[QODLink]
Football

Real survive Rayo second half siege

Cristiano Ronaldo scores double for Real Madrid but bottom side Rayo Vallecano do enough to unsettle their nerves.

Last Modified: 02 Nov 2013 21:59
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
No stopping him: Ronaldo notches up his 12th and 13th goal for Real Madrid this season [Reuters]

Unconvincing Real Madrid survived a huge scare against bottom side Rayo Vallecano when they conceded two second-half penalties but held on to secure a nervy 3-2 victory in La Liga on Saturday.

Real were flying when a Cristiano Ronaldo double and a goal from Karim Benzema put them 3-0 ahead shortly after halftime at Rayo's Vallecas stadium in the Madrid suburbs.

However, Carlo Ancelotti's expensively-assembled side were unable to control the match against their lowly city neighbours and were left reeling when Jonathan Viera struck twice from the spot in three minutes after fouls by Pepe and Marcelo.

A valiant Rayo came close to an equaliser several times and Real goalkeeper Diego Lopez saved his team when he tipped an Alberto Bueno shot on to the post in the 65th minute.

Real's defensive failings will concern Ancelotti but the win trimmed the gap to second-placed Atletico Madrid to two points ahead of Atletico's game at home to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Unbeaten champions Barcelona are top with 34 points from 12 matches after their 1-0 win at home to Espanyol in Friday's Catalan derby, with Atletico on 30 and Real on 28. 

It was a stirring performance from Rayo in front of their vociferous fans and overshadowed another fine effort from Real's world record signing Gareth Bale, whose start in Madrid has been disrupted by injury.

The $135 million Wales winger followed up Wednesday's two goals and two assists in the 7-3 win at home to Sevilla when he set up Ronaldo and Benzema with excellent crosses.

In the earlier kickoff, Real Sociedad showed off their attacking prowess ahead of Tuesday's Champions League match against visitors Manchester United when the Basque club won 5-0 at home to 10-man Osasuna to climb to seventh.

278

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.