Real Madrid all but surrender late title bid with shock defeat to Girona

Real Madrid v Girona

Last Sunday morning, the Santiago Bernabeu bore witness to what may well have been the end of Real Madrid’s thin hopes of a late La Liga title challenge.

The Spanish giants and current Champions League holders stumbled to a 2-1 defeat to bottom-half side Girona in front of their disillusioned fans.

Girona are enjoying only their third season in the top flight of Spanish football having been promoted to La Liga for the first time in 2016.

Let’s take a look at the fantasy football heroes and zeroes after this surprise win for the Catalonian club.

Sociedad deliver unlikely thrashing over sub-par Girona

januzaj

Our La Liga game of the week sees us take a look back at Real Sociedad’s unlikely 5-0 rout of a Girona side that has otherwise adapted well to life in the top flight of Spanish football.

The two sides came into the tie in startlingly different form, with European football outsiders Girona travelling to a Sociedad side that sat 14th in the table.

However, any expectations that this would be a routine win on their pursuit of European football were dashed in the first half – Sergio Canales’ whipped in-swinger of a cross unintentionally hitting the target in the 11th minute as he himself hit three goals and 34 points for the season.

Sociedad have looked troubled at times this season, delivering inconsistent performances that have seen them occupy an uninspired bottom half of the table for much of the campaign.

However, any suggestions that there might be a re-occurrence of their patchy form was put to bed when Adnan Januzaj doubled the hosts lead on 35 minutes – springing the Girona offside trap before calmly rounding the keeper and slipping the ball into an unguarded net.

The Belgian international is yet to live up to the hype since bursting onto the scenes during the Moyes era but he highlighted what he is capable of at his best here, his goal seeing him earn a spot in our team of the week.

Stung at being two down at the break, Girona new they had to come out fighting in the second half.

However, a goal was not forthcoming and opportunities arose for Sociedad to exploit the spaces left in behind by the visitors.

On 71 minutes, Mikel Ozarzabal more or less put the came to bed – the Girona offside line again being outfoxed as the 20-year-old winger blasted home from a one-on-one situation.

Girona now clearly deflated, the Spaniard took advantage again late on as he once again broke in behind before stoking into an unguarded net following a Bono error.

The demolition finally reached its conclusion, as Juanmi tapped in a fifth in the 88th minute to round off a comprehensive victory for the hosts.

His goal was only his sixth of the campaign, in what was has been a frustrating campaign for the striker.

Putting him on 26 points for the season, he will be hoping it can be the beginning of an end of season bounce in form.

The surprise result saw Sociedad rise to 13th in the table on 37 points, whilst Girona failed to capitalise on Sevilla’s defeat to Celta Vigo and remain eighth in the league.

Do you enjoying watching La Liga games and follow it regularly? Prove your knowledge by playing https://liga-fantasy.com now!

La Liga Team of the Week

jordi-alba

Another week of La Liga action has passed by, with many stars delivering first class performances as the battles for European football and survival begin to heat up.

Check out the top point scorers from the latest round of action!

Bono, Girona – 14 points

The Moroccan goalkeeper lands a spot in our XI for the second consecutive week as his side hit a fourth win in the last five games.

His clean sheet in the 2-0 win over La Coruna was his tenth in 20 outings this season as his side continued their pursuit of European football.  Continue reading

La Liga stars of the week

 

ronaldo

In a weekend in which Barcelona took a huge step to words securing the Spanish league title, it is perhaps a surprise that none of their stars were able to work their way into our team of the week. However, a plethora of clean sheets and stand out individual performances from the players of Girona and Sevilla have seen the two clubs dominate the XI. Check out our team of the week here!

Bono, Girona – 14 points

The Moroccan goalkeeper enjoyed a fruitful week for Girona as his side overcame Celta Vigo 1-0 before landing a fine 2-0 victory over high flying Villarreal.

The two clean sheets saw him hit eight in 19 for the season as his side rocket up to seventh position, putting them in a serious shout of securing European football next campaign. Continue reading