Madrid, May 25 (IANS) Real Madrid secured a 2-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Wednesday night, with the home crowd acknowledging winger Vinicius Jr.
Despite Vinicius Jr’s red card earned in Valencia at the weekend being overturned by the Spanish Football Federation Disciplinary Committee on Tuesday due to the racist abuse he endured in the same match, he didn’t participate in the match. He was seen in the directors’ box next to Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez.
The crowd at the Bernabeu honoured Vinicius with a round of applause in the 20th minute, shortly before Karim Benzema netted a remarkable goal in the 30th minute, assisted by Fede Valverde.
Although Madrid were not at their best, Rayo had opportunities to equalise before Raul de Tomas seemed to have secured a point in the 83rd minute. However, Rodrygo netted a last-minute goal for Madrid.
The win propels Real Madrid back to second place after Atletico Madrid squandered a 3-0 lead, ending in a 3-3 draw with Espanyol, reports news agency Xinhua.
Atletico appeared to be cruising after Saul Niguez, Antoine Griezmann and Yannick Carrasco scored before halftime. However, Espanyol rallied with three second-half goals from Cesar Montes, a 75th-minute penalty from Joselu and a 79th-minute strike from Vinicius Souza.
At the other end of the table, the relegation battle intensified after Getafe claimed a surprise 1-0 win at Betis, courtesy of a second-half goal from Omar Aldarete, his side’s only shot on target in the second half. Gabriel Pezzella was dismissed in the 77th minute for dangerous play against Portu.
The result leaves seven teams battling relegation with only two games remaining.
Nicolas Jackson netted two remarkable goals as Villarreal swiftly dispatched Cadiz with a 2-0 win at Estadio de la Ceramica.
The Senegalese international maneuvered past Cadiz goalkeeper Conan Ledesma and several defenders to open the scoring, and then added a second on the stroke of halftime, again rounding the keeper after Manu Trigueros had a goal disallowed due to a previous foul.
Villarreal’s win leaves Cadiz with significant work to stave off relegation, indicating Real Sociedad need another victory to guarantee they finish fourth this season and secure a spot in the Champions League.
Sevilla’s hopes of securing seventh place took a hit when they drew 1-1 at Elche, though coach Jose Luis Mendilibar will take pride in his side’s resilience playing with one less player for over 70 minutes.
Sevilla took an early lead through Erik Lamela but were soon reduced to 10 men following Pape Gueye’s rash challenge on Lucas Boye. Tete Morente quickly equalized for Elche in the 25th minute.