This was Castilla’s first genuine game post Solari, and it was to be held at one of the best stadiums in the division, in-front of a decent crowd. The hosting side Salmantino were not in great form however, and on paper this was a very winnable game for Castilla. In his first game back as official manager, Manolo Díaz chose the exact same team as he did during his last interim fixture. Javier Sánchez was being protected for first team duty, and Vinícius Júnior was on international duty with Brazil, as well as Augusto Galván.
This game was packed full of action, but the first half tended to drag at times. Although the play was intense it rarely came to much, and the home team just about edged Castilla in their play. It was Castilla who went ahead though, as Cristo picked up the ball and squared it to Jorge De Frutos to score his first goal in a Madrid shirt. This lead didn’t last for much longer than ten minutes, as as long ranged strike was purposely deflected past Luca Zidane inside the box. Salmantino almost found themselves ahead when they smacked an effort against the post, before the ball was cleared. Castilla were growing into the game more and more after a poor start, but couldn’t capitalise before the half time whistle blew.
Cristo to De Frutos. Castilla up 0-1 against Salmantino pic.twitter.com/lNL8qUyUnA— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) November 18, 2018
The second half brought along something different entirely. Castilla grabbed an early goal when Jorge De Frutos again combined with Cristo before mazing his way into the box and slotting home his second. From here Castilla looked a lot more comfortable, and looked to control the game. The result looked pretty strong when Madrid added a third, this time Franchu stole the ball away from the defender and played in Cristo, who very slowly rolled the ball around the keeper for three. Salmantino were not giving up though, as they pulled one back in the 83rd minute, volleying the ball home past the helpless Luca Zidane. Castilla looked to slow the game down from there on in, and did well for the first few minutes. Frustratingly, the last few minutes saw the visitors invite a lot of pressure into their defensive third - and the players seemingly refused to stand up and deal with it. This paid off for the hosts in the very last seconds, and a header arrowed into the net from a corner to rescue a point, and steal two from Castilla.
Cristo to De Frutos again! Castilla go up 2-1. pic.twitter.com/dynRw1ygBc— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) November 18, 2018
It’s positive that Castilla are still playing reasonably well and picking up points, especially without some of their star prospects. A finish in the play-off areas does look a step too far for this squad though, even considering the current group standard. Whilst it’s great that Santiago Solari has finally gone, Manolo Díaz isn’t the ideal replacement. This season can be considered a success with a mid-table finish, before the team can then hopefully look to rebuild under a fresh manager in the summer. Man of the match today was Jorge De Frutos once again, who is becoming one of Castilla’s most important players. Castilla play Guijuello next week, and will be looking to keep their place in the play-off spots alive and well.
3-1. Franchu's press leads to a deserved Cristo goal. pic.twitter.com/QU8dW1d6iZ— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) November 18, 2018
Goals: De Frutos x2 & González
Assists: González x2 & Feuillassier
MOTM: De Frutos