Raul de Tomas played the full 90 in Rayo’s 1 - 2 loss at home to Getafe today, amid a noon kick-off in Vallecas.
As is the norm with de Tomas this season, he plays as a lone-striker in Michel’s scheme, in a 4-1-4-1 of sorts, where he’s typically isolated in the build-up and asked to latch onto through-balls and crosses. That’s Rayo’s way of using him as a traditional nine, which seems to suit Tomas because he’s not the type of striker that needs much of the ball, or one that gets cold. He’ll still take his chances when they come, and popping up the way he does helps Rayo, who generally struggle getting the ball into the final third.
This game was much of the same. Rayo had more possession than they normally do given Getafe are generally a defensive side that’s comfortable without the ball, but getting the ball to de Tomas consistently was not easy, and Getafe were good at getting numbers on him when that ball arrived. Sometimes they collapsed on him too much, allowing de Tomas to find open players centrally:
De Tomas didn’t do much in this match until later in the second half, but he did grow into the game — particularly after Rayo went down two goals and started rolling the dice a bit. Imbula (who had five completed dribbles, and is someone that Matt Wiltse and I have enjoyed watching while cover de Tomas this season), had a few nice dribbling sequences, including this one, eventually getting a chance for de Tomas at the far post which the striker just ultimately couldn’t get to:
Shortly after, Rayo conceded two goals in the span of four minutes. First, Dimitri Foulquier beat Sergio Akieme to the ball at the far-post with a nice header; then Akieme scored an own goal at the far post. (Obviously that was a forgettable four minutes for Akieme.) But in the 74th minute, Akieme had a little redemption, slinging this assist to Raul de Tomas:
Rayo did have some chances after to level, but Getafe were good defensively to close it out. Not much else to note about de Tomas in this match, apart from a yellow for a deliberate attempt at a hand-ball (which was a bizarre yellow, given he didn’t seem to actually make contact with the ball) and a cut-in and shot with his left foot in the 90th+ minute (both below).
De Tomas finished this match with just the one shot (the above shot didn’t qualify as a shot, as it took a deflection of an offside player), one key pass, and a 94.7% passing accuracy on his 19 passes.
Elsewhere, Vinicius Jr scored a free-kick and was sent off against Celta B (Sam Sharpe will have that report up today), and Martin Odegaard played the full 90 in Vitesse’s 2 - 0 loss to Excelsior yesterday — slinging five key passes in a losing cause. Our report on Oscar’s performance yesterday can be found here.