2020/21 in Pictures: Games 5 and 6

The turning of October into November saw me attending my first double-header of games since February, returning to Sanse for another Primera Iberdrola match before heading to a new ground – Las Rozas in the Segunda B – on Sunday morning.

Game 5️⃣

⚽️ Madrid CFF 1-0 Real Sociedad Femenino

🏟 Estadio Nuevo Matapiñonera

🏆 Primera Iberdrola

📅 31.10.2020

💶 Free (Press Access)

I made my first return trip of the season on the last day of October, with Madrid CFF hosting Real Sociedad in Primera Iberdrola.

Both sides had six points going into the match, but with very different objectives for the season. Fresh from a thrilling comeback victory over Levante, Real Sociedad had their eyes on staking their claim for a place in next season’s expanded Women’s Champions League, while Madrid are generally expected to be battling against relegation.

The first half saw Real Sociedad dominate in terms of possession. Their coach Natalia Arroyo, one of only three female coaches in the league, has implemented a clear passing philosophy on the team and the way they moved the ball around was a joy to watch. But aside from an early effort which cannoned off the crossbar, they were unable to really break through a very solid Madrid defence.

The home side bided their time, waiting for their opportunity to arrive and when it did, they didn’t waste it. On 37 minutes, one of La Real’s defenders dithered on the ball as they looked for a pass, Madrid pounced and threaded the ball through to Priscila, who found the net with a composed finish.

In the second half the game became even more about an irresistible force versus an immovable object. Madrid’s defensive solidity this season has been hugely impressive – in their first three games they had only conceded one goal – in their shock defeat by Espanyol – and here they gave their opposition few chances to get close to goal.

Real Sociedad faced the dilemma of whether to continue playing their natural building out from the back football, or trying to inject a bit more urgency. But too often they ended up caught halfway between and doing neither particularly effectively. They did start to create a few more chances but left themselves exposed at the back and could have conceded a couple more – Madrid hit the bar themselves and there were a couple of close offside calls. But ultimately they had already done enough for victory.

Bar Watch: As it was a behind closed doors game, there was no need for catering facilities to be open in the ground. I made do with a pre-match drink and montadito at Cerveceria Cruz Blanco across the road from the stadium.

Shop Watch: Again, no fans = no shop.

Match Rating: 6.5/10. It was an intriguing clash of styles more than anything, with Madrid’s resilience frustrating La Real’s possession-focused passing game to earn the victory.

Game 6️⃣

⚽️ Las Rozas CF 1-1 CD Poblense

🏟 Estadio Navalcarbón, Las Rozas

🏆 Segunda B Group 5: Section A

📅 1.11.2020

💶 €20

A last-minute change of plans brought me to Las Rozas on Sunday morning – I had originally planned on heading to Alcalá de Henares and seeing if I could be one of the lucky 175 people who got in to see Complutense play Moratalaz, but the availability of Las Rozas tickets online made it a safer option.

And fortunately the game turned out to be worth the trip and I got a nice walk through a forest park into the bargain. I had never managed to go and see Las Rozas before, and there is now an extra level of interest as they are managed by former Spain and Real Madrid utility defender/midfielder Ivan Helguera.

Las Rozas and Poblense started the day as the bottom two teams in Segunda B Group 5 Section A – something of a mouthful I’m sure you’ll agree – with

At the end of the first half, Las Rozas took the lead, breaking away from defending a corner and quickly moving the call up to the other end before finishing – a very well-worked goal.

Their lead didn’t actually last that long, Poblense equalised soon after the restart but both teams had plenty of chances even though the scores finished level.

Bar Watch: Although the large cafeteria on the far side of the ground was off-limits, there was a food and drink kiosk inside the main stand selling the usual hot and cold drinks as well as sandwiches. I was happy to make their tortilla sandwich my first “bocata se come en el descanso” of the season!

Shop Watch: Success! There was a small stall selling merchandise outside the stadium with such delights as baseball caps and hoodies, which I spotted a number of supporters wearing. I, of course, took the opportunity to add a scarf to my collection – the first one of the new season – and it was a very good quality one for the €10 price.

Match Rating: 7.5/10. For two struggling sides, they certainly served up an entertaining encounter! It was a thoroughly enjoyable morning out and given the ease of buying tickets, it’s a place I may return to later in the season.

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