Real Madrid defeat leaves Barcelona top of La Liga
Real Madrid lost their first La Liga game of the season, falling 3-2 to city rival Rayo Vallecano on Monday to move within two points of top Barcelona.
Rayo took an early lead in a game before Real won 2-1. Rayo equalized before the break before sealing a famous victory with a double penalty shot by Oscar Trejo in the 67th minute.
After 13 games, Barcelona leads with 34 points against Real Madrid’s 32.
Playing without injured Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, Real Madrid faced a tough opponent in a packed stadium in the working-class suburb of Vallecas.
Madrid turned the game around with two goals in four minutes, just five before Santiago Comesana put the hosts ahead.
Luka Modric equalized first from the penalty spot in the 37th minute before Eder Militao put Carlo Ancelotti’s undefeated side ahead.
But it wasn’t to last, as Rayo scrambled to goal and netted a shot through a sea of legs to equalize with Álvaro García at half-time.
In a short-tempered and closely contested match, Real Madrid’s Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saved a Trejo penalty in the 67th minute, but it was disallowed early.
Trejo showed no nerve to convert the repeated penalty.
“We lost it in personal conflicts and usually we lose conversion opportunities,” Ancelotti said.
Rodrigo, called up for the World Cup in Brazil, got a scare when he shot over the crossbar from close range in the 90th minute.
Real Madrid’s other Brazilian striker, Vinicius, also fell flat on his face, but the Italian coach said the players were not distracted by the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.
“That’s how it works sometimes.”
“It was difficult for Vinicius, but tonight it was difficult for all the teams.”
“I am upset with this loss, not with the players, we have done better than before in this first part of the season,” Ancelotti said.
Goals from Ousmane Dembele and Frenkie de Jong lifted Barcelona to the top of La Liga with a 2-0 win over Almeria on Saturday in an emotional night in which Gerard Pique retired.
Earlier on Monday, Real had drawn a brace against Liverpool in February and March in the Champions League.