He could not be blamed for either goal, and came up with his fair share of stops to keep his side in the game.
Caught ball-watching for the first goal, as he let an entirely reachable cross slip by him, allowing Benzema to tap in the opener. At fault for conceding the penalty as well, though he was a tad unlucky to see Ronaldo’s cross roll up onto his arm in the box while sliding.
Saw a goalbound shot blocked on the line by Xabi Alonso, and was sturdy at the back for the visiting side as well.
Did not always find an opportunity to get forward, but that was never in his plans as his task today was primarily a defensive one. He lived life dangerously at the back though, and was dismissed with two yellows to complete a disappointing evening.
Solid enough in the first half, but seemed to run out of steam midway through the second period after chasing down he Madrid wide men all game. Substituted during the latter stages of the half.
Despite the ease with which he functioned when in possession, he occasionally found himself crowded out at the edge of the box when his side looked to threaten. Shown a yellow card for an ungainly challenge on Essien.
Decent at time defending when his side were able to get numbers back in support, but slow to track back when Madrid broke on the counter.
Provided a lot of thrust down the right hand side of the field, and his threat kept Real in touch and forced them to defend. Did not seem overawed by the reputation of his opponents today. Almost scored with a crashing drive from outside the area.
Forced Casillas into action with an authoritative header from a set-piece, and his pace on counter attacks was a good weapon for the visitors.
Though he played a role in the attacking threat for his side, he was not able to make a telling contribution in the end as Madrid were able to snuff him out.
His guile in the attacking third posed a real problem for Madrid, and he threatened to slip away on more than one occasion. Thrived when given space, and tested Casillas with a strong header in the first half.
Made one or two really smart saves to thwart Rayo, and looked confident between the posts, coming off a difficult spell.
Solid at the back, not afraid to throw himself about in his typically aggressive manner to halt the Rayo attackers in their tracks. Dealt with most of the aerial threat with impunity as well.
Active in attack as always, as he showed no hesitation in bombing forward and supporting his teammates from an advanced position on the left. Defensively he was relatively sound, though he came off second best in one or two tussles with Carlos.
Came close to opening the scoring with a good header from a Di Maria free-kick. Beaten once after a shoddy piece of positioning, but otherwise he did not put a foot wrong at the back.
One diabolical tackle on Delisbahic saw him shown a yellow card, a punishment he was perhaps lucky to escape with. Decent enough defensively, though he looked a tad troubled when faced with more than one player to cope with on the flanks, and one suicidal back-pass nearly led to a Rayo tap in.
Not always the most noticeable presence in the attacking third, though he did test Ruben in the first half after racing clear on goal down the right.
Effective in spraying the ball about to the players in front of him, and did not take too many risks with his passing. Came up trumps at the defensive end of the field, blocking one goalbound Rayo effort right on the line.
Á. di María
An eyesore for Rayo at times on the flank, as his speed and trickery was utilized often by Real Madrid when attacking on the counter. He set up the first goal for Benzema with a typically pacey run and cross down the left.
Played a role in the opener by releasing Di Maria down the channel, but otherwise, the Portuguese did not really hit full stride, and hit the post from a chance where he really should have scored. However, he kept his cool to bury a confident penalty to seal the game.
His first half goal was all but laid on a plate for him, as he was left with a simple tap in from a yard or two out. Not always provided with the best service to make a difference, but his runs off the ball kept the defence honest.