Lucas Silva believes he still has a chance of succeeding at Real Madrid, two years after leaving Europe to return to Cruzeiro.

The midfielder was described as "the future of the club" by then-coach Carlo Ancelotti after moving to the Santiago Bernabeu from Cruzeiro in a reported €14million deal in January 2015.

The Brazilian was loaned to Marseille after managing just 425 minutes for the Madrid first team, but his European career was halted when a mild arrhythmia in his heart was discovered in July 2016.

After clarifying that he would not be retiring from football, Silva went back to Brazil in January 2017 and has rejuvenated his career with his old club, winning the Copa do Brasil last October.

However, the 26-year-old is still in contact with Madrid directors and has not given up on playing for the European champions again, even though he admits considering retirement after learning of his heart problem.

"A lot of things went through my head at the time; one of them was that I'd have to stop playing so young," he told Marca. "But after the tests the doctor said it was just a scare and I could be calm and play again, which made me happy and motivated to resume my career.

"I left Europe thinking about resuming my career and having more consistency and rhythm in matches. I didn't achieve it in my first season, but last year was very good because I played regularly and I was winning titles. It was a very good year. The most important thing is that I'm back playing at a high level.

"I had a little problem, but I had examinations and everything is fine; it was just a scare. I'm totally fit and can play at the highest level.

"I have contact with the [Madrid] board, but you end up distancing yourself and that's normal. I also still have a relationship with some players, but I have to thank the club for everything and their understanding. They were always concerned about my career and wanting me to play. They have taken good care of me.

"I have a contract with Cruzeiro until the middle of the year and I intend to fulfil it. From there, we'll have to see. I dream of playing in Europe again, but I feel happy and at home with Cruzeiro.

"When I arrived I trained well, started to play and even started in the Champions League, played well and we won. I am motivated and want to play at a high level and win titles. Without a doubt I think I have the option of returning to Madrid again."

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique suggested Real Madrid are hypocritical to complain about refereeing controversy after benefitting from several contentious calls against Atletico Madrid.

Madrid were angered by officiating in Sunday's basketball Copa del Rey final against Barcelona, as they believe disputed decisions cost them victory.

Officials used only two of the 11 available angles to review a pair of late incidents, as Madrid's Jeffery Taylor was denied a call close at the net despite appearing to receive contact to his arm, before Anthony Randolph was adjudged to have unfairly obstructed Barca's Anthony Tomic in the last second to effectively hand the Catalans a 94-93 win.

Madrid president Florentino Perez is reported to have threatened to withdraw the team from the Copa next year in response, while the club slammed the decisions in a statement before posting video footage of the controversial moments on Twitter.

But Pique suggested they have short memories, as Madrid's football team was helped by some fiercely debated officiating in the 3-1 derby triumph at Atletico Madrid on February 9.

Vinicius Jr was awarded a penalty when the initial foul appeared to take place outside the area, while Atleti striker Alvaro Morata had no joy from seemingly strong VAR reviews of a second-half goal and penalty appeal.

"It [Madrid complaining about referees] happens in basketball and in football," Pique told reporters.

"Then they go to the Wanda Metropolitano and they're quiet for a while after what happened there.

"It's a good thing they don't do other sports, like handball or hockey, as they'd complain about those too."

James Rodriguez has suggested he would be happy to return to Real Madrid from Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

The Colombia international's two-year loan with the Bundesliga champions ends in June and Bayern are yet to take up their option to sign him permanently.

James' future has been the subject of speculation during what has proved to be a more difficult second season in Germany under Niko Kovac.

The 27-year-old insists his focus is on Bayern's objectives this term, but concedes Madrid is still very much his home.

"In Madrid, I have everything such as my house and people who love me," he told Cadena Cope's El Partidazo and Cadena SER's El Larguero.

"We will have to see what happens, but at the moment I have a contract with Bayern Munich. I just want to finish the season and we'll see what happens.

"I keep in touch with some Real Madrid players."

James was speaking after playing in Bayern's 0-0 draw with Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Anfield.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri is well aware having Cristiano Ronaldo gives his team an advantage in the Champions League, but he warned they are not obliged to win it simply because the Portugal great plays for them.

Ronaldo made the shock switch from Real Madrid to Juve in July having won the Champions League three times in a row.

