La Liga: Rayo Vallecano defy the odds to keep riding high
Madrids other team shrug off their troubles to push for Champions League spot. Meanwhile, Ronaldo scores three and Messi bags four ahead of the years first Clsico.
They are not the first, second, or arguably, even the third team in Madrid, but they are already in position for a Europa League place and currently sit one point away from the Champions League spots. It is an even more impressive feat given that this is a club in administration, a team that was almost relegated to segunda on the final day of last season and that lost both its manager in the summer and a total of 13 players including their star, Michu, who is currently lighting up the Premier League.
Rayo Vallecano are defying all expectations. While Atltico Madrid and Real Madrid sit in second and third respectively, the other team from the capital are just a point behind Mlaga in fourth, and Real Betis, who are also flying high in fifth.
They faced Betis at the weekend, in what was to be a match between the two biggest surprises of this season and Paco Jmezs players were looking to take advantage of any tiredness following the visitors Copa del Rey defeat to Atltico in midweek.
Rayo, who were still without the injured Nacho and Lo Baptisto, got off to a flying start at the Campo de Ftbol de Vallecas, with a goal in just four minutes, when Andrija Delibai was fouled by Betis keeper Adrin inside the area. Piti stepped up to the penalty spot and netted in his 200th appearance for his club.
Delibai would get the second after the break when he met Casados cross, while Jos Carlos made it 3-0 with eight minutes left on the clock, when he curled home after avoiding two challenges inside the box.
Rayo have now won three consecutive home games in la liga for first time since 2001/02 and also their last three matches against Real Betis in the league, ensuring their best-ever run against the side from Seville. The result gave Rayo a record of 11 wins, nine losses and one draw.
Elsewhere in the Spanish capital there was a derby as Real Madrid played host to Getafe in a midday kick-off at the Santiago Bernabu. Perhaps not used to such an early start, Jos Mourinhos men were sluggish in the first half.
After the break however, Sergio Ramos scored in the 53rd minute before Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in 10 minutes to secure the win. The result keeps Los Merengues in third place.
It was an upbeat end to a week when the reigning champions were dealt a huge blow as club captain Iker Casillas underwent surgery on a broken hand. The injury, which was inflicted by teammate lvaro Arbeloa in the Copa del Rey in midweek, will keep him out for up to three months.
It also means that San Iker wont play in Wednesdays Copa del Rey semi-final against Barcelona the first time he will have missed a Clsico since 2002.
Barcelona warmed up for that game with Lionel Messi scoring four goals in his sides 5-1 home win against 10-man Osasuna, while Pedro also got on the scoresheet.
The victory marked a return to winning ways for the Catalans after the 3-2 defeat at Real Sociedad their first loss of the campaign and Messi became the first player to score in 11 successive liga games.
Sevilla FC 3 0 Granada CF
Athletic Bilbao 3 0 Atltico Madrid
RCD Mallorca 2 3 Mlaga CF
FC Barcelona 5 1 Osasuna
Rayo Vallecano 3 0 Real Betis
Real Madrid 4 0 Getafe CF
Deportivo La Corua 2 3 Valencia CF
Real Zaragoza 0 0 RCD Espanyol
Levante UD 2 1 Real Valladolid
Celta de Vigo 1 1 Real Sociedad© Iberosphere: Spain News and Portugal News - Information and Analysis