Santiago Solari says Real Madrid are still in title race
Real sit nine points behind Barcelona after a shock 2-1 loss at home to Girona
Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari has said they are still in the title race despite their 2-1 loss to Girona. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images
Santiago Solari insisted the title was not lost after his Real Madrid side slumped to a shock LaLiga loss to Girona on Sunday.
Captain Sergio Ramos was sent off for the 25th time in his club career as Real surrendered a lead to go down 2-1 to the Catalan side at the Bernabeu.
The defeat ended Real’s five-match winning run and left them third in the table, nine points behind leaders Barcelona.
“Absolutely not,” coach Solari told reporters when asked if hopes of catching Barca were now gone.
“We will continue fighting on the three fronts that are open.
“This week there are games for our rivals in Europe and they have difficult games, all against sides like Girona that have shown to be very serious.
“We have to keep going and get back to winning.”
Solari admitted, however, that his side’s recent schedule, that also includes matches in the Champions League and Copa del Rey, may have taken its toll.
“The wear is not only physical but also mental and of concentration,” said Solari, who made six changes for the game.
“Obviously we came into the game from an important match, one of many tough matches we have overcome. That broke our energy level in the second half.”
Real were comfortable in the first half but only had a Casemiro goal to show for their superiority at the interval.
Girona hit back with a Cristhian Stuani penalty and Portu grabbed what proved the winner before Ramos was sent off for a second bookable offence in the last minute.
Girona’s victory was their first in 11 games and a huge boost to their hopes of avoiding relegation.
Manager Eusebio Sacristan said: “Today is a very happy day. We have won the prize for a lot of work and effort from the players, and their solidarity.
“When you see that the togetherness, effort and the work of the players is maximum, you know that a moment like today will come. If you do things well the prize arrives and today is the main example.
“In the second half we were better than Madrid and deserved victory.
“They are three very important points and now we continue to work with humility to achieve the target of survival.”