Real Madrid’s stuttering title defence continued as they squandered an early lead to lose 2-1 to La Liga newcomers Girona at Montilivi on Sunday.
Girona 2 Real Madrid 1
Maffeo denied by woodwork early on
Isco opens scoring soon after
Portu header comes back off post
Stuani and Portu secure comeback win
Zinedine Zidane’s side got off to a flying start when Isco broke the deadlock after just 12 minutes, but two quick-fire goals in the second half from Christian Stuani and Portu secured the comeback win for the hosts.
The defending champions are now eight points adrift of Barcelona at the top of the table after 10 matches, with Girona up to 11th place.
The Catalan outfit made a bright start and they were unfortunate not to go ahead early on when Pablo Maffeo struck the left post with a curling effort.
The scare propelled Real into action as they opened the scoring moments later from a swift counter-attack as Isco slotted home on the rebound after Cristiano Ronaldo’s dipping shot was spilled by home keeper Bono.
The visitors weren’t able to kick on, though, with numerous mistakes at the back threatening to undo their lead. The woodwork came to their rescue again on 35 minutes when Portu got on the end of Aday Benitez’s cross and saw his looping header come back off the right post.
Pablo Machin’s men went into the break still only one goal down after restricting their illustrious opponents and they were back in the contest just nine minutes into the second half as Stuani produced a clinical finish into the bottom-right corner of the net from inside the box, after being set up by Pere Pons.
Girona took full advantage of Los Blancos’ defensive frailties with a second goal four minutes later as Portu pounced from close range after Kiko Casilla had saved at the feet of Stuani.
Real nearly conceded a third on 67 minutes, but Stuani failed to test Casilla from Alex Granell’s delightful through-ball.
The European champions had chances to restore parity in the closing stages, but Girona held on for a famous victory.