Southampton keeper Paulo Gazzaniga helped Rayo Vallecano effectively seal safety in Spain’s Segunda División, as they earned a 1-1 draw away to Real Zaragoza.
Adri Embarba’s equaliser in the third minute of added time ensured that Rayo will head into their final two matches of the campaign in 12th position – seven places and six points above the relegation zone.
For much of the season, the situation had looked bleak for Gazzaniga’s loan club, but the Saints stopper has helped his team on a superb run of form, winning six of their last 11 games, with only two defeats in that run, as they have pulled clear of danger.
It appeared as though they might still face a nervy end to the season, however, when Jorge Pombo beat Gazzaniga from Manuel Lanzarote’s cross after 22 minutes.
Had that result stood, Rayo would have dropped to 15th in the table, with their opponents one of the sides who would have edged ahead of them.
But Embarba struck with time running out to ease any concerns and continue the side’s impressive run.
Gazzaniga and his side are now set to finish up their season with games at home to Córdoba, who are one place below them, and away to Sevilla II, who are three points ahead of them, in ninth.