Coming off the back of a tactical demolition by fellow reserve side Deportivo last week, Castilla were looking to regroup and rebuild against a far inferior side. Talavera made the trip to Valdebebas on Saturday with no wins to their name. Castilla were expected to comfortably grab the win.
Solari’s selection was a tad different this week. Instead of starting with an anchor in midfield, both Molina and Óscar started as a more defensive pair. This left an unpredictable change just in front of them. I thought as Solari rarely goes back on his mistakes, that he might try out Mancebo in the middle, but to my pleasant surprise, it was Cristo González who took up the position. This meant that Lusimi Quezada was placed outwide in a 4-4-1-1, ahead of Franchu.
It didn’t take long to notice that Talavera were not a side capable of producing much quality. They actually had the first chance of the game, and should’ve been ahead when clean through in the opening minute, but thankfully wasted the chance. After this, they contributed very little to the game. worryingly, Castilla were not much better. Although they enjoyed slightly more of the possession, and looked more likely to score than their opponents, they looked familiarly flat. Defensively they were solid, and did not allow Talavera any chances, but the half was largely very boring, and ended at an unsurprising 0-0.
The game was to be decided in the second period! It began just as dry, however. Castilla slowly began to impose themselves, and started creating more chances. A lot of the play came through Cristo through the middle, who looked far more natural. Dani Gómez came very close on occasion, but it looked like Castilla were going to drop points yet again. Solari left his substitutions late as per usual, and Víctor Campuzano was brought on in a desperate attempt to grab the winner. This time, it paid off! The ball fell to Luismi Quezada in the box, who spooned it towards goal only for Campuzano to poke home with minutes to spare. Campuzano was then denied a goal that Messi himself would’ve been proud of. He stole the ball from a defender, before beating two players and striking the bar with his effort. Seconds after, Molina picked out Quezada, who let out a trademark strike from beyond the box, to make it two. A tad harsh on Talavera, but Castilla didn’t mind, and collected all three points at the final whistle.
Man of the match goes to Cristo González who had a great game, finally playing through the middle! Quezada also superb! #RealMadridCastilla— RM Castilla Stats (@CastillaStats) September 16, 2017
During the game I jotted down a few notes:
The defence is no way near perfect, but they have come a long way in the last couple of seasons, and now look a lot more solid. There is further room for improvement, however.
This was Cristo’s first game since pre-season where he was played down the middle, and he got man of the match. I hope this is enough incentive for Solari to continue this ploy, but this man simply never learns. There’s always hope!
Misuse of players
I usually mention that a striker is being misplayed as a winger because it’s the most obviously damaging decision Solari makes, but looking around, he inflicts far more damage elsewhere. Óscar Rodríguez has played every game as a centre midfielder, rather than an attacking one. He’s coped pretty well, but in terms of his first team hopes as a CM -- he has none. Even as an AM, he will have to improve massively, and without playing there, that doesn’t seem possible. The same goes with Quezada, who has a chance at left back, but not as a winger.
I'm not really sure why Solari chose Oscar-Molina midfield. Neither are defensive minded and they don't have the engine to cover the ground— Ondra P (@OndraPaul) September 16, 2017
Man of the Match was Cristo González, who was the instigator of much of the play going forward. There were a few candidates this week, but he just about pipped the lot. Castilla play CDA Navalcarnero next, who will provide a tougher test. It will be a good opportunity to see where Castilla might end up this year. Be sure to tune in next week!
Goals: Campuzano, Quezada.
Assists: Quezada, Molina.