Published: Tue, February 19, 2019
Sports | By Johanna Francis

"All my fault" - Marcelo mocks fan criticism after Girona performance


Sergio Ramos and cards go hand in hand.

However, the visitors - who had not won in their previous 13 matches - fought back.

Replays show there was minimal, if any, contact from the Madrid man.

Goals from Christhian Stuani and Portu turned the match in Girona's favour at the Catalan underdogs managed to hold on for all three points, joining Real Sociedad, Levante, Villarreal, Barcelona and Real Betis on the list of teams to have beaten Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in the league in the last two seasons.

The match was a scrappy, bitty affair, with both sets of players looking like the midday kick-off had left them short of a few hours' sleep. After the twenty minutes of getting the first goal, Girona extended the lead as Portu scored a handsome goal.

The experienced manager chose to target Marcelo's flank and switched winger Portu over to their right, and it paid dividends. The first for clearly blocking a goal-bound shot with his hand, the second for protests after a foul given for a unsafe bicycle kick in opposition box.

That game was also marked by Ramos controversy, over allegations he deliberately picked up a booking so that he would miss the second leg before the slate was wiped clean.

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GK Thibaut Courtois, 6 - Bravely saved an early Cristhian Stuani shot with his face, but won't have been happy with a couple of spectacular saves which nonetheless provided rebounds for Girona's forwards - especially for Portu's late victor.

Curiously the Uruguayan was a transfer target for Barcelona in the winter window, before they eventually settled on loaning Kevin-Prince Boateng from Sassuolo.

After all, the forward remained ice-cool to beat Thibaut Courtois from the penalty spot and pull Girona level.

'The wear is not only physical but also mental and of concentration, ' said Solari, who made six changes for the game. Subs - Mariano 5, Vinicius 5, Bale 5.

Stuani clipped the spot-kick down the middle after Courtois dived to his right to equalise and Girona suddenly had Madrid reeling, Portu crashing a rocket of a shot against the post. Ramos became the only player for the Los Blancos to receive 25 red cards in his career so far.

An intense lesson in in-game management for Solari, perhaps the final nail in the coffin for Marcelo, and another slap in the face for Ramos.

The defeat means Madrid are two points behind second-placed Atletico, who moved above their city rivals with victory at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, and nine points adrift of leaders Barcelona.

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