Atletico Madrid top Rayo Vallecano 1-0
Sports Desk, Mar 19 (EFE).- Koke Resurreccion’s goal in the 48th minute proved to be enough for Atletico Madrid to take all 3 points from Saturday’s match against Rayo Vallecano.
Atleti extended their LaLiga winning streak to five and are third in the table with 54 points, 5 ahead of Barcelona, who have a game in hand. Rayo, after a strong start to the season, have slipped to 13th on 32 points, 8 above the drop zone.
The Colchoneros were ambitious from the opening whistle and Antoine Griezmann forced a save from Rayo goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski in the 2nd minute.
The French striker should have scored in the 12th minute on a chance created by Joao Felix.
Rayo began to enjoy more possession as the minutes passed, but failed to pose any serious threat to Jan Oblak’s goal and the sides went to the dressing rooms deadlocked 0-0.
By the time the second half started, rain was falling on Vallecas and the hosts seemed to shift into a lower gear, opening the door for Felix and Koke to work a give-and-go that ended with the ball in Rayo’s net in the 49th minute.
Felix had an opportunity to double the advantage a few minutes later, but Dimitrievski prevailed in the 1 v 1 battle.
The match was in the final 30 minutes when Rayo’s Mario Suarez finally tested Oblak, prompting Diego Simeone to make a triple change in search of fresh energy.
But neither Luis Suarez nor Angel Correa came close to getting the second goal and the only other serious chance of the night would fall to Rayo sub Randy Nteka, who inexplicably missed from close range.
Correa, meanwhile, managed to get himself thrown out in the 85th minute on a straight red card for hurling Alejandro Catena to the ground in retaliation for a foul the referee didn’t see.
But the home side failed to make Atleti pay for Correa’s lack of control. EFE