2021/22 in Pictures: Games 13, 14 and 15

This entry sees me close out October and move into November with three games including the long-awaited return of Día del Fútbol Modesto, my first La Liga game since before the pandemic and a return visit to one of my favourite grounds from last season.

So anyway, here we go!

Game 1️⃣3️⃣

⚽️ Villaverde-San Andrés 0-1 CDE Madrid 2021 Fuenlabrada Promesas

🏟 Estadio Boetticher, Madrid

🏆 Tercera RFEF, Group 7

📅 31.10.2021

💶 €10

The final day of October saw the return of Día del Fútbol Modesto for the first time since January 2020 and just as we had then, we headed to Villaverde for the first game of the day. And this time, Sarah came along too (entirely of her own volition I must add) to see what all the fuss was about.

On the pitch things didn’t go particularly well, Fuenlabrada Promesas took the lead after ten minutes, Ivi bundling in from close range after Botti goalkeeper Carlos had made a decent stop from the original effort. Then Botti’s Héctor was sent off after 16 minutes for two yellow cards, a quite mystifying decision. That was the way the score stayed as the referee ensured he took centre stage, handing out cards like Christmas had come early in what was in no way a dirty game.

Actual football aside, it was good to see a lot of familiar faces again, some of whom I’d not seen since the last Fútbol Modesto meet-up, the quality of the company certainly outranked the football on display. Can’t wait until the next one!

Amenities Watch: You’re always well-looked after at Botti and this time was no exception. Sarah has barely stopped talking about how good the lomo y queso bocatas were!

Match Rating: 6.5/10 – A controversial one with the referee taking centre stage. Botti played a lot better than in their previous outing against Getafe B and probably deserved a share of the spoils.

Game 1️⃣4️⃣

⚽️ Rayo Vallecano 0-0 Celta Vigo

🏟 Estadio de Vallecas, Madrid

🏆 La Liga Santander

📅 1.11.2021

💶 €20

A public holiday on Monday 1st November allowed me the rare privilege of going to a game on a weekday.

After the shock signing of Colombian legend Radamel Falcao, Rayo Vallecano have started the season brilliantly and were just coming off a 1-0 win over Barcelona which meant that tickets for this game were selling fast. In typical Rayo style they only put them on sale on Sunday, so I was forced to head down to Vallecas early on Monday morning. And it was lucky I did as by 12pm, the game was completely sold out!

I got down to Vallecas early enough to meet up with friend of the blog Matt Harrison (from Málaga podcast Guiricast) for pre-match drinks at Meson Moreno) before heading into the ground ahead of kick off. The queues were even longer than normal due to work being done on the Avenida de Albufera side of the ground, which meant only the top entrance was open for us. And of course, despite the game being officially sold out, there were numerous empty seats around me.

Rayo started brilliantly which meant the ball was hardly in my half of the ground for the majority of the first half. Celta goalkeeper Dituro was constantly in action, saving from Falcao and Fran García, either side of Isi hitting the post. Celta’s first meaningful effort on goal didn’t arrive until near half time and was easily saved by Dimitrievski.

The second half continued in much the same pattern, Rayo attacking but being denied time and time again by Dituro. But a number of attacking substitutions, including Bebe replacing Falcao (one Man Utd flop replacing another) dented their momentum and they began to run out of steam. Despite bringing on Iago (Barry) Aspas from the bench, Celta didn’t offer a great deal and seemed happy enough to let the game Peter out for a 0-0 draw.

Amenities Watch: Eating and drinking isn’t really permitted yet at La Liga grounds, so there was nothing on sale at the stadium. I just had a pre-match drink at a packed-out Meson Moreno across the road from the ground. And I avoided the club shop because if I had gone anywhere near it, I would have ended up going home with a brand new Rayo home shirt with Falcao on the back…

Match Rating: 7/10 – The first half was really good with Rayo making all the running, unfortunately at the far end from where I was sitting! The second half fizzled out a bit and 0-0 looked a likely result from about the 70 minute mark.

Game 1️⃣5️⃣

⚽️ Colonia Moscardó 0-2 Rayo Vallecano B

🏟 Estadio Román Valero, Madrid

🏆 Tercera RFEF, Group 7

📅 7.11.2021

💶 €10

A beautifully sunny, yet cold Sunday morning saw me head down to the Usera area and the Estadio Román Valero, home of Colonia Moscardó for their meeting with Rayo B.

I expected goals. Rayo B traditionally seems to score and concede in equal measure, while Mosca were struggling at the foot of the Tercera following their promotion last season.

Rayo lined up with R Dot D Dot T Dot leading the line for them – no, not recently called-up Spain international Raúl De Tomás, but his similarly initialed younger brother Rubén. The spitting image of his more illustrious sibling, he was heavily involved in the early stages as Rayo dominated.

Mosca gave as good as they got, so it was something of a surprise that the game was still goalless at the break. And it stayed that way until the 70th minute when Héctor Peña was found in some space on the left hand side of the penalty box and dinked a neat finish over the advancing Mosca goalkeeper.

The home side threw everything they had forward in an attempt to find an equaliser but it wasn’t to come and as the game neared an end, a swift Rayo break was ended by a clumsy foul inside the box and Quivira sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty spot to wrap up the win.

Amenities Watch: The Román Valero has everything you could want. A huge bar which serves drinks, sandwiches, pinxos of tortilla, caldo and more besides, a terrace for sitting outside with your food/drink/whatever and a merchandise stall by the entrance which stays open all game. I had a half-time snack of a chorizo bocata, which was cooked to perfection.

Match Rating: 8/10 – While not the goalfest I thought it might be, this was a really entertaining affair. Rayo’s greater quality prevailed in the end, but Moscardó can take encouragement from their performance.

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