make some great stops, including a world class save right at the death to deny Toledo a 3rd. The game finished 2-0 to Toledo, ending Castilla's unbeaten run.
Luca Zidane rushing off his line. 10-men Castilla down two goals without Febas. RIP. pic.twitter.com/ZSBDGpU5L3— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) February 26, 2017
A very disappointing display from Castilla, who never really looked like they had left 1st gear. Unbelievably, they maintain 4th place and a play off spot in the table, but with 11 games to go in the league they will do very well to keep that spot. For the first time, I am thinking that Solari is not a good fit for Castilla, and maybe it is time for change soon. He single handedly has lost Castilla more points than I'd care to mention this year, and has completely tarnished Sergio Díaz's good form. In the near future I will be writing an article on Díaz, expanding on problems brought up today. Man of the match today goess to Luca Zidane for a fine display of goalkeeping! It's great to see how he has transformed over the season, and long may it continue! Castilla will look to bounce back next week against Socuéllamos. It'll be a very important game so be sure not to miss it!
MOTM: Luca Zidane