Real Madrid 2-1 Rayo Vallecano: Toni Kroos scores and makes important late goal-line clearance while Karim Benzema is also on target as Carlo Ancelotti’s side go top of LaLiga despite Radamel Falcao goal
- Real Madrid won 2-1 against Rayo Vallecano as they moved top of LaLiga
- Toni Kroos put Real ahead in the 14th minute and Karim Benzema later netted
- Radamel Falcao scored for Rayo Vallecano shortly after he was brought on
- Kroos made a crucial goal-line clearance to deny Oscar Valentin late on
- Real Madrid have now won five of their last six matches in all competitions
Toni Kroos sent Real Madrid back to the top of La Liga with a goal and a goal line clearance against Rayo Vallecano.
He opened the scoring on 14 minutes but it was what he did in injury time that really tied up the points.
Oscar Valentin’s stumbling shot inside the six-yard box was bobbling in but Kroos whisked it away to safety to save Madrid from the sort of embarrassing comeback that Barcelona had suffered earlier in the day.
Toni Kroos celebrates after his goal put Real Madrid in the lead against Rayo Vallecano
Kroos found the net in the 14th minute as Real went ahead in the clash at The Bernabeu
Karim Benzema is delighted after his goal doubled Real Madrid’s lead in the LaLiga fixture
Madrid are now 10 points clear of Barcelona with only 12 games played.
They took the lead on 14 minutes when Kroos shot past Stole Dimitrievski after Vinicius and Asensio had combined to set him up.
Benzema managed to steer the ball beyond the reach of Rayo Vallecano’s Stole Dimitrievski
Experienced forward Radamel Falcao got a goal back for Rayo Vallecano in the 76th minute
Karim Benzema scored the second seven minutes before the break when David Alaba crossed from the left and Dimitrievski and centre-back Alejandro Catena seemed to leave responsibility each to the other as the French striker finished unchallenged.
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal (Nacho 90), Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Camavinga, Casemiro, Kroos, Asensio (Vazquez 83), Benzema (Hazard 83), Vinicius Junior
Subs: Lunin, Vallejo, Blanco, Isco, Jovic, Marcelo, Fuidias, Gutierrez
Goals: Kroos 14, Benzema 38
Rayo Vallecano: Dimitrievski, Balliu, Saveljich, Catena, F. Garcia, Comesana, Valentin, Palazon (Bebe 60), Trejo (Lopez 60), A. Garcia, Nteka (Falcao 69), (Guardiola 81)
Subs: Zidane, Hernandez, Suarez, Maras, Pozo, Ciss, Lopez, Martin, Rodrigues, Falcao
Goal: Falcao 76
Booked: Balliu, Comesana
Madrid had several chances to extend their lead at the start of the second half. First a brilliant mazy run from Vinicius ended with Oscar Valentin blocking his shot and denying him what would have been his best goal yet in a Real Madrid shirt.
And if it had been a shame that Vinicius’s brilliance had not ended in a goal so the double back-heel assist for Karim Benzema deserved a finish on target.
First Vinicius back-heeled it to Ferland Mendy, then Mendy back-heeled it to Benzema but he curled his shot just over.
Despite having failed to find the third Madrid were lulled into a false sense of security and when Rayo brought on veterans Bebe and Radamel Falcao they took a foothold back in the game.
First Bebe cantered forward and thumped the foot of Thibaut Courtois’ post with a shot from the edge of the area. And then they went one better and equalized.
Alavaro Garcia crossed from the left and Falcao managed to hang in the air for as long as the ball took to sail over Alaba’s head and nod it past Courtois.
It was practicaly his first touch and pretty much his last because in the next piece of action he went down injured and had to be taken off.
Carlo Ancelotti took Benzema off and so Madrid finished the game with substitute Eden Hazard playing at centre-forward. Madrid were living dangerously into injury time but Kroos had set them on their way and was determined to not lot the points slip – three more for the title challenge and two more than Barcelona had managed to pick up earlier Saturday.
Falcao was only on the pitch for 12 minutes, with the 35-year-old having to go off injured
Vincius Junior of Real Madrid is caught by a challenge from Rayo Vallecano’s Stole Dimitrievski
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