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Immediate Reaction: Real Madrid 0-0 Rayo Vallecano

A draw at home...

Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by David S.Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Real Madrid 0-0 Rayo Vallecano. A frustrating stalemate. Here is my reaction to the match. More on the way: Player ratings, post game best bits and the good old podcast.

Real Madrid hosted Rayo Vallecano hoping to get back to the top of the table after Girona’s win just the night before. There were a few changes in the lineup, with Fran Garcia coming in, Camavinga replacing the injured Aurelien Tchouameni as the six, and Modric replacing Kroos. Joselu took Rodrygo’s place as Vini’s partner in crime up top.

It was a really chaotic start to the game as we saw two giveaways and a Bellingham injury scare within the first 10 minutes. Firstly, it was Fede Valverde who won the ball very close to Rayo Vallecano’s goal, but scuffed the shot. Then, we saw Fran Garcia give the ball away way too close to Real Madrid’s box, but the shot went wide, and the whole sequence was ultimately ruled out for offside. Bellingham then fell weirdly on his shoulders, which sank the heart of every Madridista on planet Earth, as it looked like Rodrygo was about to come on. Still, Bellingham was good enough to continue the game without much trouble a few minutes later. Modric, soon after the two giveaways at the start, passed the ball rather carelessly to a Rayo player, who missed the final shot by quite some distance. As for the remainder of the first half, there were some really good chances from Real Madrid. Vinicius Jr burned Rayo defenders with his pace and played cutbacks to Joselu, one of which resulted in a very good chance, forcing a good save from Dimitrieviski. Bellingham was cooking – he created a lot of great chances for his teammates, and was absolutely sublime on the ball. It was goalless in the first half, but it sure was entertaining.

The 70,000 fans at the Bernabeu thought that their team had finally broken the deadlock in the 65th minute when Vinicius scored with a really good left-footed finish. However, it was correctly ruled out for offside. Even some great combination between Carvajal, Rodrygo and Valverde wasn’t enough for Real to score the first goal of the game. Rayo were doing very well defensively to stop most half chances from becoming full-fledged goal-scoring opportunities. Vinicius dribbled past their final line plenty of times, but Rayo defended well enough so that nothing came of those surgical runs. In the end, there was nothing to separate the two teams as a fairly heated game ended in a stalemate, which meant Girona are now two points above Real Madrid at the top of the table.

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