Rayo loses 2-0 to Girona, stays in relegation zone in Spain
It was the fifth straight defeat for the Madrid club, which has been among the bottom three in the standings for most of the season. It could have reached 17th place with a win, but stayed second-to-last with the result at Vallecas Stadium.
It was Girona's second win in three matches, leaving it in 12th place. The Catalan club ended a 13-match winless streak in all competitions with a win at Real Madrid three rounds ago. It was coming off a home draw against Real Sociedad.
"We have good momentum, which is crucial at this stage of the competition," Stuani said. "It was a key match for us and we deserved the victory from the start."
Rayo Vallecano played a man down from the 60th minute after Abdoulaye Ba was sent off for a hard foul.
Rayo next visits leader Barcelona, which plays against Real Madrid on Saturday at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Barcelona is nine points in front of third-place Madrid, and has a two-point lead over second-place Atletico Madrid, which visits Real Sociedad on Sunday.