Real Madrid lost in La Liga for the first time this season, as Rayo Vallecano came from a goal down to beat them 3-2 at Estadio de Vallecas on Monday.
Rayo Vallecano took the game to Real Madrid from the get-go and scored with the match’s first shot. A counter-attacking move ended with Santi Comesana beating Thibaut Courtois, converting Fran Garcia’s low cross. The hosts continued to stun Los Blancos after that but could not beat Courtois or create many clear-cut openings.
Real Madrid looked to pounce on such profligacy and found a way back into the game just after the half-hour mark. Asensio went down in the Rayo Vallecano box after Fran Garcia fouled him. And after consultation with VAR, Juan Martinez Munuera awarded the penalty to Real Madrid, with Luka Modric coolly finding the back of the net.
The visitors stormed into the lead a few minutes later as Eder Militao nodded in Asensio’s corner. But while it seemed normal services had resumed, Rayo Vallecano restored parity as Alvaro Garcia rifled a shot from close range past Courtois at the stroke of half-time. And the hosts were on top after the interval before breaking the deadlock again, this time midway through the second half.
Alvaro Garcia was in the mix again as his attempted pass hit Dani Carvajal’s hand. Oscar Trejo stepped up to take the penalty, but Courtois denied him. However, VAR forced the referee to point to the spot again due to encroachment. Trejo retook the penalty and made no error in beating Courtois.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) November 7, 2022
Real Madrid then pushed to find a way back into the game. But the reigning La Liga champions lacked the cutting edge on the night and went back home empty-handed. The Merengues are now two points behind Barcelona, who can stretch their lead when they take on Osasuna on Tuesday.
Thibaut Courtois: 6/10
Courtois did all he could to keep Real Madrid in the game, making four saves. But he could not have done anything to keep out the goals scored by Rayo Vallecano. Courtois did save Oscar Trejo’s first penalty but failed to keep out the retake despite guessing the right way.
Dani Carvajal: 3/10
Carvajal made several crucial clearances and won numerous duels. But he was out of sorts in the clutch moments, first when Alvaro Garcia made it 2-2 and then when he conceded the penalty that ended with the match-winner. A passing rate of 78 per cent did not help matters either.
Eder Militao: 5/10
Eder Militao was one of the worst defenders on the pitch as he failed to contain the boisterous Rayo Vallecano attackers. The Brazilian defender, fresh off a call-up to the World Cup squad, struggled on Monday. And if not for his brilliant header, his rating would have been much worse.
MILITAO WITH THE HEADER TO TAKE THE LEAD 💪 pic.twitter.com/ip29N0QQpm
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 7, 2022
David Alaba: 4/10
With the Real Madrid defence in sixes and sevens, Alaba needed to step up and get his partners at the back in order. But the Austrian defender failed to rise to the occasion, even though he won all his duels.
Ferland Mendy: 4/10
Mendy, like the rest of the Real Madrid defenders, was all over the place at the back, although Rayo Vallecano did not test him as much as the others. In addition, the Frenchman added nothing to the build-up plays in the final third.
Federico Valverde: 5/10
Valverde has usually exceeded expectations this season. But Monday’s game was a rare outing where he failed to produce the goods in the final third. While the Uruguayan midfielder barely misplaced passes, most of his efforts were speculative.
Aurelien Tchouameni: 4/10
Tchouameni returned to the starting lineup after recovering from a minor fitness issue. But the French midfielder looked off the pace and struggled whenever Rayo Vallecano pushed forward. While he did look good in phases, it was an overall underwhelming display.
Luka Modric: 5/10
Modric was well off his best, and only his converted penalty salvages his rating. The veteran Croat inexplicably misplaced too many passes and lost possession 17 times. He suffered against the Rayo Vallecano press and struggled in the defensive phases.
Marco Asensio: 6/10
Marco "doesn't deserve a contract extension" Asensio vs Rayo today:
▫️ won the penalty for Real Madrid.
▫️ assisted Militao's goal.
▫️ one of the few who kept fighting until the end.
Fought for the badge, fought 'til the end. Won our hearts. pic.twitter.com/dq62zFyQsW
— ø (@LuninRMA) November 7, 2022
Marco Asensio was the player to watch in our preview, and he was probably the only positive among outfield players for Real Madrid. The Spaniard looked to make things happen and still completed all his attempted passes. He still created three chances while winning the penalty that Modric created and supplying the assist for Militao. Asensio seems to be turning over a new leaf.
Rodrygo Goes: 4/10
Rodrygo Goes has usually risen to the occasion when deputising for Karim Benzema this season. But the Brazilian attacker failed to make his mark on Monday and did not manage even one shot on target. A rare blip for the youngster.
Vinicius Junior: 4/10
Vinicius Junior had a game to forget as he did not see the ball nearly as much as he usually does. The Brazilian international attempted just 13 passes and managed only two shots, both of which were off-target. Vinicius seemed affected by the Rayo Vallecano defenders double-teaming him and the hosts’ supporters being hostile.
Eduardo Camavinga: 5/10
Camavinga replaced Tchouameni and was a busy customer in the middle of the park. The young Frenchman completed all but two of his attempted passes and won six duels. But he needed to provide more to the game with Real Madrid chasing a point.
Mariano Diaz: N/A
Mariano barely saw the ball falling his way after replacing Modric, managing only five touches.
Lucas Vazquez: N/A
Lucas Vazquez replaced the disappointing Carvajal and completed all his attempted passes. But he could not create a game-changing moment in the final third.
Nacho had a quiet evening at the back after replacing Mendy, with Real Madrid pushing into the final third for much of the game’s dying embers.