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24.09.2012 » Rayo Vallecano 0-2 Real Madrid. No one was left in the dark afterall

Cristiano Ronaldo contesting and protesting a referee/linesman decision, in Real Madrid 2012-2013

Real Madrid visited the Stadium of Vallecas to face Rayo Vallecano this Monday night and earned their first away victory this season, in a 0-2 win. Karim Benzema early in the first half and Cristiano Ronaldo through a penalty-kick, deep on the second period, scored the Merengues goals in this Madrid derby.

After the suspicions of sabotage that led to power cut problems in the Stadium of Vallecas this past Sunday, Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano postponed their game for this Monday night, with the Merengues pulling off a precious 0-2 win thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo. Similarly to last season (0-1 victory), the Spanish champions struggled to get a comfortable lead, despite having created many good goalscoring chances throughout the game. With this win, Real Madrid closes the gap to Barcelona to 8 points, with 5 matches played in La Liga so far and a Clasico at the Camp Nou coming up in just two fixtures from now, on the 7th of October of 2012.

Cristiano Ronaldo game photos in Rayo Vallecano vs Real Madrid
Rayo Vallecano 0-2 Real Madrid goals and highlights:

Real Madrid simply couldn't afford to drop more points in the Spanish League, especially after having seen Barcelona confirming a perfect start on Saturday, as they won their 5th match out of 5 fixtures played so far. Even being at such an early stage of the season, José Mourinho knows it's crucial to start cutting distances to the Blaugrana as soon as possible and being aware that the Merengues' biggest opponent so far has been their own mentality over league games, it was important to show a different attitude and spirit on the pitch this Monday night.

Fast counter-attacks have been a Real Madrid trademark over the last years, as we can all still remember many Merengues' fast pace plays that teared several defenses apart over and over last season. It took no more than 13 minutes for us to get a "deja-vu" this Monday night and for the Merengues to grab the lead in the Vallecas stadium. A Rayo Vallecano corner exposed the home side to the vulnerabilities of a typical fast counter-attack and a nice backheel touch from Marcelo to Cristiano Ronaldo initiated what would turn out to be the first goal of the game.

The Portuguese forward setted up Angel di María with a short pass for the Argentinian to explore a huge gap in Rayo Vallecano's defensive line and then he just did what he does best, which is assisting teammates for easy goals. Di María found Karim Benzema escaping marking at the far post and with a strong low pass he allowed the French striker to simply tap-in the ball into the back of the net. Real Madrid had gotten the lead but there was a sense in the air that this game could still have a lot more goals coming up...

Cristiano Ronaldo dribbling two defenders from Rayo Vallecano, in 2012-2013

Real settled down their game and started creating good chances to extend the lead during the first half. However and as already seen in multiple occasions this season, for some reason the Merengues are finding it more hard to bury chances than what they used to do before. Sometimes the credit has to be given to the opposing sides' goalkeepers, while others it does seems clear that there is no one else to blame but the Real Madrid player itself.

Nonetheless, Real Madrid managed to keep their net untouched during the 1st half, even though Rayo Vallecano had a very good goalscoring chance near the 33th minute, stopped at a first instance by Iker Casillas and followed by a chest block over the goal line, from Xabi Alonso. The Merengues survived that moment and preserved the lead until the break, allowing José Mourinho to retune his strategy for the second period.

Cristiano Ronaldo hugging Xabi Alonso after a goal, in Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano in 2012-2013

Those legit concerns about the possibility of seeing a lethargic Real Madrid stepping up from the locker rooms in the second half were soon thwarted by the Merengues. José Mourinho's men showed a fiesty attitude as they never appeared to turn their back to the battle in this derby. As time ran out, Rayo Vallecano started taking more risks in the pursuit of an equaliser, which naturally exposed them a lot more to those deadly counter-attack plays from Real Madrid.

One of those took place close to the 70th minute, when Di María found Cristiano Ronaldo making a quick diagonal sprint into the back of Rayo Vallecano's defensive line, just before attempting to cross the ball into the heart of the area. Ronaldo's pass got blocked by Rayo's center defender, Jordi Amat, who made a sliding tackle as he approached the Portuguese star, but decided to leave his arms stretched behind and saw the ball being preciselly deflected in one of them. The referee didn't hesitate and pointed to the spot, allowing Cristiano Ronaldo to make his 3rd goal in La Liga and his 6th of the season for Real Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo scoring Real Madrid goal from a penalty kick, in 2012-2013

Real Madrid line-up vs Rayo Vallecano:

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas
Defenders: Marcelo, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Arbeloa
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Essien, Modric
Attackers: Di María, Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema

Match stats provided by www.ronaldo7.net
Rayo Vallecano
vs
Real Madrid
0
Goals
2
-
Shots
-
-
Shots on goal
-
-
Corner kicks
-
-
Fouls commited
-
-
Yellow cards
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Red cards
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Ball possession
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Cristiano Ronaldo's next game for Real Madrid will be against Millonarios, next Wednesday (26-09-2012), for the Santiago Bernabéu trophy. However, since it's nothing more than a friendly game, Ronaldo shouldn't be a starter. You can watch Real Madrid vs Millonarios, Betis vs Atletico Madrid, Fiorentina vs Juventus and Bayern Munich vs Wolfsburg, all matches provided from our football live streams section.

Real Madrid next game:
Real Madrid vs Millonarios
kick-off time (26-09-2012):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+8: 02:30
Spain
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 20:30
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 19:30
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-1: 17:30
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 14:30
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7: 11:30
Beijing (China) | GMT-7: 11:30

Sources: ronaldo7.net / espn.com

Cristiano Ronaldo protesting and screaming for justice, in Real Madrid 2012-2013

Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano teams lined up in the Vallecas stadium

Cristiano Ronaldo running faster than a Rayo Vallecano defender, in a Real Madrid game for La Liga, in 2012-2013

Cristiano Ronaldo cleaning his mouth and nose in Real Madrid 2012-2013

Cristiano Ronaldo with his head down, in Real Madrid in 2012-2013

Cristiano Ronaldo looking happy and smiling in a Real Madrid warm-up session, in La Liga 2012-2013

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