Girona's title aspirations falter in 3-2 defeat against Athletic Bilbao

Web Desk
February 20, 2024

Girona's second-place La Liga standing is now under threat, with only two-point lead over Barcelona and seven ahead of...

Álex Berenguer celebrates after scoring Athletic Bilbao’s second goal. — AFP

Girona's ambitious bid for the La Liga title hit another stumbling block as they faced a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Athletic Bilbao.

The Catalan side, sitting in second place, had an opportunity to close the gap on leaders Real Madrid, but the hopes were dashed by a stellar performance from Athletic Bilbao's Alex Berenguer, who netted two crucial goals.

The match unfolded as a rollercoaster of emotions at San Mames, with Girona aiming to capitalise on Real Madrid's draw against Rayo Vallecano. However, Berenguer's early strike, coupled with Inaki Williams' clinical finish, left Girona trailing by six points behind the league leaders.

Girona's recent struggles continued, having failed to secure a win in their last three league matches, including a significant 4-0 defeat to Real Madrid. Despite Viktor Tsygankov's effort to level the score in the second half, Berenguer swiftly answered with his second goal, exploiting defensive lapses.

Girona's coach, Michel Sanchez, acknowledged the team's shortcomings, stating, "We lacked a bit of determination in the final third... We have to continue, we can't ask the team to always win, and we have to keep fighting to stay up there."

The Catalans fought hard to stage a comeback, with Eric Garcia's late header giving them a glimmer of hope. However, Athletic Bilbao's solid defense, including a crucial clearance by Dani Vivian, denied Girona the chance to salvage a point.

In the aftermath of the defeat, Eric Garcia emphasised the team's commitment to their Champions League aspirations, despite navigating through a challenging run of games. "The reality has always been that our objective was to reach the Champions League, we're still there," Garcia asserted.

Girona's second-place standing is now under threat, with only a two-point lead over Barcelona and seven ahead of fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao.

The La Liga title race intensifies as Girona face increasing competition from both ends, highlighting the unpredictable nature of football and the challenges teams encounter in pursuit of their goals.


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