Real Madrid show support for Vinicius Junior ahead of win over Rayo Vallecano

By Sports Desk May 24, 2023

Rodrygo’s 89th-minute goal saw Real Madrid return to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over mid-table Rayo Vallecano at the Bernabeu.

Vinicius Junior was absent with a knee problem but his team-mates put on a united show of support for the winger after he was racially abused at Valencia on Sunday, all emerging wearing his shirt and holding up a “racists, out of football” banner.

Karim Benzema put the hosts ahead in the 31st minute but Rayo thought they had snatched a draw when Raul de Tomas equalised six minutes from time, only for Rodrygo to come inside on his right foot and stroke a shot past Stole Dimitrievski from the edge of the area.

Victory moved them back into second place in LaLiga as city rivals Atletico squandered a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with second-bottom Espanyol.

Goals from Cesar Montes, Joselu and Vinicius Souza cancelled out strikes from Saul Niguez, Antoine Griezmann and Yannick Carrasco and left Espanyol three points from safety with two matches remaining and still in danger of suffering a second top-flight relegation in four seasons.

Two goals from Nicolas Jackson secured a 2-0 win over Cadiz which guaranteed Villarreal fifth place, after Real Betis lost 1-0 to struggling Getafe who in turn boosted their survival chances, while already-relegated Elche drew 1-1 at home to Sevilla.

Inter Milan warmed up for their Champions League final with Manchester City by retaining the Coppa Italia courtesy of two goals from Lautaro Martinez.

Nicolas Gonzalez had given Fiorentina a third-minute lead but Inter’s Argentina international struck twice before half-time to secure the club’s ninth victory in the competition.

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