Real Madrid's Marcelo jumps to celebrate team mate Karim Benzema's goal against Rayo Vallecano during their Spanish First Division soccer match at Teresa Rivero stadium in Madrid September 24, 2012.
(Photo : REUTERS/Susana Vera (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER))
Real Madrid pulled off another unconvincing victory over Rayo Vallecano to put themselves eight points behind Barcelona for the top spot in La Liga.
A day after vandalism kep the stadium lights off and postponed the game, the Merengues should have been better rested for the match. But they came out tentative and were outplayed early by Rayo who created several opportunities to take over the match.
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But Madrid got a 13th minute strike from Karim Benzema. Crisitano Ronaldo threw a pass to Angel Di Maria and he cut into the area before feeding a pass to Benzema who tapped into the back of the net.
Real had a few prime chances to double their lead but it was Rayo who forced keeper Iker Casillas to make heroic saves. First Casillas parried a Jordi Amat header away and then Xabi Alonso stopped a Mikel Labaska rebound right on the goal line.
Madrid finally got some relief in the 70th minute when Amat slide tackled Ronaldo and gave the striker a shot at a spot kick. Ronaldo blasted into the net and gave his team a comfortable 2-0 lead. The goal as Ronaldo's third of the season and he now trails rival Lionel Messi by three goals for the season.
With the win, Madrid now takes on Deportivo La Coruna who has one win and three draws for six points.