Real Madrid 2-1 Rayo Vallecano (Benzema & Rodrygo Goes). A simple yet dull victory. Here is the reaction to the game. Coming up: Player ratings, quotes and highlights and a podcast.
Attention may have been set on important off field matters in recent days, but Real Madrid still had games left to play out in La Liga - starting with a local derby against Rayo Vallecano at home. Antonio Rüdiger came back into the starting line-up, pushing David Alaba out to left-back. Fede Valverde returned to the wings, as Eduardo Camavinga got his wish to move back into the midfield. Rodrygo Goes started as the other winger as Vinícius Júnior was ruled out with injury. The bench included names such as Eden Hazard and Ferland Mendy. Youngster Álvaro Rodríguez returned to the squad as a substitute. Karim Benzema captained the team today.
Unfortunately for spectators, Madrid have arrived at a point in the season where there is now nothing else left to play for. This became more than clear in the first half when the tempo set out by the home side was similar to that of a pre-season friendly. Still, they managed to score an opener when Karim Benzema rounded the keeper to score low despite a defenders best efforts to keep it out on the line. Rodrygo Goes could then have made it two, but faceplanted into the turf instead. Benzema had a good chance to double his tally before half-time, but the Rayo keeper produced a good save to keep the game alive for them. Half time: 1-0 to Real Madrid.
The second half was just as timid, with Luka Modrić finding Dani Carvajal who spurned the first chance of the half. Rayo were creating a decent number of chances, but none posed much of a test for Thibaut Courtois. That was until former Real Madrid man Raúl de Tomás broke through for the visitors late on when he latched onto a pass and finished around Courtois to spell trouble for Madrid. This goal would finally spark some action after 80 minutes of play, and the hosts switched up their intensity in search of a winner in front of their fans. With a minute to spare, they would get that winner. Rodrygo received the ball outside of the box, before travelling towards goal and unleashing a low shot which beat the keeper. Substitute Dani Ceballos could have notched another almost immediately, but his shot was well saved by the keeper. The late surge from Real Madrid was enough to settle the game out with the score at 2-1.