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Madrid sink to 10th league loss at the hands of lowly Rayo

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By Reuters
Madrid sink to 10th league loss at the hands of lowly Rayo
Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Rayo Vallecano v Real Madrid - Campo de Futbol de Vallecas, Madrid, Spain - April 28, 2019 Rayo Vallecano's Adri Embarba scores their first goal from the penalty spot REUTERS/Javier Barbancho   -   Copyright  JAVIER BARBANCHO(Reuters)

MADRID (Reuters) – Real Madrid slumped to a humiliating 10th Liga defeat of the season on Sunday as they lost 1-0 at struggling neighbours Rayo Vallecano, who began the weekend bottom of the standings.

The only goal came when Rayo’s Adri Embarba sent goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois the wrong way with a penalty midway through the first half, giving Rayo a deserved lead after an ambitious start in front of a typically raucous home crowd.

The spot kick, given for a foul by Jesus Vallejo on Javi Guerra, was awarded following a VAR review after the referee had waved play on and Gareth Bale had narrowly failed to score as Madrid counter-attacked.

Real later had a goal from Mariano ruled out for a clear offside, one of the rare occasions in the game in which Zinedine Zidane’s side troubled the hosts, who looked far likelier to score again than concede a goal to Madrid’s toothless attack.

Madrid are third in the standings on 65 points after 35 games, nine behind second-placed Atletico Madrid and 18 adrift of champions Barcelona, and look destined to finish third for the second season in a row.

Rayo moved above SD Huesca to 19th on 31 points and are still six away from escaping the relegation zone, but their supporters showed they believe they can still avoid the drop, chanting “Yes we can” when the final whistle blew.

(Reporting by Richard Martin; editing by Ken Ferris)