Lighting sabotage in La Liga
Real Madrid-Vallecano tie postponed by a day
Real Madrid reluctantly agreed to play their La Liga match at Rayo Vallecano on Monday, a day after the game was abandoned because of alleged lighting sabotage at Rayo’s Estadio de Vallecas stadium.
The game was due to kick off at 9.30 p.m. local time (1930 GMT) on Sunday but the stadium was in semi-darkness and fans were still waiting outside the locked arena as workmen toiled to fix the lights.
Rayo president Raul Martin Presa said unidentified persons had cut the cables on some of the lights and when it became clear they could not be repaired in time the game was abandoned.
Real initially said they did not want to risk another lighting failure and wanted to play the match on Monday at 1500, while Rayo insisted it should kick off at 1800 to allow more Rayo fans to attend.
“After the deplorable events that took place yesterday ... Real Madrid CF asked the Professional Football League (LFP) to schedule the game today, Monday, during the day in order to avoid any potential problems that might again put it at risk,” Real Madrid said in a statement on their website (www.realmadrid.com).
“The president of the LFP has decided, however, that the match will be played at 19:45 and has accepted personal responsibility for it to take place without incident,” the statement added.
“Real Madrid CF bases their request on their concern for the lack of dates for the rescheduling of the match should it not be possible for the match to go ahead today,’’ the statement said.
In-form Atletico Madrid made it five wins in a row in all competitions when Diego Godin and Radamel Falcao struck in a 2-1 win at home to Real Valladolid on Sunday.
Atletico were two ahead by halftime at the Calderon but were made to sweat for their victory after a howler by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois gifted the visitors a goal 10 minutes into the second half.
The win lifted Diego Simeone's side to fourth on 10 points from four matches, one behind Real Mallorca and Malaga, who have played one game more.
Mallorca inflicted further pain on struggling Valencia when they beat them 2-0 at the Iberostar Estadi before Malaga were held to a 0-0 stalemate at Athletic Bilbao.
Leaders Barcelona are the only side to have won all five matches following Saturday's 2-0 success at home to Granada and lead by four on 15 points.
Mallorca continued their impressive early-season run and condemned Valencia to a second defeat in five days thanks to goals from Victor Casadesus and Javier Arizmendi.
Valencia, who lost 2-1 at Bayern Munich in their Champions League Group F opener on Wednesday, are 14th on five points.
New signing Obafemi Martins was a hero on his debut for Levante when the speedy Nigerian came off the bench to net a scorching 86th-minute winner in a 2-1 comeback win at home to Real Sociedad.