Real Madrid suffered a blow in La Liga’s title race as they slipped to a 3-2 away defeat to crosstown rivals Rayo Vallecano.
It was an eventful night at the Estadio de Vallecas and one upon which Madrid failed to stamp their authority at any point, suffering their first league defeat of the season and now sitting two points behind Barcelona.
Rayo got off to the best possible start as Santi Comesana fired then into a fifth-minute lead with an unchallenged strike from the edge of the box.
The game truly burst into life towards the end of the half. Firstly, Luka Modric levelled for Madrid from the penalty spot after Fran Garcia brought down Marco Asensio, and four minutes later Eder Militao brilliantly headed them into the lead.
At that stage, it looked like Madrid had weathered the Rayo storm and would go on to control the contest, but the hosts had very different ideas. Isi Palazon set up Alvaro Garcia to equalise on the brink of half-time, and it was all to play for again.
Neither team looked interested in settling for a point, and an unusually open contest ensued. It was Rayo who got the breakthrough, though, after Dani Carvajal handled the ball in his own box. Oscar Trejo’s initial spot kick was saved by Thibaut Courtois, but the penalty was ordered to be retaken for encroachment and no mistake was made at the second time of asking.
Madrid pushed on to try and salvage something, but despite seeing plenty of the ball they failed to carve out the quality of chances they needed and left Vallecas with nothing.
GK: Thibaut Courtois – 6/10 – Will de disappointed to have conceded three goals. Did well to save Trejo’s initial penalty.
RB: Dani Carvajal – 5/10- Had his work cut out against Vallecano’s lively left-hand side and gave away a penalty, Tough night for him.
CB: Eder Militao – 8/10 – Powerful presence in both boxes, as illustrated by his goal.
CB: David Alaba – 6/10 – Did nothing wrong, but didn’t really stand out either.
LB: Ferland Mendy – 6/10 – Did okay, although not tested as Carvahal was.
CM: Federico Valverde – 7/10 – Kept things ticking over nicely enough.
CM: Aurelien Tchouameni – 7/10 – Reliable on the ball and combative without it.
CM: Luka Modric – 8/10 – Tucked away the penalty with customary cool and just generally quality throughout.
RF: Marco Asensio – 8/10 – The best of Madrid’s attacking trio.
CF: Rodrygo – 6/10 – Failed to hit the target all night
LF: Vinicius Junior – 6/10 – Well short of his electric best.
SUB: Eduardo Camavinga (69′, for Tchouameni) – 6/10 – DIdn’t really make his presence felt to any notable degree.
SUB: Mariano Diaz (79′, for Modric) – N/A
SUB: Nacho Fernandez (85′, for Mendy) – N/A
SUB: Lucas Vasquez (85′, for Carvajal) – N/A
Manager: Carlo Ancelotti – 6/10 – Managers always look bad after defeats, but probably need to give Vallecano credit here more than dishing out blame.
Rayo Vallecano player ratings
(4-2-3-1) GK: Stole Dimitrievski (6); RB: Ivan Balliu (7), CB: Florian Lejeune (6), CB: Alejandro Catena (6), LB: Francisco Garcia (7); CM: Santi Comesana (8), CM: Oscar Valentin (7); RM: Isi Palazon (8), AM: Oscar Trejo (8), LM: Alvaro Garcia (8); CF: Sergio Camello (7)
SUBS: Unai Lopez (6), Pathe Ciss (N/A), Radamel Falcao (N/A), Salvi Sanchez (N/A), Pep Chavarria (N/A)