First Division - Day 16

Osasuna 0 - Rayo Vallecano 1

Osasuna: Sanzol; Izquierdo (Gancedo 65'), Mateo, Cruchaga, Antonio López; Puñal, Alfredo (Muñoz 80'); Rivero, Iván Rosado, Moha (Gorka Brit 53'); Aloisi. 4-2-3-1.
Rayo: Etxeberria; Mario, De Quintana, Mainz, Graff; Helder (Corino 80'), Azkoitia; Julio Alvarez (Dorado 62'), Mora, Michel; Bolic (Bolo 71'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Osasuna: No change / Rayo: Helder, Mora for Onopko, Bolo.

0-1. 22. Julio Alvarez. Bent free kick over wall and in off far post.

Rayo Vallecano climbed out of the relegation zone for 24 hours with an important 0-1 win at Osasuna on Saturday evening, and even though they returned to eighteenth spot on Sunday after the teams around them all won, they are now in a better position to survive. The Madrid based side had never won in the Sadar stadium whilst in the first division, and with Osasuna recording three home wins in a row this was always going to be a difficult match against a direct rival for relegation.

The home side started by pushing back their opponents, but they found themselves behind midway through the first half after the referee awarded a hotly contested free kick on the edge of the area, Julio Alvarez bending his kick past Sanzool for his eighth goal of the season. Two minutes later Rayo keeper Etxeberría saved the day from Alfredo, and before half time both Rivero and Mateo had thrown away chances to level the scores.

Early in the second half Javier Aguirre decided to go for broke, and brought on young forward Gorka Brit to join Rosado and Aloisi. They could not find a way through a solid defence though, and apart from a couple of efforts from Rivero they did not cause too many troubles for Etxeberría. With the game coming to an end Michel even had a chance to increase the lead on a rapid counterattack, but that would have been too much. Fernando Vázquez was more than happy to walk away with the three points, a result which may prove vital at the end of the season if it comes down to head-to-head goal average for who stays up.