Girona lost further ground in the LaLiga title race as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Getafe at the Estadio Coliseum.

Jesus Santiago rounded off a well-worked move in the 33rd minute to score the only goal of the game for Getafe, who moved into the top half of the table with victory.

Leading scorer Artem Dovbyk missed a handful of chances in the second half for Girona and defeats means the Catalan surprise packages are now 10 points behind leaders Real Madrid following their win at Osasuna on Saturday.

Getafe had their hearts in their mouths in the 11th minute when the referee was sent to the VAR screen after Omar Alderete pulled Cristian Portu back on the last line of defence, but a yellow card was deemed sufficient punishment.

Chances were at a premium during the opening stages but Getafe forward Mason Greenwood chanced his arm from 25 yards with an effort that flew comfortably wide midway through the half.

However, Getafe would break the deadlock soon after the half-hour mark thanks to Santiago. Ilaix Moriba’s pass unlocked the Girona defence and found teenager Santiago who smashed his shot across goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga and into the net.

Girona, who had lost four of their previous five away games, looked for a rapid response and their biggest chance of the half came just before the break when Portu smashed an effort towards goal. The shot looked to be heading in via a deflection only for Getafe to scramble it away.

Girona started the second period the stronger of the two sides and had the first opening of the half as Dovbyk picked up possession outside box before seeing his shot flash a whisker wide of the target.

The visitors were starting to put the pressure on in search of an equaliser and Savio’s clever low drive into the box was diverted wide by Dovbyk.

Getafe looked to respond and were awarded a free-kick 30 yards out. The distance did not deter Oscar Rodriguez, who fancied his chances, but he blasted his shot straight into the grasp of Gazzaniga.

Getafe had a better chance to double their lead when a cross fell to the unmarked Moriba inside the box but he sent his header wide of the target.

Time was running out for Girona and Dovbyk mustered another opportunity for himself when he cut into the box but fired straight at keeper as the score remained 1-0.

All the chances were falling to Dovbyk and this time Savio’s inswinging cross found the Ukraine international, but his header was saved by David Soria who ensured Getafe held on to claim their first win in five games.

Girona boosted their hopes of sealing a Champions League qualifying berth as they returned to winning ways with a 3-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano.

Viktor Tsygankov’s effort early in the second half and two injury-time strikes from Savio ensured the early LaLiga pace-setters snapped a run of two straight losses and leapfrogged Barcelona back into second place.

The ailing visitors, who went into the game without a win in six, had their chances but had Pep Chavarria sent off for two yellow cards in the 76th minute and slid to another disappointing defeat.

Girona had shown few early signs of ending their poor run of form with Paulo Gazzaniga called into action early as he raced from goal to deny Rayo striker Alvaro Garcia a one-on-one.

The hosts gradually improved and came close through Yangel Herrera who had a good shot blocked in the box, before Artem Dovbyk missed a golden opportunity when he was found unmarked in front of goal.

Tsygankov brought a fine save out of Rayo keeper Stole Dimitrievski in the 51st minute but notched the opener moments later when he swept home from a neat cut-back in the box by Miguel Gutierrez.

Dovbyk missed another glorious chance to add Girona’s second from point-blank range and it almost cost the hosts as the excellent Miguel Crespo played in Garcia who hit a poor shot that was easily saved by Gazzaniga.

Chavarria was dismissed for two yellow cards in as many minutes as Rayo’s frustrations began to tell, and after Dimitrievski saved well to deny Cristhian Stuani, Savio put some gloss on the final scoreline with a well-taken double in added time.

Girona missed the chance to move five points clear at the top of LaLiga after German Pezzella’s late strike earned Real Betis a 1-1 draw.

Artem Dovbyk swept home a first-half penalty to put Girona on course for a ninth win in 10 matches.

Betis tried to force the issue in the second half but had failed to register a shot on Paulo Gazzaniga’s goal until Pezzella’s rocket found the top corner late on.

The visitors had the first noteworthy chance when Yan Couto’s cross found Savio in the area but his first-time effort was saved by Rui Silva.

Betis spurned a golden opportunity to open the scoring shortly afterwards when Assane Diao ran through on goal but fired over the crossbar with only the keeper to beat.

The home side forced a superb save from former Southampton and Tottenham goalkeeper Gazzaniga when Willian Jose drilled a powerful effort goalwards which needed to be palmed away.

Girona took the lead six minutes before the break when Aitor Ruibal brought Savio down inside the area and Dovbyk made no mistake in slotting home the resulting spot-kick.

The away side were happy to rest on their goal advantage and Betis came close to an equaliser but Diao once again shot over the bar from outside the area.

Betis left it late to level when a corner caused confusion in the box and when the ball fell to Pezzella he lashed it into the top corner.

Girona almost snatched a winner in stoppage time but Daley Blind guided an effort from outside the box just wide as they moved three points clear at the top ahead of Real Madrid’s clash with Alaves.

Barcelona missed the chance to move 15 points clear at the LaLiga summit after being held to a goalless draw at home to Girona on Monday.

Real Madrid succumbed to a 3-2 defeat to Villarreal on Saturday but Xavi's Blaugrana failed to fire two days later, leaving Barca 13 points clear of the second-placed Los Blancos.

A fine Paulo Gazzaniga display kept the energetic hosts at bay, while Valentin Castellanos wasted the best chance of the game when curling wide in the second half at Camp Nou.

The stalemate ended a four-match winning league run for Barca, but Xavi's side remain unbeaten at home in LaLiga this season as the Blaugrana march towards the title.

Viktor Tsygankov sliced a presentable chance on the volley wide as Girona started positively, although Barca should have twice broke the deadlock in the opening 10 minutes.

Robert Lewandowski curled narrowly over after an Ansu Fati offload, while a despairing Gazzaniga dive saved Santiago Bueno from inexplicably passing into his own goal.

Another smart Gazzaniga stop denied Raphinha before the Girona goalkeeper – almost inside his own net – somehow clawed away Ronald Araujo's flick from the resulting corner.

Eric Garcia headed over from close range immediately after the interval but Girona should have struck first shortly after.

Castellanos evaded Barca's offside trap but placed wide with just Marc-Andre ter Stegen to beat, with Girona left to rue a missed chance that could have grabbed a memorable victory against their Catalan rivals, who themselves squandered some promising opportunities late on.


What does it mean? Xavi warning not heeded

Xavi warned his Barca players in his pre-match press conference to not get sloppy in search of a 15-point lead at the top of LaLiga, though the Blaugrana stars failed to heed that warning.

Girona were good value for a hard-fought point, albeit the visitors may look back with regret after Castellanos spurned a brilliant chance to secure their first league win over Barca since September 2017.

Barca remain firmly on course for the title but profligate performances such as this show there is still much to work on for Xavi's young Blaugrana.

Rampant Raphinha efforts in vain

Raphinha appeared to be everywhere as Barca tried and failed to breach an impressive Girona defence that was led by Gazzaniga, who made a trio of brilliant saves.

The Brazil international carved out a game-leading four big chances, including two brilliant set-piece deliveries, but his hard-working showing ended without deserved reward.

Careless Castellanos

Castellanos had time and space to think how to beat Ter Stegen with a massive second-half chance, though somehow failed to hit the target after racing through one-on-one.

That capped a frustrating showing for the Girona striker, who completed just five passes, won a meagre two duels and recorded only 14 touches before his 60th-minute withdrawal.

What's next?

Barca visit Getafe on Sunday, when Girona host Elche.

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