The 34-year-old has shown no sign of letting up since departing LaLiga either, scoring 19 times in 24 Serie A matches, swiftly adapting to the rigours of Italian football.

For many, the signing of Ronaldo instantly made Juve favourites for the 2018-19 Champions League, particularly given they made it as far as the final in two of the past four seasons.

Allegri recognised Ronaldo's presence does give Juve a helping hand, but he also had a word of caution for the squad as they prepare to face Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano in the first leg of their last-16 clash on Wednesday.

"It is not a question of obligation," Allegri told reporters in his pre-match news conference. "The Champions League is a goal.

"You need to play well and be lucky. Having Ronaldo is definitely an advantage, but it is the team that has to play important games.

"Ronaldo is the best in the world, and you have more chances to win it with him, but you do not win automatically."

Allegri is also mindful of the threat posed by Atletico, who themselves have reached two Champions League finals in five years, while he spoke highly of the job Diego Simeone has done at the club.

"The Champions League has always been a goal for Juventus, and it will be an important match [on Wednesday], as all the knockout stages played in the last few years have been," Allegri added.

"We have had high-level Champions League campaigns, but Atletico is an organised team and make their defensive platform their strength.

"I congratulate Simeone - he did, and is doing, an extraordinary job."

Eden Hazard should leave Chelsea and would become a better player at Real Madrid, according to former Belgium international Emile Mpenza.

Hazard's contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of next season and this month he said he has made a decision about his future, though he did not offer any further information.

The 28-year-old has been heavily linked with a switch to Madrid, a path trodden by former Chelsea team-mate and Belgium colleague Thibaut Courtois in the close season.

Ex-Manchester City striker Mpenza believes heading to the Santiago Bernabeu would enable Hazard to take his career to new heights.

"I think he wrote a page in Chelsea's history book and now he has to try to go somewhere else," Mpenza told Omnisport.

"A player always wants to move to another team to improve. Real Madrid won three Champions Leagues [in a row], and Hazard hasn't won it with Chelsea.

"If he wants to improve, he can go to Madrid to become stronger."

Mpenza warned City not to underestimate Schalke - another of his former teams - in the Champions League last-16 tie, the first leg of which takes place at the Veltins-Arena on Wednesday.

However, he believes Pep Guardiola's side are the favourites to retain the Premier League title due to Liverpool's history of struggling against teams beneath them in the table.

"We always try to go through, but we failed. This year it's a very tough game against Schalke. People are saying that we are favourites, but it's football, we never know," said Mpenza.

On the domestic battle with City and Liverpool locked on 65 points at the summit, though the Reds have a game in hand, he added: "It's possible [City will win the league]. Now they're tied with Liverpool, but Liverpool are always in the race until the end for the past two-three years.

"And I think City could win again this year because they have a lot of experience … and Liverpool has been losing games they shouldn't lose in the final stretch in the past.

"So I think City has an advantage when it comes to winning the league."

Cristiano Ronaldo will get reacquainted with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday for the first time since leaving their bitter rivals Real Madrid for Juventus, having boasted a fine record in derby clashes.

Atletico host Juve in the first leg of the Champions League's round of 16 and they are braced to face a familiar foe in the Portugal great.

Ronaldo was a regular rival of Atletico's after moving to LaLiga from Manchester United in 2009, and he went on to consistently be a nuisance.

He was on the winning side in his first eight Madrid derbies, before Atletico began to enjoy something of a resurgence and assert themselves in both LaLiga and the Champions League.

However, Madrid still generally got the better of them when it mattered and Ronaldo often played a significant role.

His form has shown no sign of letting up since moving to Serie A, scoring 19 goals in 24 appearances, and he will no doubt be expecting to continue his fine record against Atletico in their upcoming clashes.

Using Opta data, Omnisport takes a closer look at the five-time Ballon d'Or-winner's history against these opponents.

 

22  Ronaldo's overall haul of 22 goals against Atletico during his time in Spain makes him the Madrid derby's all-time top scorer. Only against Sevilla (27) and Getafe (23) has he scored more often.

10 –  Ten of those 22 goals were scored away from home. Only on trips to Sevilla and Barcelona (12) has Ronaldo been more prolific in front of goal.

8 – Ronaldo has taken more penalties against Atletico than any other side, and he has scored every single one of them.

