Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

    That’s all for today, goodbye! 

    That win takes Madrid top of the table, but Real Sociedad and Sevilla are still yet to play this weekend. Next up for them is Granada in two weeks’ time. Rayo’s winless run on the road continues, but they’re back at home in their next match as they host Real Mallorca.

    Real Madrid hold on to beat Rayo Vallecano 2-1. The hosts dominated the first half, taking the lead through Kroos’ volley which was originally ruled out for offside, minutes after the flag had denied Vinicius. Benzema added the second with a good close-range finish. Rayo pushed after the break and Falcao came off the bench to head Rayo back into it before going off injured. Valentin saw a late effort blocked on the line before Lopez’s long-range shot was tipped over by Courtois.

    90′ + 4′ FULL-TIME: REAL MADRID 2-1 RAYO VALLECANO.

    Nacho

    Carvajal

    Real Madrid

    90′ + 3′ Madrid have a corner to defend, but before they do, they’re bringing on Nacho to replace Carvajal.

    90′ + 1′ OFF THE LINE! Rayo come so close! Valentin had an opportunity blocked by Camavinga before Kroos cleared his follow-up effort off the line. It bounces out to Lopez, who curls a great shot towards goal, but Courtois tips it over the bar.

    89′ The visitors are still looking to their right side as they search for a late equaliser. Alvaro Garcia dribbles past Mendy but his run is cut out by Alaba as soon as he cuts into the box.

    87′ Rayo are keeping Madrid penned back in their own half still, but their final ball is letting them down. Bebe drifts out to the right to get involved before playing a loose pass straight to Mendy.

    85′ Hazard is waiting in the box for Madrid, and Casemiro floats a cross into the middle for him. It’s just too high for the substitute though and Catena clears his lines.

    E. Hazard

    K. Benzema

    Real Madrid

    83′ Benzema also makes way, with Hazard on in his place.

    Lucas Vázquez

    Asensio

    Real Madrid

    83′ Madrid are making a double change of their own now. Asensio is taken off and replaced by Vazquez.

    José Ángel Pozo

    E. Saveljich

    Rayo Vallecano

    81′ And Saveljich, who has just come back from injury himself, is also making way for Pozo.

    Sergi Guardiola

    R. Falcao

    Rayo Vallecano

    81′ That is the end of Falcao’s game – an 11-minute cameo that included pulling a goal back for the visitors. Guardiola is on for him.

    80′ It looks like Falcao has a muscle problem here, and he doesn’t look too comfortable as the referee calls the medical team on. He hasn’t been on long, and it looks like his game is over.

    78′ Madrid are looking to quickly restore their two-goal cushion, but that Falcao goal has rattled them. They’re moving it much slower than before and can’t find a way past Rayo at the moment.

    Álvaro García

    Assist

    Rayo Vallecano

    76′ Madrid are slow to close Alvaro Garcia down on the left, and he has time to take a touch before picking out his cross.

    R. Falcao

    Goal

    Rayo Vallecano

    76′ FALCAO SCORES! The first cross that comes in from Balliu is too high for Falcao, but he manages to head it out to Alvaro Garcia on the left. This time, the ball is a good one and Falcao gets behind Alaba to thump a header into the bottom corner. 2-1! 

    75′ OFF THE POST! Madrid’s attack breaks down and Bebe picks the ball up just outside his own box before going it alone. When he gets to Madrid’s penalty area, he drills a low shot towards the near post. Courtois is beaten, but it bounces back off the woodwork.

    73′ Another good spell of possession leads to nothing for Rayo. Francisco Garcia’s cross is deflected off Militao, but Falcao can’t get in front of Alaba so he can get a shot away in the middle.

    71′ CHANCE! Carvajal does well to keep the ball as he’s challenged on the right and he manages to touch it into Asensio. It’s a tight angle for him but he gets a shot away, sending it through Dimitrievski’s legs and wide of the far post.

    R. Falcao

    R. Nteka

    Rayo Vallecano

    69′ Third change for Rayo now and it’s Nteka that’s going off for Falcao.

    Santi Comesaña

    Yellow Card

    Rayo Vallecano

    68′ The ball bounces up in front of Comesana and Camavinga, with both players going for it. The Rayo captain catches Camavinga with his studs though, earning him a booking.

    66′ Vinicius touches it into Kroos, who tees up Benzema on the edge of the box with his first touch. Unselfishly, he tries to chip it into Asensio, but he plays it over the Spaniard’s head and straight to the keeper.

    64′ Madrid push forward again, with Camavinga driving down the right this time. There’s no one up with him, so he holds it up, but by the time support arrives, Rayo have packed defenders back into their box.

    62′ CLOSE! Mendy dummies a shot before backheeling it to Benzema on the left of the box. The Frenchman takes the shot first time, curling it towards the far top corner, but his effort sails just over the bar.

    Unai López

    Ó. Trejo

    Rayo Vallecano

    60′ And Trejo is also going off, with Lopez on for him.

