Real Madrid's win felt secondary amid exhibits of assist for Vinicius


Gamers, teaching workers and followers confirmed their assist for Vinicius Junior as Real Madrid beat Rayo Vallecano 2-1 in LaLiga on Wednesday.

Karim Benzema scored the opening aim within the first half and substitute Raul de Tomas levelled late on for Rayo earlier than Rodrygo Goes grabbed a fair later winner, however all the eye was on Vinicius after the racist abuse he suffered at Valencia on Sunday.

Real Madrid’s gamers took to the sector carrying Vinicius’ No. 20 shirt, a banner was unveiled pre-match saying “We are all Vinicius. Enough is enough” and followers applauded the Brazil worldwide — who missed the sport by damage — within the twentieth minute.

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Fast response

1. The Bernabeu exhibits its assist for Vinicius

All eyes on the Bernabeu had been on Vinicius Junior, and he wasn’t even on the pitch. After the racist abuse he suffered at Valencia on Sunday, Real Madrid — the membership and the followers — determined to make use of this sport as a possibility for a really public present of assist for the participant.

With Vinicius’ suspension for the crimson card he acquired towards Valencia overturned by the Spanish soccer federation’s Competitors Committee, a knee downside nonetheless stored him out of motion. His function right here was restricted to showing alongside his teammates earlier than kickoff, to the applause of the group, earlier than taking a seat within the administrators’ field alongside president Florentino Perez.

At instances, what was taking place out on the pitch itself felt secondary. When the stadium’s scoreboards confirmed that the sport had reached the twentieth minute, followers within the Bernabeu’s east stand stood and turned away from the motion to cheer Vinicius.

The story is way from over — Vinicius stays harm and angered by the persistent racist abuse he has suffered this season, Valencia are interesting the five-game stand closure handed to them by the federation for Sunday’s abuse, and the response to the saga from some sectors of the Spanish media has been miserable to say the least — however the hope is that, one small step at a time, the size of the issue is lastly being recognised, and proportionate motion taken.

2. Rodrygo shines as stand-in for Vinicius

It feels unusual to give attention to soccer, given the gravity of the Vinicius state of affairs. Not least as a result of this match had the texture of a late-season sport with not a lot at stake for both aspect, which is strictly what it was.

Madrid’s league ambitions have been diminished to beating rivals Atletico to second place, whereas Rayo hadn’t completely given up hope of European soccer. For Madrid, quite a few gamers have to make statements about their futures, too, and never simply these gamers who’re out of contract this summer time.

Karim Benzema’s kind has been criticised in current weeks — particularly within the Champions League semifinal exit to Manchester Metropolis — and right here he responded with a properly taken aim, albeit adopted by instantly pulling up with what appeared like some muscular discomfort.

In Vinicius’ absence, it was Rodrygo who acquired the Bernabeu crowd excited, with some trademark intelligent footwork within the first half. Vinicius has made the left-wing place his personal — he is arguably the very best on the earth in that function proper now — however Rodrygo is a greater than succesful deputy, and confirmed that with an expertly-taken profitable aim late on.

3. Fran Garcia impresses on newest Real audition

Left-back Fran Garcia will likely be again on the Bernabeu subsequent season, and it will not be carrying a Rayo shirt. A deal to convey Garcia, 23, again to Real Madrid is already in place, and will likely be formalised this summer time.

Garcia was at all times rated as one in all Madrid’s most fun youth merchandise as he got here by the membership’s academy, and his status has solely grown in his three years at Rayo, changing into one in all LaLiga’s finest attacking full-backs.

It stays to be seen if his function again at Madrid will likely be as back-up to Ferland Mendy — who hasn’t satisfied this season both along with his performances or his damage document — or if the membership view him as a long-term first alternative choice.

As for his Rayo teammates, this has been one other vastly profitable season, no matter their ultimate ending place within the desk. For Rayo, survival within the first division is successful, and something past that may be a bonus. Their check will come subsequent season, with coach Andoni Iraola anticipated to maneuver on for a brand new problem.

Finest and worst performers

BEST: Rodrygo Goes, Real Madrid.
A lot of the on-field pleasure got here when he had the ball at his toes. Scored an outstanding winner.

BEST: Karim Benzema, Real Madrid.
Took his first-half aim nicely, even when he does not look totally match.

BEST: Raul de Tomas, Rayo Vallecano.
Seized his alternative off the bench.

WORST: Sergio Camello, Rayo Vallecano.
Did not get a lot service after which noticed rival De Tomas rating.

WORST: Alvaro Garcia, Rayo Vallecano.
Did not get many possibilities to make use of his blistering tempo.

WORST: Antonio Rudiger, Real Madrid.
Regarded somewhat uncomfortable out of place at left-back.

Highlights and notable moments

Messages of helps for Vinicius from the Real Madrid crowd after the incidents from this previous weekend at Valencia.

After the match: What the managers and gamers stated

Real Madrid’s Eduardo Camavinga, on the assist for Vinicius: “It was nice. What we did before the game is good for everyone, to raise awareness around the world.”

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Data)

– Karim Benzema is now one aim away from tying Cristiano Ronaldo for probably the most targets towards Rayo Vallecano by a Real Madrid participant.

– Benzema snaps a streak of 4 video games with out a aim with Madrid in all competitions, his longest since going 5 matches between September-October 2022

Up subsequent

Real Madrid: At Sevilla on Saturday.

Rayo Vallecano: Internet hosting Villarreal on Saturday.

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