You have been without Castilla coverage for a fair chunk of time now. Broadcasting issues meant that the majority of the last game was missed, whilst before that I was away and could not catch the quality 3-1 home win against Rayo Majadahonda. There was no better time to return than during the international break, when cravings for club football skyrocket. Castilla were on hosting duty again as they took on last seasons direct play-off rivals Pontevedra. Unlike for the majority of fixtures this season, I was really impressed with Raúl’s team selection. So many Castilla managers have been so stubborn with their decisions in the past, so it was refreshing to see Raúl revert Fran García back to left-back where he belongs, and where he has a first team chance (albeit a minuscule one). This meant that Javier Hernández moved back to centre-back as well. He also picked the supremely talented Pablo over the promising Latasa, something that should have been done last summer.
Castilla XI against Pontevedra: Altube, Rodríguez Martínez, Chust, Hernández, García, Blanco, Abou, Baeza, Park, Jordi & Pedro Ruiz.— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) October 12, 2019
Bench: Belman, López, Ismael, Bravo, Dotor, Feuillassier & Pablo Rodríguez.#MMCastillaLive pic.twitter.com/grD9POCE52
Pontevedra may have been a strong foe in the past, but Castilla played them in pre-season and they look very poor. They were also placed towards the bottom of the table, so things had changed - and it was obvious. Los Blancos were the dominant team from the whistle, and took just five minutes to score the first goal. The dangerous Marvin Park found Miguel Baeza who’s deflected pass fell to Ayoub Abou. The Moroccan gave the keeper no chance with his powerful effort to record his first Castilla goal. Nine minutes later it was two. Miguel Baeza turning to goalscorer this time, as Antonio Blanco gifted him a delicious through-ball to raise past the keeper and score. Castilla continued to attack, and could have had more goals before half-time, but the half-time signal saved the visitors, who had 15 minutes to recuperate.
Castilla's 2nd goal against Pontevedra. Blanco through-ball to Baeza pic.twitter.com/fiOGHsuwwS— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) October 12, 2019
The second half differed little in general play, but Pontevedra finally found a bit of bite. Whilst Madrid remained the better team until the end, the visitors pulled a goal back after a square ball came into the box, leaving the attacker with a tap-in. Still Castilla never looked like throwing anything away. This was until well past the allocated minutes of injury time at the end. With over 95 minutes on the clock, as cross came in which was headed past Altube. Pontevedra looked elated, only to erupt in anger seconds later as the offside flag was raised. It does look harsh from the one angle shown, and I am yet to see a better replay - so can’t even tell if their frustration was fully justified. Either way, the Pontevedra manager was sent off, and the final whistle was immediately blown to confirm Castilla’s win.
This result means that Castilla remain unbeaten at home this season, and now sit at 7th in the table. It hasn’t all been good for Raúl, far from it in fact, but there have been plenty of signs of promise and the team are now at a good standpoint to build on. I plan to record a podcast soon with a relevant co-host to cover everything regarding the team, and results and the manager very soon. For now though, Castilla will be looking to build as they visit familiar foes Coruxo next weekend.
Goals: Abou & Baeza.
Assists: Baeza & Blanco.