Spanish La Liga
Rayo Vallecano2Real Madrid3

Rayo Vallecano 2-3 Real Madrid

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale has scored 18 goals in 21 La Liga appearances for Real Madrid this season

Gareth Bale scored twice as Real Madrid came from two goals down to maintain their La Liga title hopes with victory at neighbours Rayo Vallecano.

The home side led 2-0 after 14 minutes, as Adri Embarba touched in Bebe's cross before Miku poked home a second.

Bale headed in a Toni Kroos corner, but Real then lost Karim Benzema to injury.

Lucas Vazquez, Benzema's replacement, headed an equaliser before Bale pounced on an Embarba error to send Real top for at least a couple of hours.

Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema, who limped off before half-time, had scored in Real's previous two games

Atletico Madrid overtook them with a 1-0 win over Malaga, before Barca thrashed Sporting Gijon 6-0 to go back to the top.

The sight of France forward Benzema hobbling off clutching his thigh three minutes before the interval will have concerned Real manager Zinedine Zidane, with a Champions League semi-final first leg trip to Manchester City to come on Tuesday.

Zidane went into the game without his leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, who is a doubt for the City trip after pulling a thigh muscle during Wednesday's 3-0 league victory over Villarreal.

The Real manager left captain Sergio Ramos, as well as midfielders Casemiro and Luka Modric, out of his starting line-up, with one eye on the match in Manchester.

Lost Galacticos

It looked set to backfire after a quarter of an hour, against a Rayo side looking for revenge after being beaten 10-2 at the Bernabeu in December.

Miku
Miku's close-range finish put Rayo Vallecano 2-0 up - but they could not hold on

Paco Jemez's side, who are battling to avoid relegation to the Segunda Division, were much more of a match for their Madrid neighbours this time, but ultimately ran out of steam.

Embarba struck for the home side after excellent work down the left from former Manchester United forward Bebe, although Miku also deserved credit for a dummy run that drew defender Danilo to the near post to create space for the scorer.

Real's back line looked disorganised, and conceded a second from a corner as Raphael Varane inadvertently flicked the ball on, and Miku turned in the loose ball from six yards.

Gareth Bale
Bale's winner meant that Real Madrid were two points clear at full-time - albeit with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona still to play

A fine save from Real keeper Keylor Navas prevented Bebe's 25-yard shot from flying in for a third.

Bale - returning to action following a back injury - began the visitors' recovery 10 minutes before the interval, with Vazquez heading a fine equaliser from Danilo's right-wing cross early in the second half.

The home side were visibly tiring as the final minutes approached, and it was a weary loose pass from Embarba that allowed Bale to sprint away and slot in a winning goal.

Line-ups

Rayo Vallecano

  • 13Martín Corral
  • 17Marín Ruiz
  • 4AmayaBooked at 76mins
  • 22CrespoBooked at 62mins
  • 2Román TrigueroSubstituted forRatat 78'minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 21Sánchez RuizBooked at 53minsSubstituted forIturraat 54'minutesBooked at 67mins
  • 10TrashorrasBooked at 73mins
  • 11Embarba
  • 14HernándezSubstituted forJavi Guerraat 54'minutes
  • 23Dias Correia
  • 7Fedor Flores

Substitutes

  • 5Dorado Ramírez
  • 6Iturra
  • 9Contreiras Gonçalves
  • 15Rat
  • 24Javi Guerra
  • 25Rodríguez Oterino
  • 26Montiel Caballero

Real Madrid

  • 1Navas
  • 23Danilo
  • 3Pepe
  • 2Varane
  • 12Marcelo
  • 16KovacicBooked at 66minsSubstituted forRodríguezat 78'minutes
  • 8Kroos
  • 22Isco
  • 11Bale
  • 9BenzemaSubstituted forVázquezat 42'minutes
  • 20JeséSubstituted forModricat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Ramos
  • 6Nacho
  • 10Rodríguez
  • 13Casilla
  • 17Arbeloa
  • 18Vázquez
  • 19Modric
Referee:
Alejandro José Hernández Hernández
Attendance:
13,134

Match Stats

Home TeamRayo VallecanoAway TeamReal Madrid
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home11
Away16
Shots on Target
Home6
Away6
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home15
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Rayo Vallecano 2, Real Madrid 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Rayo Vallecano 2, Real Madrid 3.

Attempt saved. José Ángel Crespo (Rayo Vallecano) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Bebé with a cross.

Offside, Rayo Vallecano. Quini tries a through ball, but Javi Guerra is caught offside.

Lucas Vázquez (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Antonio Amaya (Rayo Vallecano).

Isco (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by José Ángel Crespo (Rayo Vallecano).

Corner, Rayo Vallecano. Conceded by Raphael Varane.

Attempt blocked. Miku (Rayo Vallecano) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Foul by Isco (Real Madrid).

Quini (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Pepe (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Miku (Rayo Vallecano).

Lucas Vázquez (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Quini (Rayo Vallecano).

Attempt blocked. Marcelo (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lucas Vázquez.

Foul by Isco (Real Madrid).

Manuel Iturra (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Razvan Rat (Rayo Vallecano) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Razvan Rat (Rayo Vallecano).

Goal!

Goal! Rayo Vallecano 2, Real Madrid 3. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the centre of the goal.

Foul by Isco (Real Madrid).

Antonio Amaya (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Madrid. James Rodríguez replaces Mateo Kovacic.

Substitution

Substitution, Rayo Vallecano. Razvan Rat replaces Tito because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Tito (Rayo Vallecano) because of an injury.

Booking

Antonio Amaya (Rayo Vallecano) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Luka Modric (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Antonio Amaya (Rayo Vallecano).

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tito (Rayo Vallecano).

Booking

Roberto Trashorras (Rayo Vallecano) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt saved. Roberto Trashorras (Rayo Vallecano) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Miku.

Foul by Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid).

Antonio Amaya (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Manuel Iturra (Rayo Vallecano) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona352645102297382
2Atl Madrid35264559164382
3Real Madrid352564104327281
4Villarreal34179842311160
5Ath Bilbao341661251411054
6Celta Vigo34159104754-754
7Sevilla341310114742549
8Las Palmas35127164246-443
9Valencia341110134240243
10Malaga351012133132-142
11Eibar35119154654-842
12Real Sociedad34118154246-441
13Real Betis341011133146-1541
14Dep La Coruña35718104357-1439
15Espanyol35107183567-3237
16Rayo Vallecano35811164869-2135
17Granada3489173861-2333
18Sporting Gijón3588193561-2632
19Getafe3487193162-3131
20Levante3477203161-3028
View full Spanish La Liga table

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