Fine finishes from Portu and Savio sent Girona back above Barcelona into second place in the LaLiga table courtesy of a battling win over Osasuna.

Portu’s sweet first-half strike and a deft toe-poke from Savio sealed a 2-0 victory at the Municipal de Montilivi Stadium in which Michel’s men created enough chances to have won far more comfortably.

Girona went ahead with 13 minutes gone when Ukraine international Viktor Tsygankov’s reverse pass allowed striker Portu to burst clear and fire low across keeper Sergio Herrera and open the scoring.

Striker Ante Budimir headed high over from a promising position and former Girona full-back Johan Mojica dragged a 30th-minute shot from distance just wide as the visitors responded.

Osasuna’s Jon Moncayola curled an attempt wide from 22 yards seven minutes before the break with the hosts struggling to build upon their early breakthrough, and they headed for the dressing room still only a goal to the good.

Girona striker Artem Dovbyk fired wastefully wide three minutes after the restart after Portu and Tsygankov had combined to set him up, and he only just failed to get on the end of Miguel Gutierrez’s 53rd-minute cross.

Defender Jorge Herrando blocked efforts from Tsygankov and Daley Blind in quick succession and the home side were incensed not to be awarded a penalty after Savio went to ground under Alejandro Cateno’s clumsy challenge, with VAR official Carlos del Cerro Grande backing referee Mateo Busquets’ original decision.

Herrera clawed Dovbyk’s 64th-minute header off the line with Girona pressing for a second, and substitute Cristhian Stuani passed up a glorious opportunity eight minutes from time when he ballooned a shot high over after going one on one with the keeper.

Savio saw an 85th-minute strike ruled out for a foul during the build-up, but was celebrating within seconds when he ran on to Aleix Garcia’s back-heel to cement the win.

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.

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