First Division - Day 24

Rayo Vallecano 2 - Espanyol 2

Rayo: Imanol Etxeberria; Ferrón, De Quintana, Mainz, Graff; Peragón, Vivar Dorado (Bolo 90'), Pablo Sanz (Azkoitia 35'), Arteaga; Michel (Glaucio 85'); Bolic. 4-4-1-1.
Espanyol: Mora; Fran, Lopo, Rotchen (Pacheco 46'), Soldevilla, Navas; Morales, Alex Fernández (Oscar 68'), Roger; Palencia (Martín Posse 40'), Tamudo. 5-3-2.

Team changes: Rayo: Vivar Dorado, Michel for Quevedo, Baljic / Espanyol: Rotchen, Fran for Ricardo Cavas, De Lucas.

1-0. 33. Michel. Pulled down cross from Peragón and shot across keeper.
2-0. 54. Azkoitia. Beat keeper at second attempt following pass from Bolic.
2-1. 55. Pacheco. Controlled pass on chest and shot in on the turn.
2-2. 92. Oscar. Bent free kick around wall from outside area.

Espanyol came from two goals down against Rayo Vallecano to snatch a 2-2 draw in injury time. Missing the suspended Cavas and De Lucas, Paco Flores started the game with five at the back for the first time this season, aware of Rayo's prowess in the air and their recent good form that has seen them only lose once in their last eight games. New signing Vivar Dorado made his first start for Gregorio Manzano's side, with Michel returning from a one match ban. Espanyol were on the back foot right from the start, and it was only a matter of time before the hosts took the lead, Michel pulling down a long cross inside the penalty area and, with little space to work in, slotting the ball past Mora. The visitors' only reply was a long shot from Roger which Etxeberria turned away for a corner, and at the break Flores brought on one of his new signings Pacheco.

Both managers had been forced to make changes as well late in the first half due to injuries, with Martín Posse replacing Palencia and Azkoitia coming on for Pablo Sanz. Azkoitia has hardly played this season since moving from Alavés, but he made his mark ten minutes in to the second half, putting his side two in front after good work by Bolic. Almost immediately though Pacheco showed why he had been signed, beating Etxeberria with a clinical finish from inside the penalty area. Rayo could have gone further in front with Mora saving well from Bolic and Peragón, but with the game already in injury time Peragón handled unnecessarily just outside of the penalty area. With the Rayo fans hardly baring to look, substitute Oscar stepped up to drive his free kick around the wall and in to the bottom corner of the net. Espanyol had taken another point towards safety, and Rayo were left still down in the bottom three, just those two points away from Mallorca. Another opportunity lost.