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Played
February 26, 2012 3:00 PM GMT
Estadio del Rayo Vallecano (de Vallecas Teresa Rivero) — Madrid
Referee:‬ David Fernández‎
Attendance:‬ 13500‎
 
 
C. Ronaldo 54′
Top of the Match
C. Ronaldo
C. Ronaldo
Real Madrid CF
C. Ronaldo
C. Ronaldo
Real Madrid CF
Flop of the Match
Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos
Real Madrid CF
Michu
Michu
Rayo Vallecano

Rayo 0-1 Real Madrid: Impudent backheel from Ronaldo proves decisive as Jose Mourinho's men edge ever closer to La Liga title

Jose Mourinho's men recorded their 21st league win of the season in a hotly-contested capital derby thanks to an audacious goal from their Portuguese superstar

By Daniel Quinton-Navarro

Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo's audacious backheel proved the only goal in the capital derby as Real Madrid overcame neighbours Rayo Vallecano 1-0 at the Vallecas to provisionally move 13 points clear of Barcelona.

Madrid 'keeper Iker Casillas saved his side from spoils, steering away promising efforts from the Rayo strikers, yet it was Jose Mourinho's side who were guilty of spurning numerous chances themselves, holding on to their slim advantage and move ominously closer to the Primera Division title.

After a competitive start, Los Blancos took charge when Gonzalo Higuain latched onto Kaka's chipped pass, but the striker struggled to get the ball out from under his feet and despite managing to round the keeper, the angle became too acute and the opportunity disappeared.

The early exchanges were devoid of any clear cut chances, but drama then ensued when Diego Costa was left outraged as Sergio Ramos raised his elbow in the penalty area. The referee remained unmoved, however, and Costa was shown a yellow card for his continued protests.

As the first half drew to a close Michu came incredibly close from giving his side the lead as the Spaniard brought down a cross-field ball before dummying a shot and cutting inside - unleashing a strike which rebounded sharply off the angle of the upright and crossbar.

The home side continued to push and Madrid needed Ramos' right foot to save them from falling behind when he nudged the ball off of Michu's toe. He was left relieved to see the ball pinball behind for a corner as it remained goalless at the break.

However, Real Madrid have been clinical in producing winning performances this season, and took the lead early in the second half. From a corner, Cristiano Ronaldo chased the ball away from goal before cheekily attempting a backheel which he flashed into the net.

Soon after the opening goal the former Manchester United star tested the hands of Joel with a driven free-kick from 25-yards out which he did well to punch clear. Rayo's stopper was then called upon again when he needed to get to a loose ball ahead of Higuain.

Casillas was then forced into a flying save to maintain the advantage. The Spain No. 1 punched clear a corner kick, inviting Jose Casado to strike from 30 yards out and it was a vicious effort heading into the top corner but for Casillas' hand which tipped the ball around the post.

Jose Callejon then spurned a chance to double Madrid's advantage when he was left unmarked in the six-yard box but failed to direct the ball on target. Joel ensured that a point remained a possibility as the game entered the final stages, pulling off a wonderful stop to deny Ronaldo from grabbing his second of the match with an effort from range.

Any chance of the hosts coming away with a point vanished, though, when Michu was shown a red card late on for a rash challenge. Real Madrid hung on for an invaluable victory in the quest for the title and the importance of the three points was evident by the players reaction at the end of the match.


Rayo Vallecano

1
Joel
Goalkeeper
0.00
-
Casado
Defender
82′
0.00
18
Jorge Pulido
Defender
0.00
14
Arribas
Defender
92′
0.00
2
Tito
Defender
0.00
9
Armenteros
Midfielder
0.00
7
Movilla
Midfielder
70′
0.00
9
Michu
Midfielder
89′
0.00
15
Javi Fuego
Midfielder
84′
0.00
10
Piti
Midfielder
60′
0.00
19
Diego Costa
Striker
20′
0.00

Real Madrid CF

0.00
1
Iker Casillas
Goalkeeper
42′
0.00
12
Marcelo
Defender
45′ 81′
0.00
4
0.00
3
Pepe
Defender
93′
0.00
17
Arbeloa
Defender
0.00
7
C. Ronaldo
Midfielder
54′
0.00
14
Xabi Alonso
Midfielder
65′
0.00
22
Kaká
Midfielder
61′
0.00
6
Sami Khedira
Midfielder
0.00
11
Mesut Özil
Midfielder
0.00
9

Substitutes

1
Cobeño
Goalkeeper
0.00
-
Raúl Bravo
Defender
0.00
17
Trashorras
Midfielder
70′
0.00
-
Diamanka
Midfielder
0.00
23
0.00
20
0.00
27
Lass
Midfielder
60′
0.00

Substitutes

0.00
1
Adàn
Goalkeeper
0.00
2
0.00
5
Fabio Coentrao
Midfielder
61′ 90′
0.00
25
0.00
7
0.00
9
Joselu
Midfielder
0.00
33

Coach/Manager

Coach/Manager

0.00
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
26 4
Messi Messi
Striker
Barcelona
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0