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Real Madrid vs. Rayo Vallecano: Final score 2-0, Madrid strike early then hold on after Ramos sent off

Real Madrid scored twice early and then held on for 72 minutes after Sergio Ramos was shown two yellow cards in less than a minute.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Real Madrid have a date with Manchester United to settle their Champions League Round of 16 tie. Before they can focus on that, Los Blancos face two El Clasico matches against Barcelona and two other league games. Today was one of those league games as Madrid hosted Rayo Vallecano, who had won six out of eight league games going in to the match.

It was not Rayo's day. Two early goals from Madrid put the ahead and despite Sergio Ramos' sending off in the 18th minute, Rayo couldn't find a goal and failed to take advantage of Real Sociedad's draw against Levante.

Mesut Özil was a man on a mission from the opening whistle creating two fantastic chances for his teammates. They couldn't take advantage of the first, but the second yielded an opening goal in the 3rd minute. Kaka led the way on a break and found Özil on the right side with a short pass. The German midfielder pulled the ball back across the box, to far for Kaka to get, but in the perfect spot for Morata who side-footed a shot into the back of the net. Not a bad to way to begin your first career league start.

Alejandro Dominguez had an excellent chance to pull Rayo back in the 8th minute, stealing the ball in the midfield and racing down the right side past Pepe. Unfortunately for Ray, Dominguez's shot rolled just wide of the far post.

Özil was assisting again in the 12th minute sending a pinpoint free kick on the head of the diving Sergio Ramos who headed the ball past Rubén. It didn't even matter that a Rayo defender was holding on to Ramos' jersey.

Then things got weird.

Referee José Paradas, who sent off Sergio Ramos back in March, booked the defender twice in less than a minute and sent him for an extremely early shower. The first card was shown for a hard foul by Ramos on Roberto Trashorras and the second card was for a deliberate handball. Both calls seems correct based on the letter of the law, but to send a player off like that seems extremely harsh.

Despite the advantage, Ray simply couldn't break through against Real Madrid despite have plenty of the ball and plenty of chances on goal.