Falcao’s 95th minute header gives Rayo a 1-2 win over the Lions
Athletic Club lost 1-2 to Rayo Vallecano at San Mamés, ending the Lions’ five-match unbeaten run at the start of the season.
A 95th minute goal by old foe Radamel Falcao from Bebé’s well-taken free-kick was a bitter pill to swallow for the Lions, who did not deserve to lose such an evenly matched game.
It was a tough night, which began with a scrappy first goal for Rayo. Athletic lost possession under pressure high up the pitch and it ended with Álvaro García putting the visitors ahead.
The Lions now faced an uphill battle and found it hard to recover against a Rayo side that were well drilled, both with and without the ball.
Athletic’s first chance came when a corner fell at the feet of winger Nico Williams, who was making his first start for Athletic. His shot across goal was blocked by Isi right in front of the net.
The Lions were once again brought into the game by a set-piece. In the 37th minute, Pathe Ciss scored an own goal from Iker Muniain‘s well-taken free kick.
Los Rojiblancos could have taken the lead in the 43rd minute. Forward Raúl García played through Nico Williams, but the youngster’s left-footed shot narrowly missed the target.
The skies opened at the beginning of the second half and the rain came down in droves. In the 65th minute, Asier Villalibre sent a shot into the hands of the Rayo’s goalkeeper, Stole Dimitrievski.
Former Lion Unai López, now playing for Rayo, came off to a standing ovation. The visitors continued to slow the game down with fouls and time wasting.
Athletic went close to scoring in the 93rd minute. Iñaki Williams broke free down the right and whipped in a cross which reached Jon Morcillo at the far post, but the winger could not get his header on target.
The final blow came in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Bebé, a set-piece specialist, connected with Falcao from a free-kick on the edge of the box, El Tigre finding space in the box to score a header.