Rayo Vallecano gets draw on Liga return
Rayo Vallecano claimed a 1-1 draw in their first game back in the Primera Liga at Athletic Bilbao.
After a lackluster first half, the game came life in the second period with two goals in five minutes. Athletic went in front on 55 minutes when Ander Iturraspe collected Iker Muniain's pass and burst into the area before shooting across Dani Gimenez and high into the net. Rayo responded immediately and drew level thanks to a fine finish from Jose Maria Movilla.
Both sides then missed chances to win the game, with Fernando Llorente and Pedro Botelho the main culprits, but defeat would have been hard on either side.
In a first half of very few chances, Rayo were happy to sit deep and contain the home side, who despite the creative talents of Ander Herrera and Iker Muniain were unable to break down the visitors.
Indeed it was the away side who had the first effort on goal with Gorka Iraizoz saving well from Michu.
Athletic posed a much greater threat in the second period and deservedly went ahead when Iturraspe rounded off a fine team move with a composed finish.
Rayo's response was excellent, with substitute Alhassane Bangoura constantly stretching the Athletic defence.
Movilla's goal came from a fine chest pass from Arsenal loanee Botelho and he should have put the visitors in front a minute later but shot straight at Iraizoz when clean through.
The hosts also had two great opportunities to claim all three points but both Igor Gabilondo and Llorente shot wide when presented with clear sights of goal.