La Liga: Girona beat Alaves to return to top

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Girona returned to the top of La Liga on Monday night with a 3-0 win at home to Alaves, collecting 44 points from their first 17 matches of the season. On-loan winger Yan Couto was in impressive form, assisting Girona’s two opening goals and then winning a penalty that allowed them to seal the win at the Montilivi Stadium, reports Xinhua.

The victory sees Girona leapfrog Real Madrid, who returned to the top for 24 hours after their 4-1 home win over Villarreal on Sunday night. Michel Sanchez’s side followed up their impressive win away to FC Barcelona last weekend with another display of combining solid defending with effective attacking.

Couto and Savio opened the flanks for Girona, and the first goal came in the 23rd minute when Couto’s shot was blocked but fell kindly to Artem Dovbyk, who scored from close range. Portu, making his first start of the season, added a second in the 42nd minute with a right-footed effort from inside the box after Couto had beaten two defenders to pull the ball back for the forward.

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Alaves started the second half looking to have more control, but Dovbyk made it 3-0 from the penalty spot after Alaves defender Ruben Duarte challenged Couto’s run into the area with a body check. Dovbyk rolled his penalty down the centre of the goal as Alaves keeper Antonio Sivera dived to his left. Girona will visit Real Betis on Thursday.