Real Madrid moved top of La Liga as goals from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos helped them to a 2-1 home win over Rayo Vallecano.
Real Sociedad can reclaim first place with a victory over Osasuna on Sunday, but Carlo Ancelotti’s side now lead the way in Spain’s top flight.
It took Real Madrid just 14 minutes to open the scoring when VAR was used to spot that Vinicius had been onside in the build-up that led to a stunning Kroos finish finding the top corner.
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Benzema added a second on 38 minutes, getting on the end of a David Alaba cross into the box to guide the ball into the back of the net as Real Madrid made their dominance count.
Vinicius came close to scoring an incredible individual effort in the second half as Real Madrid continued to dominate. Bebe struck the post just moments before Radamel Falcao was introduced off the bench.
And it took Falcao just minutes to find the back of the net, heading home to give Rayo Vallecano a lifeline but the Colombian had to come off through injury. Kroos made a stoppage time clearance off the line as Real Madrid did just enough to see out the win.

TALKING POINT - Real Madrid have grown since the last international break

Real Madrid went into the last international break on the back of two straight defeats, but Ancelotti’s side have responded well since then and this performance was another sign that they are heading in the right direction. Los Blancos are playing with verve in the final third and there is encouragement over the relationships that are developing in defence. They deserve to be at the top of La Liga on the basis of their recent displays.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)

Vinicius has been in astonishing form this season and this match proved everything that he offers Real Madrid. Everything the home side did well flowed through the Brazilian winger who is oozing confidence. In this sort of form, there isn’t an opposition team that can deal with Vinicius. He has added cutting edge to his play since the summer and was unfortunate not to score here.

PLAYER RATINGS

Real Madrid - Courtois 7, Mendy 7, Alaba 8, Militao 6, Carvajal 7, Kroos 7, Casemiro 5, Camavinga 6, Vinicius 8, Benzema 8, Asensio 7. Subs - Hazard 4, Vazquez 4, Nacho 2.
Rayo Vallecano - Dimitrievski 8, Balliu 5, Saveljich 7, Catena 4, Fran Garcia 5, Valentin 4, Comesana 4, Alvaro 7, Trejo 6, Isi 4, Nteka 6. Subs - Bebe 6, Falcao 7, Lopez 4, Guardiola 3, Pozo 3.

KEY MOMENTS

6’ GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO... NO! Vinicius has the ball in the back of the net following a header from Benzema back across goal, but the Frenchman was offside when the pass was made.
15’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Rayo Vallecano: The goal is given! Vinicius set up Kroos for a stunning finish into the top corner of the net, it was initially ruled out for an offside, but the VAR was used to spot that the Brazilian winger was in fact onside and the goal is awarded!
38’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Rayo Vallecano: The home team have doubled their advantage! Alaba spotted the run of Benzema, the ball from the defender was perfect and the French striker showed good composure to squeeze the finish past Dimitrievski. Real Madrid lead 2-0.
53’ That would have been incredible! Vincius dribbles past one, two, three and then has his shot cleared off the line! What a goal that would have been from the in-form Brazilian winger!
77’ Off the post! So close to a Rayo Vallecano goal! Bebe unleashed a powerful strike inside the box after a Rayo Vallecano counter attack, but his effort comes back off the base of the post!
78’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Rayo Vallecano: Well, well, well! Falcao comes off the bench and within minutes he has found the back of the net after a trademark header! There was nobody close to the Colombian striker and Rayo Vallecano have given themselves a lifeline!
90+1’ Cleared off the line! How didn't that go in?! A corner kick caused mayhem inside the Real Madrid penalty area, but Kroos was back to make the clearance from under his own crossbar!

KEY STATS

Karim Benzema has now reached double figures for goals in 11 of his 13 seasons as a La Liga player.
Casemiro has now played 200 La Liga matches for Real Madrid and is the third Brazilian to reach this milestone (after Marcelo Vieira and Roberto Carlos).
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