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Madrid victorious against Rayo

MATCH REPORT. 24/05/2023. Alberto Navarro. Photographer: Helios de la Rubia, Antonio Villalba y Mari Ángeles Lobo

Goals for Benzema and Rodrygo clinch the three points for Real Madrid in a game that saw the Santiago Bernabéu pay tribute to Vini Jr..

Real Madrid got the better of Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabéu in a fixture which saw a fantastic show of support for Vini Jr. in light of the continuous abuse being suffered by the player over the course of the season. Benzema's strike following some fine link-up play with Valverde, and another for Rodrygo in the 89th minute, handed all three points to our team in the LaLiga matchday 36 encounter.

The first half, during which the fans dedicated a standing ovation to Vini Jr. in the 20th minute (his shirt number), was an end-to-end affair. The only real attempts prior to the opener by the current Ballon d'Or holder were long-range efforts from Óscar Valentín and Unai López on 5’ and 12’ for Rayo, while Camavinga also tried his luck on 28 minutes. That was a warning ahead of Karim Benzema having the ball in the back of the net. The Frenchman combined well with Valverde with 31 minutes on the clock to race through against Dimitrievski, beating the goalkeeper with a delightful feint, before stroking home with his right foot.

Video.2-1: Madrid victorious against Rayo

Half-time came around with the score at 1-0, and the first chance following the restart also fell to Ancelotti's team on 56’. Modrić played a gorgeous pass to the back stick with the outside of his boot and Carvajal's first-time strike flew just over the bar. The minutes ticked by and our team's dominance grew as they looked to extend their lead. That was until Rayo had the game level when a powerful R.D.T. strike fired through the legs of Tchouameni and caught Courtois off guard with 83 minutes gone.

Rodrygo hits the winner
From that point to the end, both sides went in search of a winning goal, which would go the way of Real Madrid thanks to Rodrygo's tidy right-footed finish from the edge of the box in the 89th minute. Ceballos then struck a lovely volley which could have made it three in injury time, but Dimitrievski did superbly to keep it out.




The referee

Gil Manzano (Extremadura Committee), assisted by Nevado Rodríguez and Martínez Nicolás. Morales Moreno was the fourth official and Estrada Fernández (Catalan Committee) was the video assistant referee.