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First Division - Day 25

Rayo Vallecano 0 - Real Madrid 1

Rayo: Joel; Tito, Arribas, Pulido, Casado (Tamudo 81'); Javi Fuego, Movilla (Trashorras 69'); Piti (Lass 59'), Armenteros; Diego Costa. 4-2-3-1.
Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo (Granero 80'); Khedira, Xabi Alonso; Özil, Kaká (Coentrão 60'), Cristiano Ronaldo; Higuaín (Callejón 75'). 4-2-3-1.

Goals: 0-1. 53. Ronaldo. Back-heel shot past Joel following Özil corner.

Yellow cards: Sergio Ramos 03', Diego Costa 19', Casillas 41', Marcelo 44', Javi Fuego 83', Coentrão 89', Arribas 91', Pepe 92 / red cards: Michu 88'.

Real Madrid stay ten points clear of Barcelona in the table after a tight 0-1 win at neighbours Rayo Vallecano on Sunday afternoon. Rayo are proving to be one of the revelation sides this year, and they caused more than a few problems for their opponents, with Piti in particular firing a shot against the post in the first half. Before that Sergio Ramos was lucky to be let off scot free when he caught Diego Costa with a flying elbow in the penalty area, and Michu and Armenteros both went close shortly before half time. Higuaín was thwarted at the other end more by an irregular pitch than anything else, and Cristiano Ronaldo tried his luck from long range a couple of times later in the first half. Eight minutes after the restart though Ronaldo caught out Joel and his defence with an unexpected back-heel after Özil's corner came out to him, and Joel had to be at his best a few minutes later to keep out a Ronaldo free kick. In the end though Rayo were unlucky not to at least pick up a point, Casillas having to tip a long shot from Tito round the post and Armenteros missing the easiest of chances in front of goal in the last minute. And to top it all the locals were left with ten men when Michu was incorrectly shown a red card near the end for what looked like a good tackle on Khedira. The luck of champions for Mourinho's team, and the odds on them winning the league title for the first time in four years have shortened even more.