On Saturday we were graced by another El Derbi Madrileňo. This time it was not a Derbi between senior sides, but between Juvenil sides. The last time these two sides met, Juvenil crushed Atlético Madrid 6-1. It was one of the best games from Juvenil this season.
Guti chose the strongest possible lineup, even though I think he is aware that this league is almost won and they have a super important game on Wednesday.
The start of this game was excellent from both sides. It was a fast-paced and intense. Both teams defended well and denied their opponents chances. Juvenil kept the ball nicely, but they didn't do exactly much with it. Atleti packed the centre of the pitch and it was hard for Juvenil to penetrate them through the centre. Another aspect that made the game harder for Juvenil was that the pitch was really small and you could tell that Juvenil weren’t accustomed to that. Franchu in particular was having problems dealing with this. He is used to use his speed and dribbling to beat his defender, but on this small pitch he constantly ran out of space.
After about ten minutes, Juvenil took control of the match. They focused their attacks mainly on their left side and took advantage of the Oscar-Franchu connection, which has been excellent throughout the season. Because the centre was so packed, Oscar was hitting those cross field passes with his first touch to open the flanks for Alberto and Franchu. This led to few decent chances, but nothing clear cut.
Atleti didn't press high up the pitch, but they focused on being solid in the centre. In attack they relied on counter attacks with their very fast forwards; as well as set pieces. It was like watching Simeone's 13/14 Atlético Madrid.
Even though Atleti didn't create many chances, they scored first. It was a fairly easy long shot, but Moha didn't manage to hold on to the ball and it slipped though his hands. The Atleti player closest to the ball easily tapped the ball into the net. It was a cheap goal to concede.
However, not even a minute later Juvenil equalized through an absolutely stunning goal from Oscar, who is the second highest top scorer for Juvenil. I'm not going to say anything, just watch the clip and prepare to be amazed (and enjoy the authentic GOOOOOOOOOL from RM TV spanish commentators).
Juvenil saw that Atleti's keeper had some issues with positioning, so Martin and Oscar tried another 2 long range efforts that just narrowly missed the goal. What a day it could have been!
Juvenil kept Atleti very subdued and they were having chances, but their finishing let them down. It was kind of a foreshadowing. At half time the score was 1-1 and Juvenil were looking good.
In the second half, Atleti came out with renewed hunger. They started vigorously pressing Juvenil's centre backs and it paid off. They had 2 clear chances in the first 10 minutes of the second half. And in the 64th minute, they scored the winning goal. Atleti had a corner and after a couple bounces, Mikel volleyed it first time through a group of players and scored. Moha couldn't see anything. Guti then made a couple of changes — Toni for Mink, Fran for Alberto and Echu for Cobo — but yet again it was Atleti, who scored the next goal. Fran (playing as LB) overcommitted to pressing and Alex completely froze and let Oscar (Atleti) through on goal. It was 2 vs. Moha. Oscar passed to Salomon, who had an open net in front of him. He did that awful dabbing celebration. It's a stupid, stupid celebration.
Shortly after conceding the third goal, Juvenil had a couple of chances, but yet again they were let down by their poor finishing. In the last 10-15 minutes they resorted to crossing, which produced some chances, but ultimately Juvenil were unable to score any goals.
This was their second league loss this season, and with 5 games to go, Juvenil have a 5-point cushion on second place Atleti. This result is not good, but it's far from a disaster. On any other day, they would convert those chance and we would be having a different conversation.
UEFA Youth League:
Juvenil's next game is on Wednesday in the UEFA Youth League against Ajax Jong (Amsterdam). The game will start at 4pm CET / 10am ET / 8.30pm IST.
Here is the list of TV broadcasters:
If you don't see your country or region on the list, you can tune in to UEFA's official Youtube channel, which will stream the game live in 1080p.