3 – The 34-year-old has three hat-tricks against Atletico, with his most recent coming in May 2017's Champions League semi-final at the Santiago Bernabeu.

18  – No player has netted more often against Atleti during Diego Simeone's celebrated tenure than Ronaldo, whose 18 goals have come across 25 derbies.

5 –  Ronaldo has also chipped in with five assists to further punish Atletico from 10 clear chances created. He had better assist hauls against only Malaga, Espnayol (nine apiece), Levante (eight) and Athletic Bilbao (seven) in Spanish football.

19 – Only three of Ronaldo's 22 goals against Atletico were not with his right foot. All of the remaining trio were headers.

6 – Ronaldo has faced Atletico six times in the Champions League. His solitary defeat in those games (2-1 on May 10, 2017) had no bearing on the end result, as Madrid had won the first leg 3-0 thanks to his hat-trick.

Lionel Messi is the "only genius in world football" according to former Real Madrid head coach Fabio Capello, who also praised Cristiano Ronaldo's impact at Juventus.

Barcelona superstar Messi and Ronaldo have won five Ballon d'Or awards apiece, with ongoing debate as to who is the greatest player of all time.

Asked about Messi at the Laureus Awards in Monaco, Capello – who won two LaLiga titles in two spells with Madrid – told reporters: "Leo Messi is not a footballer, he is a genius and the only genius in world football.

"He has not won much silverware with Argentina but that is because he cannot do it all alone."

Capello did laud Ronaldo following his move to Juventus, where the former Madrid star has flourished this season.

After joining in a €112million deal ahead of the 2018-19 campaign, Ronaldo has scored a Serie A-high 19 goals and 22 in all competitions for the Italian champions.

"Cristiano has woken up a lot of Juventus players," ex-Juve player and coach Capello said. "Bringing him to the club has been a wake-up call for many players and he has made them improve.

"He is very important for Juventus because having someone as good as him at training every day and someone who takes care of himself in the way Ronaldo does, is hugely significant for a team that was coasting.

"It is obvious that he is desperate to win the Champions League with Juventus."

Arsene Wenger believes Thierry Henry can still have a successful managerial career, despite his sacking after just three months in charge of Monaco.

Henry, who enjoyed eight trophy-laden years under Wenger as a player at Arsenal, was sacked after 20 games at the helm of a Monaco side that won just four times under his leadership.

But Wenger said the timing of Henry's arrival at Stade Louis II contributed to the shortlived nature of his tenure, pointing out that pressure on coaches mounts more quickly in the middle of a campaign than at the start.

Speaking at the Laureus World Sports Awards 2019, Wenger said: "If you arrive in October and the team is in a bad position, you have three months because in January everybody starts to become nervous that things could go very badly, so you have less time.

"That’s what’s happened to Thierry but how he bounces back will be very important. I believe he has the quality and he has the desire to make a career and the career is judged on a longer period.

"I started my job at 33, I had a lot of promising people around me, many disappeared and some survived. You need luck and we need to work hard but it's always very difficult to predict a career of a manager.

"We depend a lot on the quality of the players, the quality of the club and the quality of the confidence we get."

Turning to his own future, Wenger stopped short of confirming he would seek a return to management.

The 69-year-old has been linked with the head coach position at Real Madrid after leaving Arsenal at the end of the 2017-18 season, but he said he was taking time to travel while watching former players Henry and Patrick Vieira cut their teeth in management.

"My future is unknown, even for me," he said.

"I am quite open, I enjoy daily life. I have travelled a lot recently, all over the world to see how sport develops and to see how sport has really become of huge importance.

"I believe that sport, in the world, has a huge responsibility and this responsibility is not all about stars but about values.

"It's good for me to see the players I had continue to share our game and to develop young players."

Santiago Solari described Sergio Ramos' latest red card as an "occupational hazard" after the Real Madrid captain was sent-off in their home LaLiga loss to Girona.

Ramos was dismissed in the last minute of Sunday's 2-1 victory for relegation-threatened Girona at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Spain defender earlier conceded a penalty for handball, for which he was booked, and was shown a second yellow after catching a Girona defender with a high boot in the process of attempting an overhead kick.