    Bebé

    Isi Palazón

    Rayo Vallecano

    60′ Rayo are making a double change here as they try to get themselves back into this game. Palazon is the first to go off, with Bebe on in his place.

    58′ SAVE! Vinicius gets in between Rayo’s central defenders and Benzema picks him out with a good throughball. He’s one-on-one with the keeper and Dimitrievski does well to keep him out with his feet at the near post.

    56′ Rayo are knocking it around well in midfield, but all of their possession is in front of Madrid still. Valentin switches it out to Alvaro Garcia down the left, but he’s dispossessed by Carvajal as soon as he brings it down.

    54′ GOOD SAVE! Kroos threads it through for Asensio and he gets his head up when he gets to the edge of the box. Dimitrievski rushes out to him so he tries to chip the keeper, but he gets his hand to it to get it away.

    53′ Alaba is the first Madrid player to have three assists in his first 11 LaLiga appearances since Lucas Vazquez in 2015 (also three) and the first defender to do so for the club in the competition in the 21st century.

    51′ BLOCK! Vinicius picks up the ball deep and rides a few challenges from the Rayo defenders in the box. He takes it past Francisco Garcia as Dimitrievski rushes off his line, but his low shot is blocked just in front of the line by Balliu.

    50′ Asensio makes another good run down the right for Madrid and he does well to hold off Alvaro Garcia, who is trying to shove him off the ball. He pulls it back from the byline, but Benzema can’t get there ahead of Catena.

    48′ Rayo almost make a lightning-quick start to the second half with Alvaro Garcia having two great chances. His first volley was blocked by Carvajal at the far post before Militao stood his ground to block his low effort a minute later.

    46′ Rayo get us back underway for the second half! 

    Madrid have ended their run without a goal at home and Ancelotti will be pleased with the performance so far. As things stand, they’re going top of the table if they see this out. As for Rayo, they haven’t really got going yet and Iraola will be trying to rally his side to take more risks after the break.

    Madrid take a 2-0 lead over Rayo into half-time. The hosts thought they’d taken the lead just five minutes in when Vinicius tapped it in, but Benzema was offside in the build-up. Their opening goal was also initially chalked off for offside, but a VAR check meant that Kroos’ volley stood. Benzema then doubled their advantage with a close-range finish after a brilliant cross from Alaba.

    45′ + 2′ HALF-TIME: REAL MADRID 2-0 RAYO VALLECANO.

    I. Balliu

    Yellow Card

    Rayo Vallecano

    45′ + 1′ Balliu catches Casemiro with a late challenge and has his name taken by the referee.

    44′ Benzema has scored 10+ goals in 11 of his 13 seasons in LaLiga (10 in 2021-22 so far); only Lionel Messi (15) has scored 10 or more goals in more LaLiga campaigns in the 21st century.

    42′ Madrid almost play themselves into trouble as Carvajal clears his line with a switch out to Mendy on the far side. It’s cut out by Palazon, but it’s a poor first touch from him that bounces straight back to Courtois.

    40′ MISS! Vinicius cuts inside from the left before drilling a powerful shot across goal from the edge of the box. Dimitrievski gets down to push it away, but Benzema is following in. He dives in to get his head to it but sends his effort looping high over the bar.

    D. Alaba

    Assist

    Real Madrid

    38′ It’s a brilliant whipped cross from Alaba on the left that takes Rayo’s defence out of the game.

    K. Benzema

    Goal

    Real Madrid

    38′ BENZEMA SCORES! None of the Rayo defenders spot Benzema’s run around the back to the far post and Alaba’s cross beats all of them and the keeper. Dimitrievski scrambles across, but the Frenchman taps it into the back of the net. 2-0 Madrid! 

    37′ GREAT SAVE! Kroos floats it out to Militao, who is furthest forward down the right for Madrid. He volleys a cross into the middle, which hits Catena and Dimitrievski pulls off a brilliant save to tip it over the bar and prevent the own goal.

    35′ Asensio is sprinting into the box, so Carvajal lifts an early cross into the far post. It’s too high for him, but Benzema reaches it at the back and tries to volley it back across goal. He gets his angles wrong though and it lands on the roof of the net.

    33′ Madrid are still keeping possession well here, but it’s all in front of Rayo. They’re trying to find a way in behind, but the visitors are staying compact at the back.

    31′ Rayo go for the direct route to goal again with Catena going long for Alvaro Garcia. He tries to catch Madrid out by putting an early cross into the box, but none of his team-mates are there so Courtois collects it.

    T. Kroos

    Yellow Card

    Real Madrid

    29′ Kroos is shown the first yellow card of the game for pulling back Trejo.

    28′ Camavinga is caught on the ball by Comesana and he gets his head up before threading a throughball into Trejo. He’s driving through the middle when Kroos tugs him back.

    26′ Rayo are starting to put the pressure on again here as Valentin lifts a cross into the middle this time. He’s looking for Nteka in the middle, but Militao gets in front of him to nod it away.

