Atleti and Real secure vital wins

Real Madrid kept themselves in the La Liga title race on Saturday as they came back from two goals down to beat Rayo Vallecano 3-2.

  • Rayo Vallecano 2-3 Real Madrid
  • Rayo race to a two goal lead
  • Vazquez replaces injured Benzema
  • Bale and Vazquez draw Real level
  • Bale slots home late winner

Match summary

Gareth Bale scored the winner on his return from a back problem as Real Madrid came from two goals down to beat Rayo Vallecano 3-2 and keep pace in the Liga title race, despite losing Karim Benzema to injury just before half-time.

Rayo raced into a two-goal lead in the opening twenty minutes of the first-half before Bale and Lucas Vázquez both scored headers to draw the away side level at 2-2.

Ten minutes before time, Bale benefited from a defensive error and completed the comeback as he slotted home to make it 3-2 on the night.

Full report

Rayo Vallecano raced into a two-goal lead after some horrendous defending from Real, who were without their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.

Adrian Embarba broke the deadlock in the seventh minute for Los Vallecanos, who were beaten 10-2 in December’s reverse fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Miku converted a corner to double Rayo’s lead, but a powerful header from Gareth Bale brought Madrid back into the game before Benzema was brought off with an apparent injury.

Bebe, who was terrific in the first half, forced two good saves out of Kaylor Navas before Bale’s header and at half-time, Zinedine Zidane looked visibly worried.

Lucas Vázquez was brought on for the injured Benzema and his inspiring performances for Los Blancos continued as he brought Zidane’s men level shortly after the break.

After a marauding run from Danilo, the full-back found a yard of space before sending a wicked cross high to the back post for Vazquez, the diminutive winger rising highest to head home the equaliser.

Shortly after the goal, Madrid broke loose with attacking intent and Jese nearly put them ahead when he broke the offside trap and found himself one-on-one with the keeper, but with the goal gaping he failed to capitalize on his chance.

Ten minutes before time, Gareth Bale completed the turnaround for Real. Rayo gave the ball away in a horrendous position in midfield and the former Spurs man pounced with aplomb, exploding through the middle with tremendous pace and lashing a strike under the oncoming Juan Carlos.

The 3-2 victory for Zidane’s side temporarily puts them two points ahead of Barcelona who play Sporting Gijon on Saturday night.

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Malaga

Atletico Madrid remain in a strong position in La Liga’s title race as they beat Malaga 1-0 on Saturday.

The win sees the Rojiblancos go top of the table, restoring their one-point lead over Real Madrid, before Barcelona play Sporting Gijon on Sunday.

The home side found it tough for most of the fixture against a tireless Malaga outfit and it took an Angel Correa goal deep in the second half to secure the three points.

Atletico suffered a blow during the game, however, when head coach Diego Simeone was sent to the stands after a ball was thrown on from the home side’s dugout to disrupt a Malaga counter attack.

The absence of their eccentric boss on the sidelines didn’t affect Atleti too much, though, as they secured a vital three points in their quest for their second league title in three seasons.