Impressive Vallecano pounds Sociedad
Rayo Vallecano consigned Real Sociedad to their sixth defeat in seven games with a comprehensive 4-0 win at Las Vallecas.
The game's defining incident came just over 10 minutes in when Claudio Bravo made a mess of saving Michu's shot, and Inigo Martinez was adjudged to have pulled back Andrija Delibasic as he tried to pounce on the rebound. Martinez was sent-off and Piti converted the resulting penalty.
Unsurprisingly, with the extra man for 80 minutes, Rayo dominated proceedings for the rest of the match and Michu ended the game as a contest with two fine finishes early in the second-half.
Roberto Trashorras then sealed a perfect day for the hosts with a fantastic bending free-kick from 30 yards that left Bravo helpless.
Things had already started badly for the Basque side when Asier Illarramendi was forced into his return after injury as Markel Bergara had to be replaced only two minutes in.
Ten minutes later the match turned massively in Rayo's favour as Bravo's attempt to parry a well-struck shot from the edge of the area by Michu only succeeded in deflecting the ball back across his own goal. Delibasic was first to react but could not direct the ball home under pressure from Martinez.
However, referee Muniz Fernandez, on the advice of his assistant, felt that Martinez had impeded the Montenegrin and pointed to the spot. Piti calmly send Bravo the wrong way and already the game seemed beyond a Sociedad side lacking in confidence.
They did manage to hold out till half-time as a mixture of a lack of urgency and failure with the final pass prevented Rayo from putting the visitors under severe pressure.
However the hosts' tempo improved greatly after the break and they added to their lead as Michu collected a pass from Lass Bangoura inside the area, spun and fired accurately into the bottom corner.
Michu doubled his tally for the day just after the hour mark as he latched onto another smart pass from the ever dangerous Lass before powering into the area and prodding the ball high past Bravo for his fifth goal of the campaign.
Antoine Griezmann came close to pulling one back for the visitors, but his left-footed shot was well held by David Cobeno, and moments later Rayo had a fourth. Trashorras made sure his first goal for the club was a special one as he curled a free-kick beautifully over the wall and beyond the reach of Bravo's outstretched right hand.
The Chilean keeper did at least deny a fifth, blocking Tito's effort as the full-back ran through on goal, but another defeat drops Philippe Montanier's men into the relegation zone for the first time this season.
By contrast new boys Rayo have now won three of their last four and move back into the top-half of the table.