Real Madrid secured their first away win of the season with a 2-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano at Vallecas. The match finally got going on Monday night in the neighborhood of Madrid after an act of sabotage saw cables cut and the floodlights go out forcing the match to be postponed the previous day.
Karim Benzema put Real ahead in the local derby after just 13 minutes before Cristiano Ronaldo all-but secured victory as he converted a penalty 20 minutes from time.
The result was crucial for Real after they had fallen 11 points behind Barcelona, having already suffered two defeats to begin the defense of their La Liga title.
After Real coach Jose Mourinho controversially left out Sergio Ramos against Manchester City last time out, the Spanish defender was back in the lineup against Rayo. Luka Modric and Karim Benzema also came into the team, having impressed as substitutes in the comeback victory in the Champions League.
Benzema quickly repaid his manager’s faith. Ronaldo broke down the left and laid the ball forward to the onrushing Angel Di Maria, who took his time before producing a teasing low cross that evaded Rayo goalkeeper Ruben and found Benzema with the simple task to tap home.
Rayo fought valiantly to try and end an dismal eight match losing streak to their illustrious neighbors, but their resistance was effectively ended in the 70th minute. Ronaldo passed into the middle and the ball came off the hand of Jordi Amat, with the referee pointing to the spot. The Portuguese forward displayed his usual composure as he stepped forward and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way for his fifth goal of the season.
As Rayo pushed forward for a way back into the game in the closing stages, Real could and should have added to their lead. The best chance fell to Ronaldo, who, with a chance laid on a plate by substitute Gonzalo Higuain, somehow contrived to completely mishit his shot with an open goal at his mercy.