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Girona go top of La Liga ahead of faltering Real Madrid and Barcelona

It was a good week for Girona and Barcelona in La Liga, in what was a relatively low-scoring weekend.

Here’s a look at everything that went down in Gameweek 12:

Girona stage comeback win to go to the summit

Michel has done an incredible job with Girona this season, and they deservedly ended Gameweek 12 at the top of the table.

They were 2-1 down with 20 minutes remaining at Osasuna. Ivan Martin put them ahead, but an Ante Budimir brace turned it around for the hosts.

Girona have shown real character in the last couple of weeks, scoring in injury-time last time out against Celta Vigo.

They didn’t lie down at the El Sadar Stadium either, as goals from Artem Dovbyk, Viktor Tsygankov and Aleix Garcia helped them secure a 4-2 victory.

Atletico Madrid come crashing down at Las Palmas

Atletico Madrid’s bid to make it seven league wins in a row was blunted in some style in Gran Canaria on Friday night.

Diego Simeone’s side came into this game in sparkling form, just three points off the top with a game in hand.


The best chance of the first half fell to the visitors when Antoine Griezmann played a beautiful through-ball to Rodrigo Riquelme on the left, but his shot was saved by Alvaro Valles.

The rest of the chances in the first period were restricted to shots from distance from both sides.

A long-range effort about the breakthrough in the 51st minute. Captain Kirian Rodriguez got on the end of a pass from 25 yards out, and his low drive arrowed past Jan Oblak.

Atletico’s threat was coming majorly down the left-hand side, and Riquelme had two more chances to score but was unable to find a way past Valles.

With 15 minutes to go, it was 2-0 to Las Palmas. An attempt by Atletico to play out from the back was picked off, and Benito was on hand to finish a fine passing move.

The visitors set up a grandstand finish when Alvaro Morata finished from a Riquelme cross with seven minutes to play.

Atletico should have equalised in stoppage time. An effort by Pablo Barrios was spilt by Valles, and Morata got to the ball first. The Spanish striker rounded the goalkeeper but hit the bar from an acute angle.

Las Palmas are now in the top half of the table, finishing the weekend in ninth place.

Barcelona made to dig deep in win at Anoeta

Barcelona had a man-of-the-match performance from Marc-Andre ter Stegen to thank for a dramatic 1-0 victory against Real Sociedad.

The Catalans were on the back foot with less than 30 seconds on the clock, as Ander Barrenetxea’s attempt was saved at his near post by ter Stegen.

A minute later, Jules Kounde played a blind back-pass to his goalkeeper, which was intercepted by Mikel Oyarzabal. The forward’s prod towards goal was deflected behind for a corner by Ter Stegen.

The German goalkeeper was at it again in the 15th minute, blocking out an attempt from an acute angle by Takefusa Kubo.

Chances continued to flow for the home side, and it was a wonder how the two teams went into their dressing rooms with the scoreline still untouched.

The second half began the same way as the first ended, with Ter Stegen saving from Brais Mendez from the edge of the box.

With 20 minutes to go, Barrenetxea struck a fantastic volley from the left, which looked destined for the far corner. Ter Stegen was there again, parrying the ball away at full stretch.

With any top team, it only takes one moment of quality to win a game of football.

In the second minute of injury-time, Ronald Araujo rushed into the box and was found by an expertly-clipped ball over the top by Ilkay Gundogan.

The Uruguayan headed home but was adjudged to be offside. However, replays confirmed that he was onside as the ball was played.

Xavi and the whole of the Barcelona bench exploded into raptures, as they had come away unscathed from an extremely tricky fixture.

Real Madrid held at hold by Rayo Vallecano

Real Madrid had 22 shots, but only five on target, as they were held to a goalless draw by Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Stole Dimitrievski was an absolute wall in the Vallecano goal, keeping everything thrown at him out.

Federico Valverde picked off a loose pass and ran through on goal in the tenth minute, but his effort was thwarted by Dimitrievski.

Madrid were wasteful with their chances, with Joselu and Fran Garcia both firing over from decent opportunities.

The former then had a great chance but his effort was acrobatically saved by Dimitrievski. The Macedonian keeper was on top of his game, and he needed to be.

Madrid had the ball in the Vallecano net in the 65th minute when Vinicius Jr finally found a way past the opposition goalkeeper. However, Joselu was offside in the build-up to the goal.

Vallecano stood firm for the remaining 25 minutes, with Madrid looking uncharacteristically toothless.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side drop to second in the table, behind Girona.

Around the grounds

In one of only two games to feature more than three goals, Athletic Bilbao came away with a 3-2 at Villarreal.

Goals from Inigo Ruiz de Galarreta, Nico Williams and Inaki Williams gave them a 3-0 lead going into half-time.

With just five minutes left to play, Gerard Moreno and Alexander Sorloth scored to set up a dramatic finish. However, the Yellow Submarine were unable to equalise.

Real Betis beat Real Mallorca 2-0 at home, with goals from Willian Jose and Ayoze Perez.

Almeria and Granada both lost 1-0 away from home against Deportivo Alaves and Valencia, respectively. Celta Vigo drew 1-1 with Sevilla.

Getafe host Cadiz in the last game of the weekend on Monday night.

Player of the week

The player of the week for Gameweek 12 is Dovbyk. The Ukrainian striker scored once and assisted two goals to help seal a late turnaround in a 4-2 away win at Osasuna.

Girona broke the bank for Dovbyk in the summer, making him the most expensive player in the club’s history, and he is repaying the faith shown in him.

Looking ahead

Madrid and Barcelona both have home fixtures next weekend against Valencia and Alaves, respectively.

Girona have another tricky away game at Vallecano. Almeria and Granada host Sociedad and Getafe.

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