|First Division - Day 26|
Rayo Vallecano 2 - Tenerife 0
Etxeberria; Alcázar, Corino, Mainz, Graff; Quevedo, Pablo Sanz (Glaucio
67'); Azkoitia (Vivar Dorado 46'), Michel, Arteaga (Helder 80'); Bolic.
Team changes: Rayo: Alcázar, Corino, Quevedo, Pablo Sanz for Ferrón, De Quintana, Peragón, Vivar Dorado / Tenerife: Jaime for Bino.
Tenerife manager Pepe Mel lost his job after his side were beaten 2-0 by relegation rivals Rayo Vallecano. The Canary Island side had not won one game since the beginning of 2002, and club president Javier Pérez called a board meeting the day after the game to decide on a change. Once again though his side did not play badly, setting up a couple of chances early on which Fuertes could not convert. The turning point of the game though came on the half hour mark, when keeper Sergio Aragoneses came out of his area to bring down the ever dangerous Bolic as he advanced on goal. Referee Mejuto González had no doubt and sent off the unfortunate keeper, and Mel brought on his number two goalie Julio Iglesias, taking off a very reluctant Bruno Marioni who argued with everyone before finally accepting that he was the player who should leave the field. Marioni had been critical of his manager for taking the squad away to the East coast of Spain for a couple of days before the game, presumably as he would have preferred to be lying on an island beach.
Both sides were showing their nerves as the game wore on, but despite the numerical disadvantage the visitors came closest to scoring, failing to make the best of chances either side of half time. Manzano took off the injured Azkoitia at the break, but it was the introduction of Glaucio twenty minutes later which changed the game. The Brazilian winger won a free kick in the visitors' half, and in the following play Graff landed the ball on Bolic's head to beat Iglesias. Either side could have scored as the game warmed up, but with five minutes to go it was Bolic again with his ninth of the season who ended Mel's extended holiday in the sun. Rayo stay in next to bottom place, but are now only a point away from possible salvation in Europe's closest league. That is little consolation for Tenerife who are now three points adrift at the bottom, and Javier Pérez has more problems after naming the flamboyant Javier Clemente as his new manager, a decision which caused the resignation of his technical secretary Felipe Miñambres who had recommended former saviour Juan Manuel Lillo.