La Liga: Real Madrid remain on top after Girona and Athletic Bilbao draw

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Girona and Athletic Bilbao drew a hugely entertaining game 1-1 on Monday night, meaning Girona surrendered the top spot in La Liga to Real Madrid, while Athletic are back in fifth place. Viktor Tsygankov put Girona ahead in the 55th minute as he swept home at the far post following a typically flowing move from his side, but Inaki Williams cancelled out that goal 12 minutes later, reports Xinhua.

Although the game had reached half-time goalless, it wasn’t for lack of chances at either end, as both sides served up a feast of attacking football. Gorka Guruzeta should have put Athletic ahead just five minutes after finding space from Mikel Vesga’s cross in the Girona area, but he opted to shoot with the outside of his right foot when it looked easier with his left, and Paulo Gazzaniga saved. Oscar de Marcos then fired over for Athletic, before Gazzaniga again denied Guruzeta’s powerful effort.

Girona winger Savio was a constant threat down his side’s left flank and he started a move that saw Unai Simon palm away a header from Cristhian Stuani, who was playing because Girona’s top scorer Artem Dovbyk was a late withdrawal with a muscle injury. Savio then crossed for Yangel Herrera to head home, but the Venezuelan’s effort was ruled out for offside against Savio at the start of the move.

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Athletic were slightly the better side in the first half, but Girona took the lead 10 minutes after half-time when Tsygankov slotted home at the far post as he arrived unmarked to finish off a counter-attack. Williams made it 1-1 after Oihan Sancet’s pass split the Girona defense, although the winger had work to do and held off two defenders before beating Gazzaniga with a left-foot shot. Girona move level on points with Real Madrid but remain second on goal difference, while Athletic will be satisfied after taking a point from a rival that had won 11 of their first 13 matches this season.