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Report: Real Madrid Juvenil A 2-0 Villarreal

Juvenil are one step away from glory.

Óscar and Belman
@ 2016 Real Federación Española de Fútbol

What a day and what a performance from Guti's players. On paper, they faced an extremely tough opponent: Villarreal's Juvenil squad. Villarreal strongly resemble their first team with their compactness, strong central midfielders, and their passing. They are very hard to beat and yet Juvenil made it look easy.

Guti did his homework and tweaked the formation to match Villarreal's strength in the centre of the pitch. Óscar dropped deeper and formed a double pivot with Martín Calderón, while Toni was given more freedom and he could roam in the final third. Otherwise, it was Guti's standard starting XI.

Juvenil had the best possible start to the match. I don't think that Guti dreamed of such a great start. Just two minutes into the match, they had their first big chance. And two minutes later, in the fourth minute, Alberto took off, left his defender in the dust, and sent a powerful shot towards Villarreal's goalkeeper. Their goalkeeper couldn't hold onto the ball and Dani Gómez, the Pichichi of Juvenil, was there to tap it in.

However, Villarreal weren't shaken by this early conceded goal. They kept the ball really well and it was a proper midfield battle between Juvenil and Villarreal. A battle that had one winner: Óscar (but I'll get to him later). In the 22nd minute, Dani Gómez sealed the game with his second goal. It was a nice driven finish through the legs of the defender and Dani Gómez confirmed his status as the Pichichi of this team.

After the second goal, Juvenil dropped off and Villarreal created several dangerous chances, and just like in the previous match, Belman was the main culprit. His insecurity in first halves is starting to look like a pattern — an ugly one at that. Once again, he mistimed his run and Manu was forced to clear the ball off the line. Then, a few minutes later, Juvenil were helped by the referee. Villarreal scored a legitimate goal, but the assistant referee raised his flag and the goal was ruled offside.

Villarreal dominated the rest of the first half, mainly thanks to their strong and technical midfield. They kept the ball extremely well and it was hard for Juvenil to press them effectively. However, Villarreal didn't create clear-cut chances, while Juvenil did. Toni made a couple of sumptuous dribbles in the box and consequently, he was brought down. Óscar took the penalty and he failed. It's truly remarkable that he's such a great free kick taker, but such a bad penalty taker.

In the second half, Juvenil returned to playing their style and the game evened out, because Óscar took over the game. His performance in the centre of the pitch was imperial. Martin Calderón took most of the defensive responsibilities and Óscar could focus on what he does best - to control and distribute. It's such a shame that OPTA or any other company don't track these games at the U19 level. I would love to see Óscar's pass map and stats. This was a Toni Kroos-esque performance from him.

Guti quickly used all of his substitutions, because the players were starting to feel the fatigue from Monday's game against Atleti. So Mink, Javi, Llario and Soti came on and Dani Gómez, Manu, Alberto and Franchu were subbed off.

Juvenil finally learnt their lesson and ended the game in a professional manner. They didn't panic, they didn't sit deep and didn't invite pressure, but they pressed and kept the ball. Their motto was: 'When you have the ball, they can't score'. And it paid off. Villarreal were toothless in the last 10 minutes of the match, and Guti, his staff, and his players could celebrate.

Now, there is only one game left to win in this tournament.

6th of May, 12pm CET against Málaga.

It will be an even harder game than this one, because I think that Málaga's youth system is criminally underrated. I would rate them as one of the best academies in Spain. They produced many gems over the years and they are very successful in integrating them into the first team. Oh and by the way, they are the current Copa de Campeones Champions...

Goals: Dani Gómez 2x

Assists: Toni 1x

MOTM: Óscar


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