Girona get one up for Catalonia with win over Real Madrid

The minnows humiliated the giants in a highly-charged encounter in Catalonia

Girona 2 Real Madrid 1

Girona claimed a stunning 2-1 victory over Real Madrid to deal a major blow to the LaLiga champions’ hopes of retaining their title.

Although it is still early in the season, Zinedine Zidane’s side already have eight points to make up on rivals Barcelona.

Few would have seen a hiccup coming at Barcelona’s Catalan neighbours Girona, playing in the top flight for the first time.


This is by far the biggest result in the minnows’ history and will no doubt be celebrated wildly across Catalonia given the political backdrop.

This was no smash-and-grab raid either, with Girona twice hitting the post in the first half and unlucky to be behind to an Isco breakaway goal.

They turned the tables with two goals in four minutes early in the second half from Cristhian Stuani and Portu and withstood the inevitable Real salvo with relative comfort.

Girona attacked from the off.

Kiko Casilla did just enough to put off Portu at the near post when a clever free-kick picked out the striker but the Real keeper was beaten three minutes later by Pablo Maffeo’s cross-shot, which hit the far post.

To make matters worse for Girona, Real promptly broke away and scored the opening goal.

Karim Benzema drove forward through the middle and played in Cristiano Ronaldo. He cut inside and sent a dipping right-footed shot from 20 yards, which Bono pushed out straight to Isco, who knocked the ball inside the post.

Ronaldo has only scored once in the league this season and set about trying to add to his tally, first pulling a deflected shot just wide and then sending a crisp half-volley straight at Bono.

Benzema should have at least tested Bono as Real piled on the pressure but, having been played through by Ronaldo, he shot wastefully over the bar.

Girona were certainly not content simply to sit back and came agonisingly close to an equaliser in the 35th minute when Aday’s cross was met by a superb flick from Portu that hit the inside of the post.

Real were forced into a change for the second half when Raphael Varane, who denied Pere Pons with an inch-perfect tackle just before the break, was replaced by Nacho.

Bono again looked unsure as a Benzema flick sailed over his head but Aday was alert to clear the ball off the line.

In the 54th minute, the hosts stunned Real with an equaliser they fully merited. The impressive Pons was the architect with a driving run to the edge of the box.

He got a stroke of fortune when his pass was deflected into the path of Stuani, who showed excellent feet and then a cool head to slot past Casilla.

If the home fans thought they were dreaming, they were positively stunned four minutes later when Girona took the lead.

Stuani’s shot was kept out by Casilla but Maffeo followed up with a cross-shot that was flicked in by Portu. The striker looked offside but Real’s protests were in vain.

Girona nearly made it three as Portu played Stuani clean through but, although the striker beat Casilla, his shot went wide of the far post.

Real pushed forward with a hint of desperation as they sought an equaliser but they struggled to create clear-cut opportunities while Lucaz Vazquez had the ball in the net but was correctly flagged offside.