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  HOME | Sports (Click here for more)

Girona Rallies to Upset Real Madrid 2-1 Away at Bernabeu, Ends Winless Skid

MADRID Ė Girona stunned Real Madrid with two second-half goals that gave it a 2-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, thus ending the Catalan teamís 10-match winless streak in La Liga on Sunday.

Madrid captain and Spain center-back Sergio Ramos was booked twice during the match, once for handling the ball inside the penalty area and then for a reckless foul which saw him sent off the pitch.

The win enabled Girona to climb to the 15th spot in the standings with 27 points, while Madrid dropped to third with 45 points, nine points behind leader Barcelona, and two behind second-placed Atletico.

Ramos will now not play in Madridís upcoming league match against Levante after having accumulated two yellow cards.

It all started well for Madrid when Brazil midfielder Casemiro opened the scoring half-way through the first half.

But then Uruguay striker Christian Stuani and Spanish midfielder Cristian Portugues Manzanera, best known as Portu, secured Gironaís win with two goals within a 10-minute stretch.

This was Gironaís first La Liga win in 84 days, as its last victory dates back to Nov. 25 when the Catalan team defeated host Espanyol 3-1 in a match corresponding to matchday 13.

Since then, Girona has lost six times in La Liga and drawn four times.

Another four Copa del Rey matches have to be added to the teamís winless streak, with two draws against Atletico Madrid in the last-16 round and two defeats to Real Madrid in the quarterfinals.

The Catalan teamís last win in the Spanish cup came against Deportivo Alaves (2-1) in the round of 32, second leg on Dec. 5.

Madridís Argentine coach Santiago Solari chose to introduce some rotations to his starting XI lineup, relying on Marco Asensio in offense instead of Brazil Vinicius Jr., who returned to the bench after starting 12 consecutive matches in all competitions, in addition to Dani Ceballos in midfield, instead of Croatia Luka Modric, and Alvaro Odriozola as a right-back, instead of Daniel Carvajal.

Girona sought an early advantage at an early stage, forcing two saves from Madridís Belgium goalie Thibaut Courtois.

Madridís play then improved, thanks to the duo of Germany midfielder Toni Kroos and Spain winger Lucas Vazquez, and started to threaten Gironaís keeper Yassine Bounou of Morocco, best known as Bono, who was on form during the game, making several saves during the 90 minutes.

It was the 25th minute when Toni Kroos collected the ball from a corner kick and aimed a remarkable cross to Casemiro who found the visitorsí net with a remarkable header from the center of the box, securing Madrid a 1-0 lead at the half-time.

After the intermission, Gironaís coach brought on Anthony Lozano and Aleix Garcia, replacing Pedro Porro and Pere Pons respectively.

Shortly after the hour mark, Ramosí hand blocked a shot from Gironaís Douglas Luiz inside the area, earning the defender his first booking, while the visiting side was rewarded with a penalty kick that was successfully converted by Stuani for the 1-1 equalizer in the 64th minute.

Despite Solariís substitutions trying to save Madridís day, Portu netted Gironaís 2-1 winner just 10 minutes later, with a header from inside the box, as he followed his teammate Anthony Lozanoís shot that was parried by Courtois.

In the last gasp, Ramos was dismissed after a second yellow card for a reckless foul, while Courtois was near to drawing with a header that went just wide, off a corner kick in stoppage time.

The Catalan team thus claimed its first-ever win at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, according to the La Liga official Twitter account.

 

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