After a mini surge in December and January, which saw Rayo Vallecano go undefeated for five straight games — giving hope of a relegation escape — Michel’s men have since regressed and plummeted. They’ve lost nine of their last 11 away matches (not having Vallecas around as their 12th man really seems to hurt them), and have now lost four straight games.
I mentioned this in the latest mailbag, but Raul de Tomas, for all his finishing, hold-up play, and pressing skills just doesn’t have enough service up front — and not every team is going to allow Alex Moreno and Oscar Trejo time on the ball to make things happen for him.
And Getafe — fighting for a Champions League spot, by the way — are well-organized enough to take away Rayo’s threats. They pinned Rayo (who defended well for the majority of this game, and didn’t concede a dangerous chance until Jaime Mata’s opening goal in the 28th minute), and their transition defense took care of the rest. Rayo couldn’t string passes together as they were denied outlets and just didn’t have the numbers to attack. Raul de Tomas, the highest player up the pitch, had the majority of his touches near the half way line, or in his own half after the first 45 minutes.
Down 1 - 0 at the half against a team that is hard to come back against — it didn’t look good for Rayo. But, in a moment that encapsulates Raul de Tomas (Rayo didn’t create anything all game, and yet, Raul de Tomas doesn’t get cold one bit), he popped up in the 58th minute to create a goal out of nothing:
That was de Tomas’s sixth goal in nine games. He followed it up with a couple more long-range shots — one wildly off target, and one that stung David Soria’s hands, but was tame enough.
Getafe went on to score a go-ahead goal, after Jaime Mate (one of the most in-form players in the league right now), unselfishly picked out Jorge Molina for an open net.
De Tomas finished this match with 23 touches, three shots, one key pass, and one completed dribble.