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Rayo Vallecano 0-2 Real Madrid: Initial reactions

Six things to take away from this victory

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Six things we saw...
  1. Rayo Vallecano have been a possession-oriented team for a while now, but 63% possession against Real Madrid in the first half is quite staggering, really. Luckily, they lacked imagination in the final third and most of their possession ended up being fruitless. Ancelotti did well to have the team pressure Rayo high which eventually paid off.
  2. This is a character win. Let's be honest, Real Madrid for most of this game were absolutely horrendous. What are usually easy passes for the whites became giveaways, and Real Madrid were losing the ball without even being pressured enough to justify it. In the end, the composure of an experienced (and expensive) squad emerged as the game went on.
  3. Around the 60th minute mark, Real Madrid improved. Somehow, it happened around the same time everyone watching this match realized the referee badly wants Rayo Vallecano to win. It was after Carvajal, Kroos, and Ronaldo had just been booked. Something clicked at that moment - the team was awakened.
  4. Carvajal's run for Ronaldo's goal was brilliant, he darted down the wing so quickly that I thought it was Bale for a second. And that pass from Kroos to Bale? Ouffffff.
  5. James Rodriguez ended up having a really good game. He's such an asset to have this season with so many dimensions to the game. His vision and creativity in the final third is at times unplayable from a defensive stand point. He's exactly the person you want in your team when the game isn't going your way.
  6. How about Alberto Bueno? He looks really good for Rayo this season. I think the former canterano will do well in Porto next year.

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