[QODLink]
Football
Real secure first away win
Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo give the Spanish champions an unconvincing 2-0 win in rearranged game agaainst Rayo.
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2012 20:51
Real closed the gap on leaders Barcelona to eight points after a stumbling start to their title defence [Reuters]

Spanish champions Real Madrid returned to winning ways in Spain’s Primera Division but were far from convincing in a laboured 2-0 victory at lowly city rivals Rayo Vallecano on Monday.

Karim Benzema finished off a swift breakaway in the 13th minute and Xabi Alonso had to clear a Rayo effort off the line before Cristiano Ronaldo netted from the penalty spot 20 minutes from time.

It was only the second victory for Jose Mourinho's side in five games this season and lifted them to seventh on seven points, eight behind leaders Barcelona, 2-0 winners at home to Granada on Saturday.

Real have already lost twice in the Primera Division - 2-1 at Getafe and 1-0 at Sevilla - the same number of defeats they suffered in the whole of last season, while arch rivals Barca have won all five of their games.

Under fire

Mourinho was sharply critical of his players after the two setbacks, accusing some of lacking focus, and he dropped Spain centre back Sergio Ramos for Tuesday's European Champions League victory at home to Manchester City.

Ramos was back in the starting line-up on Monday and Real appear now to have turned a corner after flirting with crisis following last weekend's surprise defeat in Seville.

"If we had played with a similar attitude against Getafe and Sevilla (as we had tonight) we would have won those games," Mourinho told a news conference.

"It was a tough game, a difficult game and we had to be at the least at our best in terms of concentration and motivation and it seems that the team responded well in that sense," added the Portuguese.

"Could we have played better? Yes, we could have played better even though our opponent pressured a lot and ran a lot and caused us problems.

"But my criticisms are always directed at my players' attitude and whether they are committed to the game and today the team was a team."

Monday's match had been due to be played on Sunday night but was postponed because of alleged sabotage to the lighting at Rayo's Vallecas stadium.

348

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.