Real Madrid's Luka Modric (L) dribbles during a Spanish league match between Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano in Madrid, Spain, on December 15, 2018. Real Madrid won 1-0. (Xinhua/Edward F. Peters)
MADRID, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Real Madrid beat Rayo Vallecano 1-0 on Saturday in their last Liga Santander game before flying out to play in the World Club Cup.
Karim Benzema's early goal following a pass from Lucas Vazquez was enough to give Santiago Solari's side all three points against the team second from bottom of the table, but poor finishing almost cost Madrid three points.
Rayo have the worst defensive record in the league, but Madrid's strikers were guilty of missing several chances to extend their lead and they had goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to thank for a double save to ensure the win in the 90th minute.
The fans in the Santiago Bernabeu booed their players off the pitch for the second time in four days following Wednesday's Champions League defeat to CSKA Moscow.
Atletico Madrid took all three points from their visit to Valladolid's Nuevo Zorrilla Stadium, although they made hard work of the visit.
Nikola Kalinic, with his second goal in two games, and an Antoine Griezmann penalty put Atletico 2-0 ahead at halftime, but Valladolid drew level in five frantic second half minutes through Fernando Calero and a Saul own goal.
The game looked to be heading for a draw before Griezmann's second goal of the game gave Atletico the win and denied Valladolid a point their deserved on the balance of play.
Jorge Molina's third minute goal was enough to give Getafe a 1-0 win at home to Real Madrid and lift them momentarily up to third place in the table.
Saturday's final game saw Eibar and Valencia draw 1-1 with Charles' second half penalty for Eibar cancel out Rodrigo Moreno's 29th minute goal for the visitors.
Valencia had chances in the first half to have sealed the win, but a handball spotted by the VAR condemned them to their 9th draw of the season.
The round of games kicked off on Friday night with a 0-0 draw between Celta Vigo and Leganes which was much more exciting that the score suggest and which extends Leganes' unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions.