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Spanish Primera BBVA

The Vallecas - Teresa Rivero (ATT 9,000) 9th March 2013 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: C Muniz Fernandez

R Vallecano Rayo Vallecano vs Espanyol Espanyol

R Vallecano 2

A Dominguez (9)
Piti (77)


Rayo Vallecano on the rise

Last Updated: 09/03/13 6:00pm

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Chori Dominguez: Gave Rayo Vallecano the lead

Chori Dominguez: Gave Rayo Vallecano the lead

Rayo Vallecano moved to within two points of the Champions League places after a convincing win at home to Espanyol.

An early goal by Chori Dominguez gave the Madrid side the perfect start and Piti wrapped up the points by netting on 77 minutes.

Espanyol had an early chance to take the lead, with Rayo goalkeeper Ruben Martinez nearly getting his team into trouble. His indecision allowed Sergio Garcia a shot at goal, but the effort was too weak and the Rayo stopper saved himself from embarrassment.

Barely a minute later, the hosts were in front. Jose Casado delivered a through-ball to Leo Baptistao, whose electric pace took him into the left-hand side of the box before he delivered a cross which Dominguez converted with his knee to give Paco Jemez's side the lead on nine minutes.

Sergio Garcia squandered Espanyol's only other decent chances of the first half, first hitting his shot straight at Ruben from the edge of the area and then shooting wide after controlling a long punt upfield by goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.

Dominguez had two further attempts before half-time, forcing a save from Casilla with a powerful long-range effort and then sending a bicycle kick well over the bar on the stroke of half-time.

After keeping his side in the game in the first half, Casilla was on hand on several occasions to prevent Rayo from doubling their lead right after the restart, keeping out two efforts from Baptistao and one from Jose Carlos.

However, it was a misjudgement by the goalkeeper which led to Rayo's second goal.

A hopeful long punt forward from the Rayo defence cleared the Espanyol back line and Piti ran into the path of the loose ball. Casilla came flying out of his area in an attempt to get there first but was too slow, and the forward slid the ball past him to score from just outside the area.

The second goal killed off any hope of an Espanyol comeback, although Christian Stuani came close to grabbing a consolation goal in injury time when his powerfully struck volley was superbly kept out by Ruben.

Javi Fuego and Leo Baptistao both picked up late yellow cards which means they will play no part in next weekend's match with Barcelona at the Nou Camp due to suspension.

The victory takes Rayo to 41 points which all but guarantees their survival in the top flight for another season with 11 games left, a welcome contrast from last term when they only avoided relegation thanks to an injury-time winner on the last day of the season.

Javier Aguirre's side have now gone three matches without a win but remain nine points clear of the drop zone.

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Spanish Primera BBVA

Spanish Primera BBVA
Pos Team P Pts
1 Real Madrid 20 51
2 Barcelona 20 47
3 Atletico Madrid 21 47
4 Valencia 20 41
5 Sevilla 19 39
6 Villarreal 20 38
7 Malaga 20 32
8 Eibar 21 27
9 Espanyol 20 26
10 Celta Vigo 21 24
11 Rayo Vallecano 21 23
12 Real Sociedad 21 22
13 Deportivo La Coruna 21 21
14 Athletic Bilbao 20 20
15 Getafe 20 20
16 Cordoba 21 18
17 Granada 21 18
18 Elche 21 17
19 Almeria 20 16
20 Levante 20 16