Real Madrid suffer shock defeat to Liga minnows Girona in Catalonia




GIRONA (Reuters) – La Liga champions Real Madrid suffered a shock 2-1 defeat in their first ever league visit to Catalan side Girona on Sunday, throwing away the lead by conceding two goals in quick succession and falling eight points behind leaders Barcelona.

Spain midfielder Isco tapped in a rebounded shot from Cristiano Ronaldo to open the scoring in the 12th minute in Real Madrid’s first visit to Catalonia this season amid the worst political crisis in Spain’s 39 years of democracy.

The home side struck the woodwork twice before the break but rallied in the second half and Uruguay international Christian Stuani fired them level in the 54th minute.

Forward Portu then turned in the winning goal four minutes later to the delight of the 13,500 fans crammed into the Montilivi stadium.

Stuani came within inches of scoring again midway through the second half but a one-goal advantage was enough to give Girona their third win in their first campaign in the top flight and inflict a second league defeat on Zinedine Zidane’s side.

Real are third in the standings on 20 points, four behind second-placed Valencia while unbeaten leaders Barca have 28.