Real Madrid’s title hopes dented by Rayo Vallecano draw

Real Madrid's title hopes dented by Rayo Vallecano draw

Real Madrid missed the chance to extend their lead at the top of La Liga after being held to a 1-1 draw by city rivals Rayo Vallecano on Sunday. Joselu gave the visitors an early lead, but Raul de Tomas equalised from the penalty spot after a VAR review.

The result left Real Madrid six points clear of second-placed Girona, who have a game in hand against Athletic Bilbao on Monday. Barcelona are eight points behind the leaders, but have played one game more.

Real Madrid started brightly and took the lead in the third minute when Fede Valverde’s cross was met by Joselu, who slid the ball past Stole Dimitrievski. It was the former Stoke and Newcastle striker’s 14th goal of the season.

However, Rayo Vallecano grew into the game and levelled the score in the 27th minute. Eduardo Camavinga was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box after a VAR check, and Raul de Tomas converted the spot-kick. The former Real Madrid forward has now scored 11 goals in his last 12 games.

The hosts defended well and frustrated Real Madrid, who struggled to create clear chances. Toni Kroos, who came off the bench, tested Dimitrievski with a free-kick, but the keeper pushed it away. Dani Carvajal also had a shot saved in stoppage time, before being sent off for a second yellow card.

Rayo Vallecano, who are 14th in the table, celebrated the draw as if it was a win. They are now four points above the relegation zone. Real Madrid, meanwhile, will hope to bounce back in their next game against RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday.

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