It was an enthralling encounter in Vallecas as Rayo Vallecano became the first side to beat Real Madrid in La Liga this season, a result which leaves Barcelona top of the table.
Andoni Iraola’s side came out all guns blazing in the first half as they looked to press Real Madrid high up the pitch. They denied Real Madrid any time on the ball, with the Vallecano midfield hunting down any loose passes.
Vallecano then found a deserved breakthrough after just five minutes. Santi Comesana finished off a flowing counter-attack to put the home side 1-0 up, much to the joy of the 14,000 inside Estadio de Vallecas.
Rayo bravely pushed for a second but couldn’t find the final ball. Real Madrid managed to get back on level terms after 37 minutes, with Luka Modric converting from the penalty spot following a foul on Marco Asensio.
Los Blancos benefited from a set-piece once more just four minutes later, Eder Militao rose highest to power home Marco Asensio’s corner and put Madrid in the lead.
Real Madrid’s lead didn’t last long though, after some pinball in the box the ball bounced out to Alvaro Garcia who thumped home on the volley to level up proceedings.
The second half was much of the same domination from Rayo Vallecano, who continued to pour forward just as they did in the first half, all without creating anything too concrete.
On 66 minutes, Oscar Trejo had the chance to put his side back in the lead from the spot following a Carvajal handball, but his effort was saved by Courtois. The referee then ordered the penalty to be retaken due to encroachment and Oscar Trejo once more stepped up, this time making no mistake – smashing the ball past Courtois who dived the right way but couldn’t get to the ball.
Madrid had one last chance in the 89th minute. Marco Asensio put in a sensational ball but Rodrygo fired over from point blank range.
In the end, Trejo’s goal proved decisive and Rayo’s fantastic start to the season continues.
TALKING POINT – FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BRAVE
Rayo Vallecano pressed, pushed and harassed Real Madrid for 98 minutes and as a result, scored three fantastic goals and picked up all three points. From the first whistle their intentions were clear, they were not going to sit back and let Madrid dominate proceedings, but instead they chose to take the initiative, getting in Madrid’s face and denying them any time on the ball. This isn’t the first time they’ve benefited from a brave, courageous approach this season. They’ve now beaten Real Madrid, Sevilla and also held Barcelona and Atletico Madrid to draws. It’s a refreshing approach from a side who have belief in what they do well and tonight they fully deserved their victory.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – ISI PALAZON
Isi Palazon was top of the pile tonight but in truth, the player of the match could have went to any number of players in a Rayo shirt, that’s how well they played. Palazon was a class act in possession, very rarely giving the ball away and turning Real Madrid players inside out at will. His technical ability shines through when he’s on the ball, knitting play together and creating chances, but he worked hard off the ball too. Winning five duels and making two tackles. He was often at the heart of everything good that Rayo Vallecano did and was truly a joy to watch tonight.
Rayo Vallecano: Dimitrievski 6, Balliu 6, Lejeune 7, Catena 6, Garcia 8, Comesana 8, Valentin 7, Palazon 9, Trejo 7, Alvaro Garcia 7, Camello 7
Subs: Ciss 6, Lopez 6, Salvi N/A, Chavarria N/A, Falcao N/A
Real Madrid: Courtois 6, Mendy 6, Alaba 6, Militao 6, Carvajal 6, Valverde 6, Modric 6, Tchouameni 6, Asensio 7, Rodrygo 5, Vini Jr 6
Subs: Camavinga 7, Diaz 6, Vazquez N/A, Nacho N/A
5′ GOAL – RAYO VALLECANO! – Wow! Rayo Vallecano draw first blood with the first chance of the match! Santi Comesana finishes off a brilliant counter-attack to put Vallecano 1-0 up!
37′ GOAL – REAL MADRID – Luka Modric goes down the middle and converts from the penalty spot.
41′ GOAL – REAL MADRID – Two set-pieces, two goals! After Luka Modric’s penalty, Eder Militao has now scored a header from a Marco Asensio corner. They have turned this game on it’s head.
44′ GOAL – RAYO VALLECANO – WHAT A GOAL! The ball bounces around in the Real Madrid box and it falls to Alvaro Garcia who thumps it home on the volley! A fantastic goal.
66′ GOAL – RAYO VALLECANO He made sure that time! Oscar Trejo smashes it past Courtois! Redemption for Trejo after seeing his first penalty attempt saved,
89 ‘ BIG CHANCE MISSED! – Marco Asensio puts in a sensational cross but Rodrygo blasts it over from point blank range!