Rayo Vallecano show signs of life ahead of tough run

Rayo Vallecano

Rayo Vallecano hauled themselves off the bottom of the La Liga table with a midweek 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao.

The tie, which was the replayed fixture from earlier this season, after Rayo’s stadium the Campo de Futbol de Vallecas, was controversially closed amid fan safety concerns.

Since its reopening, Rayo have not won a game on home soil, with defeats to Alaves and Getafe, and a draw against Espanyol.

Their away form this season has not been much better, with a 1-0 win at Huesca their only victory of the season so far.

However the draw against Eduardo Berizzo’s side has seen Rayo trade places with Huesca, who now slip down to the foot of the La Liga table.

In truth, Rayo could have picked up all three points against the Basque side, if they had been more ruthless in the first half.

Striker Raul de Tomas had a goal ruled out for handball, via VAR, before an excellent strike from Jose Pozo gave them the lead.

The home side had chances to extend their lead, but lacked a killer edge in attack when it was needed. From there they could have surrendered the game completely to Bilbao, with goal keeper Alberto Garcia called into action on a number of occasions,as his defence struggled, either side of Iker Munian’s equaliser.

A point will be welcomed by manager Michel as he prepares his side for a testing few weeks ahead, and the psychological boost of removing themselves from the bottom of the table will be used as an added motivation.

Up next for Rayo is a trip north to take on Girona, who have won just twice this season, and with no victory in their last five La Liga games.

If Michel’s side can get a positive result in Catalonia, they could be elevated out of the relegation zone for the first time in over a month.

Maintaining confidence at this stage is vital, as November begins with back to back home games against Barcelona and Villarreal, before a trip east to take on Valencia.

Any points from that run of games will be viewed as a bonus, and they will likely serve as a indicator as to whether Rayo can maintain their top flight status for next season.

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