This season, Castilla have been constantly fluctuating from one extremity to the other, visiting both sides of the spectrum multiple times. Last week they embarrassingly bottled a healthy lead against bottom of the table side Deportivo B. This was the third result that they threw away in five games. Fortunately, due to their very strong start to the season they still find themselves within the confounds of the play-off places. This week the team was to host UD San Sebastián de los Reyes, the team directly above them in the table - sitting in third place. With the news that Francisco Feuillassier could potentially be out for the season with a knee injury, today was the game that Manolo Díaz decided to make some rotations. Juvenil A hot-shot Marvin Park came in to sit on the bench. Looking at the team initially, there were plenty of issues highlighted that raised a few questions. We’ll get to that a bit later.
Castilla XI against SS Reyes: Zidane, López, Hernando, Zabarte, De la Fuente, García, Grau, Fidalgo, Alberto, De Frutos & González.— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) December 8, 2018
Bench: Belman, Martín, Fernández, Calderón, Seoane, Galván & Park.#MMCastillaLive pic.twitter.com/Dw9Dgcq5pa
Castilla went behind within three minutes, with the goal coming from another set piece. A corner came in and was met with a bullet header past Luca Zidane, From then on Castilla really struggled to get a hold on anything within the game. It was clear to me that this bizarre formation was really holding the team back going forwards. Fran García was actually being deployed as a winger, and it was his job to rotate with the three other forwards - Alberto, Jorge De Frutos and Cristo González. This also meant that Álvaro Fidalgo was pushed further back, completely shifting the teams chemistry and playing scheme. Jaime Seoane and the only fit natural attacking midfielder Augusto Galván were left on the bench, leaving the team to endure their worst half performance of the season so far. It was going to take a moment of brilliance to salvage anything from the half, and who else but Cristo was going to step up and deliver? Alberto found the Spaniard, but Cristo did the rest as he let out a wonderful effort from outside of the box that sailed straight into the top corner. Castilla managed to see out the half with the scores level.
If you’re a Castilla regular then you know that the second half brings guaranteed action of some sorts. This week was no different, although it may have taken a little bit longer. Castilla continued to struggle, but with the right substitutions and a little bit of luck - they eventually found themselves ahead. Jorge De Frutos absolutely smashed the ball into the box, and the referee blew up for a penalty after the ball made contact with a defenders hand. Cristo was all over this, and sent the keeper the wrong way for his second. Castilla looked far more lively from here on in, and moments later were on the attack again. Cristo picked up the ball after a good move and made his way into the area, only to be brought down giving the referee a far easier decision. Castilla had another penalty, and Cristo had an early Christmas gift - the chance for a first hat-trick under the Real Madrid badge. This penalty was even better than the first, as he again sent the keeper packing with his placement into the bottom corner. That’s seven goals in six games now for González. Madrid went on to dominate the proceedings, but it wouldn’t be a Castilla game without a late scare now, would it? Reyes pulled one back in injury time, after some really poor defending allowed them time to slot the ball into the net. Luckily for the first time in memory, this side were prepared. They kept the ball well, and De Frutos even looked to break in the final seconds, but was brought down in desperation, resulting in a red card for the opposition. The final whistle then blew to hand Castilla the victory!
Games like this serve as a reminder that football is the most unstable business going. The line-up was a nightmare, the team looked substandard and they were behind within minutes. However the combination of fortune and Cristo was deemed enough to see the team through... It was good to see Javier Belman back on the bench, and from now on really he needs to be back on the pitch. It would also be nice to see Dani Fernández and Augusto Galván amongst others get a chance. The rotations today were poor and unnecessary, and visibly disrupted the harmony within the team on the pitch. That is something that we can only hope improves over time. Man of the match today was the one and the only Cristo González. That forty point mark is drifting closer and closer... With a trip to Coruxo next week, the team will have to turn some of their luck into quality.
Goals: González x3.