Defending champions Real Madrid suffered another setback in their title defence as they slumped to a 1-2 defeat against La Liga newcomers Girona at the Estadi Montilivi.
With Sunday’s result, Los Blancos are now eight points behind leaders and arch-rivals Barcelona and at this point, it is difficult to see them hauling back the Catalans.
Isco had given Real the lead in the 12th minute, but the minnows, who are also based in Catalonia like Barcelona, equalised via striker Cristhian Stuani in the 54th minute.
And four minutes later, Portu had given the hosts the lead after touched in Pablo Maffeo’s fierce cross-shot at the far-post.
Considering Real’s pedigree and the bevy of stars they had at their disposal, one may have been forgiven into thinking this was a smash-and-grab win but it was anything but.
For the visitors had taken the lead via slightly fortuitous circumstances as GIrona had just hit the post and then Isco scored after Girona keeper Bono had parried Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot into his path.
Real manager Zinedine Zidane made a double substitution in the 66th minute, sending on Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio for fullbacks Achraf Hakimi and Marcelo in a bid to amp up the pressure on the hosts, but it was to no avail as the Girona defence held firm.
Ronaldo and strike partner Karim Benzema huffed and puffed but could not find a way past a determined Girona side.
With all the political turmoil Spain, the win will give the autonomous region of Catalonia a massive boost but for minnows Girona, Sunday’s result was nothing short of momentous and one they will cherish for a long time indeed.
Real will have to pick up the pieces after their second loss in 10 La Liga matches for they pay a visit to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday before hosting Las Palmas in their final game before the last international break of the year