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1-1: Rayo Vallecano and Tenerife share the spoils (10th April, 2017)

I see what he was doing.

Pep Guardiola used to bring on Keita, a defensive midfielder, for David Villa to defend the left flank. In the 2009-10 seasons, Mourinho played Chivu, a midfielder, on the left wing for a suspended Pandev to - successfully - block Dani Alves' runs in the second leg of the Champions League.

So when Míchel put Fran Beltrán on the left-wing, it wasn't totally without reason. Suso Santana had to be stopped.

It was the only major surprise of the evening - Jordi Gómez and Zé Castro replaced suspended Ebert and Amaya. But despite the creativity of Jordi and the talent of Trashorras, they were defensively weak and on the left wing Aarón Ñíguez wrecked havoc - it was his pass that set up Amath Ndiaye for the first goal.

And that was just three minutes in.

Slowly, but surely, Rayo grew into the game and the players grew into their roles, but it was a first half to forget - even if Embarba equalized after a Santi diagonal pass to Ernesto was blocked.

The second half. however, was completely different. Manucho's introduction changed everything, and not only did he give Rayo a focal point but also gave other players space to work with. A Galán cross to Manucho came close. A Javi Guerra mazy dribble forced a save from ex-rayista Dani Hernández. A shot from Embarba was inches wide.

But given that Amath probably should have scored a point blank goal himself, I'll take a 1-1 draw, especially since Tenerife are third in the table.

Fran didn't shine but he was successful in shutting down captain Suso Santana completely - who was subbed off after 60 minutes. Embarba was a menace throughout the game and defended admirably too. And Galán was silently excellent.

But it was the double substitution of Manucho and Baena, the former quickly becoming Rayo's super-sub, which tipped the game in Rayo's favor. Baena provided defensive solidity, while Manucho distracted defenders with his hard work.

He already might be our super-sub - out of 28 matches this season he has played 13 games as a starter and 15 as a sub.

Four games without a loss, wow. How times have changed.

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