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Liga BBVA | Rayo Vallecano 3 - Levante 0

Rayo take all three points with two Christmas crackers

Paco Jeméz' men showed determination and hunger from the start and were rewarded with two crackers by Nacho and Piti, leaving them two points from a European spot.

Víctor Serrano

Rayo take all three points with two Christmas crackers

Both Rayo and Levante went into the game in high spirits after wins over Valencia and Zaragoza, but only Rayo were deserving of all three points and surely thought Christmas had come early as they dominated from start to finish. It came as somewhat of a surprise given that Levante had been flirting with the Champions League places, but the fact that they sat back and invited Rayo to come on to them did little to help their cause, and when they finally came to Rayo hit them with two splendid goals courtesy of Nacho and Piti.

In the early stages Rayo took control, more though sheer willpower than quality, as they looked to hurt Levante on the wings. The home side's effort was commendable and contrasted with Levante's dependency on Martins. Whenever 'los granota' wrestled back possession they always looked for the talismanic Nigerian.

Although the ball appeared to have a red stripe painted across it, Levante looked comfortable without it as minutes ticked on without a clear chance in sight - only a few free-kicks from Barkero and decent penalty shout for Diop's push on Leo.

The game looked to be drifting into mediocrity in the second half, with both teams struggling to find any rhythm and break the stop-start nature of the encounter. This pattern, however, was soon forgotten as the ball reached Nacho just outside the area and he smacked the ball with his left foot and saw the it fly in off the left post of Munúa's goal.

Without giving Levante any breathing space, Trashorras tried to add even more festive cheer in Vallecas, only to see the ball miss by a matter of inches. Rayo now took the bit between their teeth, but were stopped dead in their tracks by Ballesteros' elbow on Lass (unfortunately an all too common sight these days). Luckily out of the darkness came light, and the second moment of magic in the game - a sweetly struck free-kick from Piti, who gave the goalkeeper absolutely no chance. With the clock running down Rayo grabbed their third with Vázquez nicely placed to slot the ball into an empty net as Munúa could only parry a shot from range. Something sweet for Rayo's festive break.

Estadísticas AS.com