We continue to make history
Girona win in a breathtaking finale to take their tally to 48 points and close out a historic first half of the season
This Girona team has no ceiling. Míchel's men have once again shown pride and personality to win in the last minute of a crazy game, and close the best first half of the club's history. 48 points that place us co-leaders together with Real Madrid after having won every game except against Los Blancos, and having achieved 15 victories in 19 games. These numbers are truly crazy and mark the path of a dream season with victories like today's, of incredible merit for what and how. The team is already ten points ahead of Atleti and Barça, and up to 20 points ahead of seventh. 2024 starts the same way as 2023 ended, and we don't want to stop dreaming.
Dovbyk opened the game with a very clear chance from a pass from Sávio that he was unable to score between the posts. The Red and Whites started the match with a lot of drive, finding the back of Atleti's defence and subduing them with clear approaches. The first was very early and in the second minute Valery received the ball on the edge of the area after a very good move by Pablo Torre, cut back and shot just wide of the long post. This was a warning of what was to be the first half, with a high tempo and a high level exchange of blows.
The Madrid players, vertical and with very talented players in attack, reacted very quickly and in a direct play action they found Morata between the lines, who crossed the ball in front of Gazzaniga to equalise. Far from giving up, Míchel's men maintained their idea and continued to be courageous in order to keep going forward. The boldness was rewarded, and in a high press, Iván Martín stole the ball on the edge of the area, shot and Sávio took advantage of the rebound to slot home the second. The team continued to dominate, and in a set piece, Blind picked up a ball at the far post to score the third. And from one side to the other, because before the break Morata pulled one back in a similar move.
Simeone's adjustments had an effect and Atleti were more comfortable in the first minutes of the second half. They found a way to gain presence in the opposition half, Gazzaniga had to intervene on several occasions and Morata again, again running in behind, found himself alone in front of the Argentinian goalkeeper and beat him to the ball. The pace was no longer the same as in the first half, but as the minutes went by Girona got themselves together and went in search of the fourth in a crazy final stretch. The best chances came on counter-attacks, first with a shot from Solís that was blocked by the defence and then with one from Couto that was blocked by Oblak, while Atleti also threatened with dangerous sideways crosses.
But this group has personality and a lot of conviction in what they do. The reward for a great game from the whole team came in stoppage time, and Montilivi went wild. Iván Martín unleashed a missile that knocked the cobwebs out of Oblak's left-hand corner to unleash the euphoria of a Girona team that continues to live in a dream. This does not stop and next week we visit Almería to open a second round in which Míchel's men want to make it even thicker.