Real Madrid 2-1 Rayo Vallecano: Rodrygo scores 89th minute winner as Vinicius Jnr, not in Carlo Ancelotti’s squad, walks onto the pitch before the game to applaud Bernabeu fans for their support
- Rodrygo scored a last-gasp winner to give Real Madrid a 2-1 win vs Ray Vallecano
- Karim Benzema gave the home side the lead tapping in after 31 minutes
- But his goal was cancelled out in the second half due to Raul de Tomas’ strike
Vinicius Jnr was not in Real Madrid’s squad as they beat Rayo Vallecano 2-1 but he was still the protagonist as the club made it clear to the world they support the young Brazilian in his fight against racism.
The 22-year-old was on the pitch at the start of the game when Real Madrid players all lined up in his number 20 shirt.
Behind the South Goal a huge banner read: ‘We are all Vinicius, enough is enough! (Somos todos Vinicius. Basta ya!) And once the game had started he had taken his place in the directors’ box sat alongside Madrid president Florentino Perez.
On minute 20 the Santiago Bernabeu applauded the number 20 and Vinicius got to his feet to acknowledge the gesture.
There were chants of his name inside the stadium with more Madrid fans than usual wearing the player’s number on his back.
There were just over 45,000 in the stadium because Madrid’s competitive season is over but they made their support heard. Zinedine Zidane was among their number in Madrid’s penultimate home game of the season.
Rodrygo scored an 89th minute winner to give Real Madrid a 2-1 win against Ray Vallecano
Before the game, the Real Madrid players donned Vinicius Jnr No 20 shirts in solidarity for their team-mate
Vinicius Jnr (front left) was not in Carlo Ancelotti’s squad for the match, but appeared on the pitch ahead of the game and applauded fans for their solidarity after he received racist abuse
Vinicius’ expected two-match ban for striking Valencia’s Hugo Duro in Real Madrid’s defeat to Valencia on Sunday was lifted on Tuesday because VAR had not shown the referee the whole sequence of events with the Brazilian reacting to Duro putting him in a headlock.
Duro had not been cautioned in the incident. Vinicius was free to play in the last three games of the season but he missed training on Tuesday with a knee injury and was left out.
His magic was missed on the pitch as Madrid made hard work of breaking down Rayo Vallecano. With Benzema hobbling early on it appeared he might have to come off but the Frenchman sprung into life on 31 minutes to open the scoring.
Madrid took a quick free-kick and with Fede Valverde giving Benzema’s pass back to him inside the area he rounded Stole Dimitrievski and from a tight angle snuck a shot inside the near post. It was Benzema’s 30thgoal in all competitions – the fifth time he has managed that in his Madrid career.
Rayo did their best to hit back immediately but Thibaut Courtois pushed out Isi Palazon’s shot for a corner. At the other end Rodrygo might have made it two had the pitch – re-laid five times this season – given way beneath him causing him to slip.
It was 1-0 at half time and as Benzema hobbled down the tunnel Rayo coach Andoni Iraola argued with the referee that a drop-ball just before the goal should have been for them and not for Real Madrid.
The referee Jesus Gil Manzano was still explaining to the Rayo players at the restart that Real Madrid had the last touch before play was stopped for an injury and a drop ball.
Vinicius Jnr (second left) was racially abused by fans in Madrid’s 1-0 defeat by Valencia
Both sets of players stood behind a banner that said ‘Racists out of football’ before the match
Karim Benzema (second left) scored the opening goal for the home side after 31 mintues
But his goal was cancelled out by Raul de Tomas (left) who scored an 84th minute equaliser
Rodrygo (left) had the final say, scoring an 89th minute winner to give Real Madrid the spoils
Madrid were too relaxed in the second half and Rayo eventually took advantage. The Spanish capital minnows levelled on 84 minutes when substitute Raul de Tomas scored. The former Real Madrid youth team player was fed by Josep Chavarria and buried a low shot under the dive of Thibaut Courtois.
It might have spurred Rayo to go on and get the winner but instead it served as a wake-up call to Madrid who put themselves back in front.
There was a minute left of normal time when he scored from Dani Carvajal’s assist. The Brazilian raised his fist and banged his chest dedicating the goal celebration to his close friend Vinicius.
It had been all about him even though he did not kick a ball in anger. He should be back on Saturday when Real Madrid travel to Sevilla to play their last away game of the campaign.
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