It ended a controversial week for Ramos, who backtracked on suggestions he deliberately received a booking in Madrid's 2-1 win at Ajax in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie so he would be available for the quarter-finals, should the holders progress.

Ramos has now been sent-off 20 times in LaLiga, more than any other player in the history of the competition, but Solari would not criticise his skipper.

"They are occupational hazards," Solari told a news conference when asked about Ramos being sent off.

Despite Madrid having no upcoming midweek game, Solari opted to rest regulars including Vinicius Junior, Gareth Bale, Sergio Reguilon and Dani Carvajal for the visit of Girona.

Luka Modric was also missing due to suspension as Madrid missed out on a sixth straight win in the league, a defeat instead leaving them nine points behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona.

But Solari denied regretting his team selection as Cristhian Stuani's penalty and a Portu header turned the game around for Girona, who trailed to Casemiro's first-half header.

"Those questions are impossible," the Madrid coach added. "Talking about past or future hypotheses is not a job we can do. We make decisions and compete and sometimes we do not win.

"It's a shame, we dropped points, the rivals won and we moved away. We came with a good streak, cutting points and we have to continue striving.

"The league is not lost, at all. We will continue fighting for the three fronts that we have open. All matches are difficult against any team, as demonstrated today. Girona have played a very serious game and we have to keep working to keep trying to win.

"There is always a rival and today they did well both in the first half when we dominated and in the second, they came out with energy, they pressed very well and attacked. 

"Attrition is not only physical, it is mental, of concentration... there are many factors. We came from many hard matches that we have overcome and it may be that it took its toll in the second half."

Marcelo's long-term future at Real Madrid appears increasingly shaky after the shock 2-1 home loss to Girona contributed to a damning statistical portrait of the left-back's waning influence.

After two matches among the substitutes, the experienced Brazil international was restored to the starting XI on Sunday and only succeeded in fuelling positional rival Sergio Reguilon's claims for a permanent berth.

His defending was questionable for both Girona goals as Los Blancos slumped to their seventh league loss of the season, six of which have been suffered in Marcelo's 13 matches.

The European champions have managed a paltry five victories in that time, meaning the 30-year-old has been on the victorious side in just 38.5 per cent of his LaLiga appearances this term.

Rumours that he could reunite with Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus have emerged amid the decline and Santiago Solari's belief in the identity of his best option on the left side of defence could be cemented with a glance at the available data.

In 22-year-old Reguilon, the Madrid boss has a trusted commodity known since their time together with Castilla and one who statistically offers better results in all departments.

The homegrown product made headlines for the wrong reasons in October when widely shared footage showed Sergio Ramos reacting angrily to an innocuous training ground collision between the pair, but he has since remodelled his image as an important ingredient in improved Madrid performances.

Reguilon has helped Solari's men claim maximum points in eight of his nine LaLiga outings, during which their average number of goals conceded has fallen from 1.4 per game to 0.9.

In all competitions, Madrid's 2018-19 winning record with the long-serving Marcelo in the team stands at 50 per cent, a stark comparison to the 82.4 per cent of games they have won without him.

Time, at least at the Santiago Bernabeu, may be running out for the four-time Champions League winner to restore his fading reputation.

Girona coach Eusebio Sacristan described under-fire Real Madrid left-back Marcelo as an "institution" after his side's historic LaLiga win at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Marcelo has come in for criticism after a series of poor performances this season and he once again struggled against relegation-threatened opponents on Sunday.

Although squad rotation saw the Brazil international start the clash with Girona, Marcelo has hinted he may seek a move away from Madrid at the end of the season after losing his place to Sergio Reguilon.

Madrid have won only 38.5 per cent of LaLiga games Marcelo has started this term, compared to 81.8 per cent when Santiago Solari has left him out.

Eusebio appeared to target the defender during the second half by switching Portu from the left wing to the right, with the attacker heading in the winner after Cristhian Stuani's penalty had cancelled out Casemiro's opener.

However, the Girona boss - who had lost his seven previous encounters against Madrid in league action - insisted it was not a deliberate ploy.

"I respect the rival players a lot and someone like Marcelo is an institution," he told a news conference.

"Portu plays on the right and generates a lot of problems, but this time he did on the left.

"Pere Pons was forced [to come off], he was dizzy and it was a big risk to continue in the field after the blow he suffered.

