|First Division - Day 20|
Villarreal 1 - Rayo Vallecano 1
López Vallejo; Xavi Roca, Ballesteros, Quique Alvarez, Arruabarrena;
Jorge López, Galca, Cagna, Calleja (Gracia 80'); Víctor (Guayre
88'), Pizzi (Quique Martín 85'). 4-4-2.
Team changes: Villarreal: Ballesteros, Galca, Pizzi for Unai, Amor, Craioveanu / Rayo: Alcázar, Peragón for Corino, Ferrón.
For the second week running a last minute goal saved a point for Rayo Vallecano, this time in their visit to Villarreal. Except for the first few minutes the Madrid based side were run ragged by their opponents, and only a good performance by keeper Exteberria and some bad misses by the Villarreal forwards kept them from being a long way behind as the game went into the final minutes. Etxeberria had made vital saves from Víctor and new signing Pizzi in the first half, and was only beaten in the end from the penalty spot when Peragón handled needlessly on the edge of the area. Substitute Quique Martín then had two chances to extend the home side's lead in the final five minutes, but wasted both. Then in injury time Rayo won a free kick on the left of goal, and Quevedo lost his marker to head home Arteaga's floated ball for the equaliser.
It was more than Rayo deserved, but gave them their fourth draw in a row and another point in the fight to save themselves. They still stay bottom though on fourteen points, five adrift of Real Sociedad but with a game in hand on all their rivals (due to be played against Alavés now on 23rd January). Villarreal fall to fifteenth having failed to win now in six games, and are now only three points above the drop zone. With his team virtually eliminated from the cup as well, manager Víctor Muñoz needs a victory in their next league match at relegation rivals Osasuna to be sure of keeping his job a little longer.