Girona’s Stuani holds Real Madrid to 1-1 draw; Avila, Gomez tally for Osasuna

Sports Desk, Oct 30 (EFE).- Real Madrid and Girona battled to a 1-1 tie, with both tallies coming late in the match, on Sunday at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid before 58,367 spectators.

The capital squad, and reigning La Liga champions, kept their unbeaten streak in La Liga play and – with the draw – maintained their one-point advantage over Barcelona in the table.

Neither team were able to accomplish much during the first period, but with Karim Benzema out it was Rodrygo in the vanguard of the host team’s drives and almost hitting on a shot that ricocheted off the post.

Meanwhile, Girona also mounted its own drives, with team captain Valery Fernandez sending a header just centimeters too wide and Yangel Herrera’s solid shot careening off the crossbar.

The fans in the stands had to wait until the 70th minute for Vinicius Jr. to find the twine and get the home team on the board.

The tally came when Federico Valverde sent the ball into the box where Vinicius was waiting to easily knock it right into the net.

Just two minutes later, it was Marco Asensio firing from the box only to have Girona netminder Paulo Gazzaniga make an astounding effort to fend off the potential tally.

But the visitors got a break in the 80th minute when Marco Asensio handed the ball close in and, following a VAR check, the penalty enabled Cristian Stuani, who had just come off the bench for Taty Castellanos, to fake Thibaut Courtois into jumping the wrong way for the tying score.

Just before the final whistle Rodrygo almost had the win for Real as he vied for the ball with Gazzaniga and got it into the net, but the goal was cancelled on the ruling that the Girona netminder had control of the ball when the striker pushed it over the line.

The capital team’s Toni Kroos was booted in stoppage time on a second yellow card.

In other action, Osasuna blanked Valladolid 2-0 at El Sadar Stadium before a crowd of 19,429, dominating in a match where Valladolid simply failed to show up and earning three much-needed ranking points on tallies by Chimy Avila and Moi Gomez, putting the Navarran squad at the 20-point threshold and get back in the winning zone of the table.

Both tallies came early in the action, first with Roque Mesa knocking down Manu Sanchez in the area in minute 10, whereupon Avila deftly fired a low shot at the left post past goaltender Masip.

Just seven minutes later, Aimar Oroz stole the ball in enemy territory and sent it to Gomez, and the midfielder fired at pointblank range and, although there was some uncertainty about the shot, VAR confirmed the 2-0 tally.

Overall, Osasuna played like a hurricane and Valladolid just couldn’t measure up, with matters remaining on that level through final whistle, although Aitor Fernandez in the net did prevent a Valladolid counterattack and shot-on-goal by Weissman.

Elsewhere, Iñaki Williams demonstrated the clear superiority of Athletic Club against Villarreal at San Mames before some 46,000 fans, a clash before which the two teams found themselves tied in the No. 6 spot and in which the visitors came out with more verve, but it was Williams who ultimately in the 59th minute notched the win for Athletic, his fifth goal of the season.

With the win, Ernesto Valverde’s men broke their four-match winless streak and now remain in sixth position. Villarreal, meanwhile, dropped into eighth.

And Real Betis took three points in its road outing against Real Sociedad, prevailing 2-0 on tallies by Juan Cruz and Borja Iglesias, both on great assists by Alex Moreno, although the hosts dominated play and created the best chances but just couldn’t seem to get the flow going.

The score, however, doesn’t reflect the tenor of the match, given that both tallies came ever so late in play, Cruz hitting only in minute 85 and then Iglesias adding another goal in stoppage time at Reale Arena before 32,435 spectators.

Before play began, a minute of silence was observed to pay tribute to the Real Sociedad fan who died at the stadium, during the match against Real Mallorca.

EFE rmm-le.jr-ro-bpv/jl-og-ism/bp

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