Real Madrid Stumbles in La Liga Race with a Frustrating Draw Against Rayo Vallecano

Real Madrid Stumbles in La Liga Race with a Frustrating Draw Against Rayo Vallecano

Real Madrid’s post-Clasico momentum was halted as they settled for a goalless draw against Rayo Vallecano in a La Liga derby on Sunday, dropping crucial points in their title chase.

Despite creating numerous opportunities and applying pressure throughout the match at Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid couldn’t secure their trademark last-minute winning goal.

This draw places Madrid in second place, trailing surprise leaders Girona by two points, following Girona’s come-from-behind victory against Osasuna. They maintain a two-point lead over Barcelona after the Catalans narrowly defeated Real Sociedad on Saturday.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti made some tactical changes, including replacing the injured holding midfielder, Aurelien Tchouameni, with the energetic Eduardo Camavinga, and starting Luka Modric in place of Toni Kroos.

Real Madrid took the initiative from the outset, keeping Rayo Vallecano’s Macedonian goalkeeper, Stole Dimitrievski, exceptionally busy.

Dimitrievski pulled off an outstanding save to deny Fede Valverde, who had broken through on goal early in the game after a defensive error by Rayo.

Madrid faced an early scare when Jude Bellingham, the league’s top scorer with 10 goals, went down holding his left shoulder. After a brief pause, the English international continued without substitution.

On loan from Espanyol, striker Joselu headed wide from Luka Modric’s corner, while Fran Garcia narrowly missed the target with an attempt after good setup by Bellingham.

Dimitrievski made a fantastic save to deny Joselu after a cutback from Vinicius Junior found the Spanish striker.

As the game progressed, the Brazilian winger Vinicius Junior became more involved and scored a goal in the 66th minute, but it was ruled out for offside against Joselu.

Substitute Rodrygo Goes sent a cross-shot just wide of the goal, bringing Rayo closer to the final whistle.

Vinicius was cautioned for dissent as his and Madrid’s frustration grew, facing Rayo’s resolute defense.

In the last ten minutes, Rayo introduced Radamel Falcao and Bebe, hoping for a late-game twist.

Despite several decisive late-game contributions for Madrid, Bellingham couldn’t replicate his heroics from the previous weekend when he scored twice against Barcelona.

In stoppage time, Rodrygo came closest to scoring for Madrid with a backheeled effort, but Dimitrievski made the save, securing a point for Rayo.