Rayo Vallecano’s Jémez dreams of Real thumping

Coach presages giving Madrid “a good going over” on Saturday

Rayo Vallecano Paco Jémez.
Rayo Vallecano Paco Jémez.LUIS SEVILLANO (EL PAÍS)

Paco Jémez, Rayo Vallecano’s rent-a-quote coach, said on Friday at a pre-match press conference: “I had a dream that we gave Real Madrid a good going over.” Back in the waking world, the more likely outcome after his side’s next opponent hammered seven past Sevilla on Wednesday is that Jémez will bear witness to something of a nightmare unfolding before his eyes from 8pm on Saturday in the Vallecas stadium.

In the midweek round of fixtures, Real coach Carlo Ancelotti unleashed a front line of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema for the first time from the start of a match, and Sevilla was simply overrun. Rayo lies in 19th place in the league and has conceded more than any other side; 27 in 11 games.

The only bright spot for Jémez is that Real’s attacking ferocity served to obscure the glaring errors made in defense, which allowed Sevilla back into the game from 3-0 down and continued to provide nervous moments in the second half, when Unai Emery’s side could have scored more. “I’m not scared of Real Madrid. For us it is a pleasure that teams like this come here; it will be a challenge and a chance to improve. I hope they bring all their stars because then they won’t have any excuses and it will be better for the show,” said Jémez.

Whatever the result in Vallecas, Jémez is far from the most-endangered coach in La Liga. That unwanted honor goes to Miroslav Djukic, who has failed to translate his fine work at Valladolid to the grander stage of Valencia’s Mestalla. The Serbian, who played for Valencia for six seasons, experienced his nadir at the helm of the club this week in losing 1-2 at home to Almería, the basement-hugging Andalusia side that had not won a single game all season. Valencia fans, not noted for their patience with fumbling coaches, made no mistake of their own when reaching for their top pockets after the debacle: white handkerchiefs mushroomed around the stadium, the Valencian message that needs no translation of its own. Time to leave, coach.

Djukic will be relieved to have an away game, but Getafe is no sitting duck

Djukic will perhaps be relieved to have an away game this weekend, but the opposition is not exactly a sitting duck. Getafe has quietly risen up the table to sixth and scored a convincing 0-2 away win at fourth-placed Villarreal last time out. El Geta sits just a point off the Champions League places and Luis García Plaza has molded a solid, tactically sound side with a little flair in the boots of Real reject Pedro León, Pablo Sarabia and Ciprian Marica, a hugely experienced Romania international brought in as a free agent.

Elsewhere, a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday between Atlético Madrid and Athletic Bilbao should provide the game of the week, with both sides in fine form. Second-placed Atlético is scoring freely with league leader Diego Costa bagging his 12th in a 2-1 win over Granada on Thursday night and David Villa adding his third in two games. Athletic lies in fifth place on the basis of consistency at home, where it is unbeaten, and a decent record of two wins on the road.

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