First Division - Day 34

Rayo Vallecano 1 - Valladolid 0

Rayo: Imanol Etxeberria; Corino, Hernández, De Quintana, Graff; Pablo Sanz (Vivar Dorado 85'), Quevedo; Ferrón (Glaucio 46'), Peragón, Michel; Bolic (Azkoitia 90'). 4-2-3-1.
Valladolid: Ricardo; Torres Gómez, Peña, Mario (Tote 65'), Marcos; Lozano, Jesús; Fernando Sales, Fernando (Eusebio 85'), Luis García; Cuauhtèmoc Blanco (Pachón 75'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Rayo: Corino for Vivar Dorado / Valladolid: Marcos, Lozano, Cuauhtèmoc Blanco for Baraja, Caminero, Tote.

1-0. 45. Hernández. Headed long Corino cross over defence into top of net.

Rayo Vallecano kept up their hopes of survival with their first win in four games, a single goal victory over Valladolid. The only goal of the match came from French central defender Hernández, who scored for the second time in successive matches with a well placed header from Corino's cross in the second minute of time added on in the first half. The game was preceded by a massive orchestrated demonstration by Rayo fans against recent bad refereeing decisions, with fans waving black socks in the air as referee Téllez Sánchez and his assistants came on the pitch, a new and even less hygienic variation on the white handkerchief protest. Rayo's complaints could well have had their effect in the second half of the match when a shot from Luis García came off the crossbar and appeared to bounce over the line before rebounding back out, the young referee refusing to allow the goal despite vehement protests from the visitors.

The match was a dull affair between a Rayo who were frightened of losing and a Valladolid side with virtually nothing to play for. Peragón tested Ricardo in the fifth minute and Cuauhtèmoc Blanco, given a rare opportunity in place of the off form Tote, brought a good save out of Etxeberria in the first half before Hernández finally gave the local fans something to take their minds off the performance of the officials. After the break Michel and Quevedo let their opponents off the hook, and as usual Rayo suffered in the dying minutes before Téllez finally put an end to proceedings. Victories for their direct rivals mean they stay in the bottom three, but they at least climb above Zaragoza and are now only a point below Osasuna and Mallorca.