"We were subdued and with [Anthony] Lozano we gained more depth, we thought we could create more problems."

Asked about Marcelo's performance, Solari told a news conference: "Good, he played well."

Eusebio was reportedly close to the sack with Girona having lost six games in a row in LaLiga to slip towards the relegation zone, but their upset victory sees them move to 15th in the table.

"They could have made us more goals in the first half, but in the second half we had more control," he added.

"We made them less comfortable and the match was indicating that we were better. Their advantage was minimal and in the second half we were superior, we scored two goals and that's why we deserved to win.

"They dominated in the first half, but being 1-0 only made us believe and we tried to take the initiative away from them, we wanted to make them run with the ball, they are three very important points, and achieving the goal depends on us.

"It's a very happy day, we have won the prize for the work that is done every day. The prize did not arrive and it has arrived today. Very happy because they are three important points, we must continue working with that spirit."

There is no need to "kill Real Madrid forever" after a LaLiga loss at home to Girona, says right-back Alvaro Odriozola.

Santiago Solari's side led at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday thanks to a first-half Casemiro header, with Madrid hunting a sixth consecutive league win to exert pressure on leaders Barcelona.

But a second-half collapse saw a Cristhian Stuani penalty and Portu's header turn the game around for relegation-threatened Girona before Madrid captain Sergio Ramos was dismissed in the last minute.

Los Blancos are now nine points behind Barca ahead of a March 2 Clasico at the Bernabeu, with the sides also soon set to meet in the capital in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final.

Madrid's chances of catching defending champions Barca are seemingly hanging by a thread but Solari has refused to concede his side's involvement in the title race is now over.

And Odriozola said there should not be an over-reaction despite Madrid losing to a Girona side that had not won any of their past 13 matches in all competitions since December 5.

"It's a difficult time because we were in a very good dynamic and this puts the brakes on," he told reporters. "The match could have been won and in the end it's lost, we have to do self-criticism and see where we've failed.

"We have to recover the group emotionally because what is coming is nice and we do not have to kill Real Madrid forever, we have to keep fighting, we have lost a battle but not the war.

"There is no need to make excuses, if Girona have taken the game, it is because they deserved it. The first half was good, we could have led 2-0 and taken the match but we do not have to make excuses."

And like Solari, Odriozola is not giving up hope that Madrid could yet catch Barca although they only have 14 league games remaining to do so.

"It's never an excess of confidence because at Real Madrid you go out at 200 percent to give everything," he continued. "Sometimes these things happen, it's tough for the group and the fans, but there are exciting weeks ahead and we're never going to give up.

"The calendar is what it is, we do not have to make excuses. We are alive in all three competitions, although LaLiga gets more complicated, but Real Madrid have cut other leads in other years."

Santiago Solari insists Real Madrid will keep fighting for the LaLiga title despite their five-game winning run ending with a stunning home loss to Girona.

Casemiro's first-half header had Madrid 1-0 up and in total control against Eusebio Sacristan's LaLiga strugglers at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

But, within 10 second-half minutes, Cristhian Stuani's penalty and Portu's header had earned Girona's first win away to Madrid and moved them four points clear of the relegation zone.

Sergio Ramos was sent-off in the last minute as he tried to equalise, the Madrid captain catching a defender with a high boot when desperately attempting an overhead kick.

Defeat leaves Madrid nine points behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona, who visit the Bernabeu on March 2, four days after the second leg of the Clasico Copa del Rey semi-final.

Three-time defending champions Madrid also have a foot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after a 2-1 first-leg away win against Ajax.

Solari, though, claims he will not prioritise cup competitions over the league despite Madrid's deficit to last season's table-toppers Barcelona and a busy fixture list.

"There's always the league," he said. "We have to get up quickly and keep going, all three competitions are still open for us.

"We came from a very hard journey, we paid for that effort. We tried to overcome, to be fresher with the changes, but we did not achieve it."

Luka Modric's absence due to suspension appeared to leave Madrid weak in the centre of midfield with Douglas Luiz beating Casemiro too easily in the build-up to Girona's winner.

"It is always a cliche to think about the one who is not in [the team]," Solari added.

"We have to face what we are in. This is a squad with great players, it did not come out and that's it."

Marcelo, who has been regularly left out in favour of Sergio Reguilon by Solari, had a difficult day but the Madrid coach would not single out the defender for criticism.

