Fri | Mar 22, 2019

Girona stun Real

Published:Monday | February 18, 2019 | 2:07 AM
Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale (left) tries to tap the ball past Girona goalkeeper Yassine ‘Bono’ Bounou (right) during a LaLiga match at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain, yesterday.
Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale (left) tries to tap the ball past Girona goalkeeper Yassine ‘Bono’ Bounou (right) during a LaLiga match at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain, yesterday.

MADRID (AP):

With a home loss to a team that had not won in more than two months, Real Madrid wasted all the hard work that had allowed them to move closer to Barcelona at the top of the Spanish league.

After winning five in a row to cut Barcelona’s lead to six points, Madrid were stunned 2-1 by relegation-threatened Girona at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium yesterday, and are now nine points behind their rivals in third.

“It’s a shame that we let these points slip by,” Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari said. “We were coming off a good run and we were getting closer to the lead.”

Girona, who had not won in 13 matches in all competitions, and were coming off six straight losses, scored two second-half goals to reverse a 1-0 half-time deficit.

The Catalan club had not won in the league since November and had entered the weekend one point above the relegation zone. Their last win in all competitions had been on December 5 against Alaves in the Copa del Rey.

“It’s a well-deserved prize after several matches without being able to win,” Girona coach Eusebio Sacristan said. “We deserved the victory after the way we played in the second half.”

Girona, who moved to 15th, had lost twice to Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey last month, being outscored 7-3. They eliminated Atletico Madrid in the round of 16 on away goals after consecutive draws.

MADRID NOW THIRD

The surprise loss dropped Madrid to third place after the weekend matches. Atletico Madrid moved to second again after defeating Rayo Vallecano 1-0 on Saturday to halt a two-game losing streak in the league. Barcelona edged Valladolid 1-0 with a penalty kick converted by Lionel Messi at Camp Nou Stadium to end a three-game winless run in all competitions.