After leaving the Fernando Torres stadium with a decent result last week after a big game with Fuenlabrada, Castilla had another tough test today in fellow play-off hopefuls Ponferradina. A loss here could be detrimental to any aspirations of an extended season. Manolo Díaz went with something different today in order to accommodate both Dani Gómez and Cristo González up top. Manu Hernando came into the defence of four, with four midfielders operating in-front of them.
XI CASTILLA - PONFERRADINA— ADN BLANCO (@adnblancorm) March 24, 2019
Real Madrid TV pic.twitter.com/dv86WkKPQV
The attendance at the Alfredo Di Stéfano was amongst the highest of the season, and Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane joined the crowd for the important battle. This was one battle that did not change from start to finish. Both teams looked to throw numbers forward and create chances, but it seemed like neither were going to score if their lives depended on it. As I expressed this feeling on Twitter I was forced to hold my tongue in a good way, as Castilla were awarded a penalty for a foul on De Frutos. Top scorer Cristo stepped up and surprisingly could not avoid hitting the keeper, summing up the day with a single kick. Elsewhere De Frutos came close after being played in by Gómez, but could only slide the ball wide. The visitors had just as many good chances, but Luca Zidane had a great game to keep the scoreline positive. The game inevitably ended 0-0, which should only be viewed as another good result.
Before the debrief it is time to bring along some more good news! César Gelabert is back! He has been training with Castilla for some time, but the decision has been made to have him return with Juvenil A for the meantime. He has been out for a long time, and throwing him into a promotion chase wouldn’t be fair on anyone, especially himself. He played for the first time this season over the weekend, and will be looking to hit the ground running during the last stretch of the season. At his best he’d be an excellent bonus in the play-off run.
Gracias, Dios, por volver a dejarme disfrutar de ella ❤️⚽! pic.twitter.com/kxz2UlbI0V— César Gelabert (@CesarGelabert10) March 24, 2019
This result leaves Castilla in fifth place, one step away from the play-offs. They are joint on points with fourth place, and are now just two points away from the top spot. It should also be voiced that Castilla have now played their hardest two fixtures out of the last ten. Fuenlabrada and Ponferradina are in and around Castilla’s position, and two good 0-0 draws ensures that Castilla stay one step ahead. They still have UD San Sebastián de los Reyes and Pontevedra to play, but apart from that they go into every game as the favourites from now. With results always being mixed they have every chance at achieving the dream, and will definitely find themselves within the play-off places at some point again this season. Next up is the trip to Burgos, and although they are close to the relegation zone - they beat high flying Atlético Madrid B today, so Castilla should come fully prepared for another all out battle.