Castilla are currently better than they ever will be under Santiago Solari. They are unbeaten, and reside in second place in the Segunda B table. Today they faced another B team that were enjoying some of the best form they have ever had. Valladolid B have always been in and around the relegation zone, but they seem to have reached their “golden” generation, and are sitting comfortably in the top half of the table. Vinícius Júnior was unavailable as he played for the first team yesterday, so Jorge De Frutos started in his place. In defence De la Fuente had to resume his part time left back job, as Gorka Zabarte came in at centre-back.
Castilla XI against Valladolid B: Zidane, Fernández, Sánchez(C), Zabarte, De la Fuente, Grau, Seoane, Fidalgo, De Frutos, Feuillassier & Gómez.— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) October 7, 2018
Bench: Ramos, López, García, Calderón, Galván, Alberto & González.#MMCastillaLive pic.twitter.com/AxQTHjkIx1
The first half was as lacklustre as the first team game yesterday, but it was a good quality match-up. It was obvious that Valladolid had something good going on, and they were actually pinning Castilla back with their attacking play. They deservedly went 1-0 up on the half an hour mark as they worked their way into the box and smashed home past Luca Zidane. They continued to dominate the play and pushed on in an attempt to double their lead. It looked like they were going to take their lead into the break, up until Dani Gómez was fouled inside the area during the last seconds. Captain Javier Sánchez stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way and somehow level the scores.
The second half would be much more action filled. Whilst Valladolid continued to better Castilla at first, the grew more and more frustrated as time passed. That frustration quickly turned into aggression. Castilla managed to keep their cool in an ever changing environment, and slowly worked their way back into the game. They took the lead when Javier Sánchez played a free-kick directly to Álvaro Fidalgo, who needed the post to help him put Castilla ahead. At first glance I thought this was atrocious defending by Valladollid to let him run free into the middle. After a second look however, it’s easy to conclude that this was a really smart pre-planned free-kick manoeuvre. Fidalgo sneakily joins part of the wall, and peels away at the last second. He receives the ball in acres of space, and has the time to finish it off. Valladolid really lost their heads after this. They started getting really petty and fouling Madrid players at every opportunity. A fight broke out towards the end which saw a Valladolid player headbutt a Castilla player, and minutes later he was sent off for a separate incident. The referee had lost control of the game, and was probably very thankful to blow the full time whistle and hand Castilla the 3 points with a 2-1 win.
It is mad that even if they come out second best in the general play, Castilla are currently still seemingly unable to lose. This win keeps them in second place, and we are all hoping that they keep this form for as long as possible. Truth be told I was initially really impressed by Valladolid, but they let themselves down with their conduct towards the end. If they can work on that they have the potential to be a really good side with players that can go far. Man of the match today was Álvaro Fidalgo, who was an integral part of the team, and came up with the goods to give Castilla the win. Castilla’s next game is another winnable one - against Internacional. Just how long will this unbeaten run last?
Goals: Sánchez & Fidalgo