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A win to climb to the top of the table

MATCH REPORT. 06/11/2021. Alberto Navarro. Photographer: Antonio Villalba, Helios de la Rubia and Víctor Carretero

Goals for Kroos and Benzema clinch all three points for Real Madrid against Rayo Vallecano ahead of the international break.

Real Madrid picked up three points against Rayo Vallecano to move top of the LaLiga table ahead of the rest of the weekend's games. Kroos and Benzema struck to give the madridistas the lead ahead of half-time, before Falcao cut the deficit on 77 minutes. Madrid showed they were able to evade the visitors' high press from the off, with Karim Benzema firing off a warning shot which flew over the bar after being set up by Asensio on 11’. Three minutes later, Asensio was at the centre of the action once again as the Whites took the lead. The midfielder's assist, working his way through three defenders, was snapped up by Toni Kroos running from deep, and the German beat Dimitrievski with a nicely placed shot with the inside of his right boot.

As the minutes ticked by, Real Madrid had a fine chance to double their lead with 35 minutes on the clock. Carvajal threaded a sublime ball in behind the defence, and Benzema latched onto it, coming up with a delightful chip which went just the wrong side of the post. Three minutes later, though, the second goal did come when Alaba's fantastic cross from the left was turned home by Benzema with his right. LaLiga's leading marksman could have had his brace before the break, when Vini Jr.'s shot was beaten away by Dimitrievski, but the French forward headed the rebound over the bar.

Video.2-1:A win to climb to the top of the table

Madrid had another chance to add to their lead after half-time when some fantastic individual play from Vini Jr. in the 51st minute was almost rewarded. Receiving in his own half, he drove forward with the ball, beating five opponents, finding himself closing in on Dimitrievski before Óscar appeared to deny him on the goal line. Asensio came close three minutes later, but the visiting keeper came out on top in the one-on-one when the Spaniard tried to lob him. It seemed just a matter of time before the third goal would come, and it nearly did, courtesy of a fine piece of play. A back-heel from Vini Jr. in behind and another back-heel, this time from Mendy to Benzema, whose shot from the edge of the box skimmed the crossbar in the 61st minute.

The game was petering out as a contest, but Rayo Vallecano didn't throw in the towel, coming close to reducing the deficit when Bebé struck the post with a shot from the edge of the area in the 75th minute. Two minutes later Falcao's header clipped Alaba before beating Courtois to make it 2-1 with nearly fifteen minutes to go. Rayo could have equalised in stoppage time with an Óscar effort from a corner, but Kroos cleared it off the goal line. A third consecutive victory for the Whites.

Benzema moves further ahead in the pichichi race

The forward has struck 10 times already in this LaLiga campaign and is the competition's top goalscorer. Next on the list, with three less, are his teammate Vinicius Jr., and Espanyol's De Tomás.

Ancelotti: 100 Real Madrid wins

In the clash with Rayo Vallecano, Carlo Ancelotti picked up his 100th win as Real Madrid coach. The Italian is the seventh manager to reach the milestone with the club, and he does so having taken charge of 135 games.




The referee

González Fuertes (Asturian Committee), assisted by Rodriguez Moreno and Barcena Rodriguez. Velasco Arbaiza was the fourth official, while Iglesias Villanueva (Galician Committee) was in charge of VAR.