Rayo Vallecano 1-1 Real Madrid: Player ratings as Carvajal sent off in sluggish draw

Rayo Vallecano 1-1 Real Madrid: Player ratings as Carvajal sent off in sluggish draw

Real Madrid were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw away to Rayo Vallecano on Sunday afternoon.

The league leaders made a riotous start at Vallecas, taking an early lead through Joselu but were pegged back by a penalty from Raul de Tomas before the interval. Dani Carvajal captured the frustration after watching most of the listless display from the bench with a quick-fire pair of yellow cards in stoppage time.

Madrid remain at La Liga’s summit but Girona could close the gap to three points if they are victorious against Athletic Club on Monday.

How the game unfolded

Rayo began their first match under new manager Inigo Perez with a feverish intensity that reflects the style of a coach who worked under Andoni Iraola and played for Marcelo Bielsa. However, that eagerness left acres of space for Madrid to exploit.

In the space of nine seconds, Real Madrid raced from one penalty area to the other. Fede Valverde led the charge down the right flank, whipping the ball across a sparse penalty area for Joselu to slide in the opening goal inside three minutes.

The use of VAR in Real Madrid matches has been a hot topic in Spain this season. Carlo Ancelotti’s side had the video officials to thank for awarding Joselu’s opener after overturning an offside decision but the visitors soon fell on the wrong side of the technology.

VAR spotted that an ambitious shot from Oscar Trejo – Rayo’s first of the match – was diverted over the crossbar by Eduardo Camavinga’s raised hand. Madrid‘s former striker Raul de Tomas assumed responsibility from 12 yards and battered in his first goal of the season, pegging back his past employers after 27 dominant minutes for the visitors.

Rayo were emboldened by their surprise equaliser, penning Madrid back with the same energy but more organisation. When the referee blew the whistle for half-time, it was the Rayo contingent demanding more minutes in search of another goal.

The growing threat of the hosts was deflated by the referee’s hasty whistle but Madrid emerged from the changing rooms just as subdued. Carvajal offered the first moment of energy in a soporific second half but took the brief of bringing some fight to the contest too literally. A petulant swipe earned the substitute a second yellow card in as many minutes to sign off a drab display.

Ahead of his first match in management, Perez admitted that it would be “an honour” just to meet Ancelotti, who was taking charge of his 1,324th game from the dugout. In the end, Perez was able to leave his first encounter with the Italian deservedly on level terms.

Real Madrid started quickly but were pegged back / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

GK: Andriy Lunin – 7/10 – Sent the wrong way by De Tomas’ penalty but was alert to the efforts in open play that flew his way.

RB: Lucas Vazquez – 4/10 – The natural winger came under intense defensive scrutiny and had his hands full up against Alfonso Espino and Alvaro Garcia.

CB: Aurelien Tchouameni – 4/10 – Keen to play out from the back as a displaced midfielder repeatedly failed to thread the impossible eye-of-the-needle passes and was caught dawdling in front of his own box.

CB: Nacho Fernandez – 4/10 – Rarely conveys any sense of control and struggled to contain a newly confident De Tomas.

LB: Fran Garcia – 5/10 – Up against his former employers, Garcia chuntered up and down the left flank with plenty of endeavour but little end product.

CM: Fede Valverde – 7/10 – At his best when on the move, Valverde was a perpetual blur across every blade of grass between both boxes.

CM: Eduardo Camavinga – 5/10 – Pulled a puzzled face when the spot kick was awarded but should not have had his hands in that position inside Madrid’s penalty area.

CM: Luka Modric – 4/10 – At 38, Modric is two years older than Rayo’s new head coach and may have more impact on proceedings from the dugout rather than the pitch.

RW: Brahim Diaz – 5/10 – Shunted wider than in his previous appearances and suffered for it.

ST: Joselu – 7/10 – Snaffled up his first sniff of goal with uncharacteristic efficiency, playing with a sense of composure and calm thereafter.

LW: Vinicius Junior – 4/10 – Became increasingly frustrated with everything – Rayo’s fans, players and the referee – which distracted from his duty on the pitch.


SUB: Rodrygo (70′ for Brahim) – 5/10

SUB: Toni Kroos (70′ for Camavinga) – 5/10

SUB: Dani Carvajal (75′ for Vazquez) – N/A

SUB: Arda Guler (87′ for Modric) – N/A

SUB: Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK), Diego Pineiro, Jacobo Ramon, Dani Ceballos.


Carlo Ancelotti – 5/10 – Surprisingly waited until the 70th minute to make his first changes of the match which eventually, if not emphatically, jolted Madrid out of their second-half slumber.

Player of the match – Raul de Tomas (Rayo Vallecano)


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