Girona extend Liga lead with comeback win over Rayo

Shock La Liga leaders Girona came from behind to beat Rayo Vallecano 2-1 on Saturday and extend their advantage over Spain’s traditional giants.

Artem Dovbyk and Savinho fired the Catalan minnows to an impressive victory in the capital which leaves them five points clear of Real Madrid in second, and seven points above Barcelona, third.

Girona, only in the top flight for the fourth season in their history, have played the best football in La Liga this season and gave another example of it against Rayo.

“We knew we were coming to a very difficult ground and we were going to suffer,” Girona captain and playmaker Aleix Garcia told Movistar.

“The team does not give up, when we’re behind on the scoreboard we play even better. I’m happy to keep going, up there at the top.”

The hosts took the lead after five minutes when a Girona clearance struck Rayo’s Isi Palazon and fell into Alvaro Garcia’s path in the area, and he fired into the far corner.

Michel’s side dominated the coach’s former team after that and it was no surprise when Dovbyk levelled just before half-time.

The target man received Ukrainian compatriot Viktor Tsygankov’s low cut-back in the box and smashed home.

The striker climbed to seven league goals for the season, level with three other players and behind only Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham, who has 10.

Girona winger Savinho sent the visitors ahead in the 65th minute, netting the rebound after Rayo goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski brilliantly blocked Dovbyk’s effort.

Rayo, ninth, had big chances to level in the final stages but Girona clung on to secure victory at Vallecas and extend their remarkable start to the season.

The team started the season with the objective of surviving in La Liga, but have raised their ambitions after 11 wins from 13 games and only one defeat.

“We have to be realistic, we’re not only thinking about survival now, I think the team can do a lot more,” added Garcia.

“We want to keep dreaming… what will come, will come.”

Real Madrid host Valencia later Saturday, while Barcelona welcome Alaves on Sunday.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *