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Real Madrid Castilla 3-1 Socuéllamos

Castilla won crucial 3 points and maintained their play-off spot

Nikos Vergos

Castilla needed to bounce back from their 2-0 loss last weekend against Toledo to maintain a chance of getting into the playoffs. It didn't help that Solari had to deal with a few forced rotations.

Achraf was suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards, while luckily Aleix Febas had his second yellow card rescinded, allowing him to play in this game. A few days ago, Luca Zidane posted on his Instagram account that he suffered a shoulder injury and is effectively ruled out for the season. Solari also chose to rest Campuzano, which is fine, because he needs rest. But what baffles me is that Sergio Diaz was once again played on the wing, even though Campuzano was now out of the way. I think it's fair to assume that Solari plays Sergio Diaz deliberately on the left wing and not out of necessity.

Castilla didn't have the best start to the game. It was tough for them to play on the ground, because the pitch conditions were far from optimal. In the opening 20 minutes there were very few chances on both sides and generally, there was very little to talk about. But thankfully Castilla has Febas and he did his best to keep us entertained.

However, any sense of joy was quickly ended. Quezada made an unnecessary little push in the penalty box and the referee happily pointed to the spot. Castilla’s players were very unhappy, because a few minutes earlier Vergos received a similar little push in the penalty box and the referee didn't call it. After conceding, Castilla didn't create much and they were rather looking forward to half time and a chance to regroup.

In the second half, Solari made substitutions very quickly. Campuzano came on for Sergio Diaz in 57th minute and he had an instant impact. Just 4 minutes after coming on, his deflected shot found Vergos in the box and he converted this golden chance. 1-1 and Castilla started to come alive.

Few minutes later Tejero released Vergos, who made it 2-1.

Things were looking pretty good for Castilla, but then the referee decided to be the hero of the game. It's truly amazing that in every single game, the referees make mistakes that go against Castilla. One might think that they have an agenda and based on the last few seasons it could be true. But I digress...Campuzano got a second yellow card, because he appealed for a corner. Yes that is right, he asked for a corner, because he believed the defender touched the ball and referee showed him a second yellow card and then a red card. Solari wasn't happy at all and also got himself expelled.

Castilla immediately fell back and formed a compact 4-4-1 block. And we must give credit to them. They managed to block any shots and stop every chance. Socuéllamos created most of their chances through set-pieces. And then in the last minutes of the match, Castilla sealed their victory. The referee awarded them an indirect free-kick in the box after Socuéllamos played a back-pass. Quezeda redeemed himself and converted it in a calm fashion.

So, Castilla won a crucial three points - three points that keep them in the play-off spot. The competition for the 4th spot is tight and Castilla need to keep winning to give themselves a small cushion. Overall Castilla played a decent game and we must give them credit for the second half, because they showed a lot of spirit and classic Real Madrid's “never-say-die” attitude. However, they still displayed the same structural issues that they have had since the beginning of the season. Solari should really work on that.

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