Rayo: Rubén; Tito (Trashorras 76'),
Labaka, Jordi Amat, Casado; Javi Fuego; José Carlos (Nicki Bille 82'),
Chori Domínguez (Piti 67'), Leo Baptistao, Lass; Delibasic. 4-1-4-1.
Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Essien, Xabi Alonso; Di María (Khedira 77'), Modric (Özil 63'), Cristiano Ronaldo; Benzema (Higuaín 70'). 4-2-3-1.
0-1. 13. Benzema. Got on the end of Di María cross to turn ball in to net on far post.
0-2. 70. Ronaldo (penalty). After Amat blocked Ronaldo cross with his arm in area.
Yellow cards: Essien 06', Arbeloa 18', Casado 59', 92', Xabi Alonso 60', Amat 69' / red cards: Casado 92'.
Real Madrid maintained the eight point gap behind leaders Barcelona after beating Rayo Vallecano 0-2 on Monday evening. The match had been scheduled for the day before, but an act of vandalism on Rayo's lighting system meant that the kick-off had to be put back by 24 hours. After away defeats at Barcelona, Getafe and Sevilla though, this was a must win fixture for Madrid, and Rubén had to save an early header from Pepe before Benzema got on the end of Di María's cross to open the scoring. The local keeper did well to stop efforts from Modric, Ronaldo and Benzema before the break, but Rayo came close to equalising when Casillas pushed out a shot from Delibasic, and Xabi Alonso blocked Labaka's follow up on the line with his chest. After the restart both teams had chances before Jordi Amat slid in to tackle Ronaldo only to block his cross with his hands, and Ronaldo himself stepped up to make it two from the spot. The Portuguese striker should have added a third when he lobbed a shot against the post with the goal at his mercy, and near the end Özil had a strike ruled out for a borderline offside. But the game was already won, and a red card for Casado in injury time was a mere anecdote.