"Football is a collective sport and the field is covered with all the players," he said when asked if Madrid's defensive problems stemmed from their left.

"Girona came out very well, very strong and they grew in the second half. We did not find the depth when we were dominated."

Thibaut Courtois said Real Madrid lost control in their home LaLiga loss to Girona that leaves Los Blancos nine points adrift of leaders Barcelona.

A run of five straight wins, including last weekend's 3-1 defeat of city rivals Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano, had thrust Madrid back into the title race ahead of the Clasico on March 2.

Casemiro's header put the hosts on track to extend their streak before Girona produced a stunning second-half comeback at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

After Sergio Ramos was deemed to have blocked a shot with his arm in the box, Cristhian Stuani beat Courtois from the penalty spot to score his 13th LaLiga goal of the season.

And when Courtois pushed Anthony Lozano's effort back into the danger zone, Portu squeezed his header past the prone Madrid goalkeeper to claim a famous win.

Ramos was then dismissed after an attempted overhead kick in the Girona area, with Courtois going up for a 95th-minute corner but seeing his header bounce off target.

"I decided to go up for the corner to try and create some nerves," Courtois said in a post-match interview. "I got a touch on it but it just went wide.

"I think the first half we played really well, dropped the rhythm a bit and weren't at the same level as against Ajax or Atletico but we were in charge.

"In the second half they found a groove and created danger, I don't know if it was a penalty, I didn't see it, but it was a shame. They equalised and we didn't know how to control it. 

"The shot came in that I couldn't control and they scored the winner. It's a shame as we needed to win. It's not a question of confidence. Girona always make it difficult."

Girona had not won any of their past 13 games in all competitions with Portu's header earning their first ever victory at the Bernabeu.

Eusebio Sacristan was reportedly on the brink of the sack but Girona, who earned a draw away to Barcelona in September, are now 15th and four points clear of the relegation zone.

"It's a historic win and the team needed it after a complicated moment with a really bad run of results," Portu said. "It was a real challenge but above all this team has great spirit and can do great things.

"The key to all this was the group spirit there is. We knew it would be complicated and we couldn't dream of winning the points. But in the second half we were in the game and we believed in the three points. 

"We played well despite being 1-0 down. We showed the important thing is what is inside the group and the union we have with our technical staff. In the difficult moments we can show our true spirit.

"At the end of the day I'm not even thinking about who scored, we needed the three points and we can breathe a bit now. We'll be celebrating like mad as we deserve this."

Cristhian Stuani scored his 13th LaLiga goal of the season and Portu headed a famous winner as relegation-threatened Girona claimed a 2-1 comeback win away at Real Madrid. 

Santiago Solari's side looked on track for a sixth straight victory in the league following Casemiro's first-half header at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday. 

But after Sergio Ramos was punished for a handball in the penalty area, Stuani stepped up to convert a spot-kick and Girona's battle against relegation was boosted by a stunning winner. 

Thibaut Courtois weakly parried Anthony Lozano's effort back into the danger zone and Portu was on hand to steer the rebound past the Madrid goalkeeper, with captain Ramos then dismissed in the last minute as he tried to equalise with an overhead kick.

Madrid took the lead in the 25th minute with Casemiro on target for the second LaLiga game in a row, the Brazil midfielder powering home a downward header from a Toni Kroos cross. 

Casemiro teed up international team-mate Marcelo for a drilled finish before the break, but the goal was rightly ruled out for offside. 

Girona should have equalised in the 59th minute. Courtois could only push Lozano's header back into the danger zone but Garcia blazed the rebound way over the crossbar. 

However, Madrid failed to heed that warning and Girona levelled from the penalty spot. 

Courtois turned Stuani's effort on to the post but Douglas Luiz got to the loose ball first and his shot was partially blocked by Ramos' arms. 

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. 

And Girona scored an incredible winner in the 75th minute, Portu squeezing a header past Courtois to complete a remarkable comeback.

Bale was denied by Yassine Bounou and as Madrid chased a leveller, Ramos was shown a second yellow card after referee Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez deemed his acrobatic effort to be a dangerous challenge.

Courtois almost made amends with an unbelievable 95th-minute equaliser but, after going up for a set piece, his header flew wide in a frantic finale.

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