    24′ GOOD SAVE! Dimitrievski’s throw is cut out by Casemiro and Rayo are in trouble. Benzema squares it to Asensio, who drags it into the box before drilling a low shot across goal, but the keeper punches it away at his near post.

    23′ Alaba is allowed to carry the ball a long way to the edge of the box before he pokes it out to Mendy before continuing his run. The cross is fizzed into the near post, but he can’t get a touch and Dimitrievski holds it.

    21′ SAVE! Again, Rayo switch it from right to left to open up some space and this time, Francisco Garcia whips in a good cross. He picks out Nteka in the middle, but his thumping header is straight down the middle at Courtois.

    19′ It’s a good run from Trejo as he turns away from Casemiro before riding a challenge from Kroos. Casemiro gets back quickly though and dispossesses him with a perfectly-timed tackle to end the attack.

    17′ Madrid are pushing to try and add to their advantage with Asensio switching out to the left. He takes it around Balliu and tries to square it to Benzema in the middle, but Saveljich gets across to cut it out.

    15′ The linesman’s flag went up against Vinicius in the build-up to the goal, but the VAR check showed that the forward was actually well onside due to Francisco Garcia on the far side of the pitch.

    T. Kroos

    Goal

    Real Madrid

    14′ KROOS SCORES! Vinicius does brilliantly to get ahead of Saveljich to bring the ball down before spreading it out to Asensio on the right. He pulls it back to Kroos, who volleys it past Dimitrievski, who got a hand to it, and into the top corner. It was initially ruled out for offside, but a VAR shows it wasn’t, so the goal stands! 1-0 Madrid!

    13′ It’s a better spell of possession for Rayo now, but it’s all in front of Madrid. They’re trying to find a way through, but Palazon’s run down the right is cut out by Mendy.

    11′ BENZEMA! Madrid break quickly with Asensio driving forward down the right. He gets ahead of Francisco Garcia to pull the ball back towards the far post and Benzema hits it first time. He leans back though, firing it high over the bar and into the stands.

    9′ Madrid have drawn their last two LaLiga home games (both 0-0) against Villarreal and Osasuna – they’ve never had three consecutive goalless draws at home in the top-flight.

    7′ Madrid are finding their rhythm now and keeping Rayo penned back in their own half. They’re switching it from side to side to open up some space but can’t find any just yet.

    5′ OFFSIDE! Madrid’s initial corner is cleared by Catena, but Carvajal lifts it back into the box. Benzema heads it back into the middle from the far post with Vinicius tapping it past Dimitrievski, but the Frenchman set off early and the flag goes up.

    3′ Madrid just haven’t been able to get going so far in this game, with Rayo causing them problems with a high press. The visitors are pushing forward through Valentin down the left, but he’s stopped by Camavinga.

    1′ Just 30 seconds on the clock and Rayo have already had their first chance. Alvaro Garcia breaks forward down the left with Carvajal just behind him. He tries to whip his shot behind the right-back but sends it well wide of the far post.

    1′ Benzema gets the game underway for Madrid! 

    The teams are out on the pitch now, with kick-off just moments away!

    At home, Madrid have only lost one of their last 15 LaLiga games against Rayo (W15 D2) – 1-2 in January 1996.

    Andoni Iraola makes three changes to the side that drew with Celta Vigo on Monday. Saveljich returns from injury, with Trejo and Nteka also coming in. Maras, Lopez and Falcao all drop to the bench.

    Carlo Ancelotti makes just two changes from the team that beat Shakhtar Donetsk last time out, with Camavinga and Asensio both coming in. Vazquez starts on the bench, while Luka Modric misses out due to illness.

    RAYO VALLECANO SUBS: Nikola Maras, Mario Suarez, Sergi Guardiola, Bebe, Kevin Rodrigues, Mario Hernandez, Andres Martin, Radamel Falcao, Unai Lopez, Pathe Ciss, Luca Zidane, Jose Pozo.

    RAYO VALLECANO STARTING XI (4-2-3-1): Stole Dimitrievski; Ivan Balliu, Esteban Saveljich, Alejandro Catena, Francisco Garcia; Santiago Comesana, Oscar Valentin; Isi Palazon, Oscar Trejo, Alvaro Garcia; Randy Nteka.

    REAL MADRID SUBS: Antonio Blanco, Eden Hazard, Andriy Lunin, Jesus Vallejo, Miguel Gutierrez, Toni Fuidias, Marcelo, Nacho, Luke Jovic, Isco, Lucas Vazquez. 

    REAL MADRID STARTING XI (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, David Alaba, Ferland Mendy; Eduardo Camavinga, Casemiro, Toni Kroos; Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior.

    Since losing to Espanyol in the league at the start of October, Madrid are unbeaten in five games across all competitions, winning four and drawing one, though that draw did come at home when they were held 0-0 by Osasuna. A win today though would take them top of LaLiga. As for Rayo, they’ve lost just two of their last 10 matches (W6 D2). However, both of those have come on the road, with today’s visitors only winning one of their away games so far this season when they beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1.

    Hello and welcome to live coverage of the LaLiga meeting between Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernanbeu!

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