Girona - Real Madrid summary: score, goals, highlights | LaLiga 2023-24
Girona vs Real Madrid: how it happened
All three points go into the Real Madrid tally and that takes them top of the league, one point above Barcelona and two above today's host.
Girona came out of the blocks fast and had two fabulous chances to score in the opening 10 minutes. But Madrid slowly took control after a Bellingham defence-splitting pass laid the opener on a plate for Joselu.
Moments later Tchouaméni rose to head home a Kroos corner and all doubt in the result was extinguished when Bellingham latched onto the saved rebound.
Next up for Madrid is Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday. We'll obviously be bringing you it live. Until then, thanks for joining me and enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Peep, peep, peeeep! The final whistle blows
We're back playing again but it's Madrid controlling things as the seconds run out.
Nacho sent off
It's a red for Nacho and as he walks off the pitch some words are exchanged and it's all kicking off. Rüdiger is right in the mix.
Nacho goes into the ref's book for a high challenge on Portu. Could have easily been red
Five more minutes but this result has been known for some time.
Almost number four. Excellent dribbling from Rodrygo gets him to the side of the goal but his little scrubber pass across runs out.
More half chances appear and disappear for the Catalans. They'll be kicking themselves for not taking those very enticing moments early in the game. What could have been.
Looking at the faces of the home fans here, it's clear that they have accepted today's fate. Despite the loss (I know the game's not over but trust me), Girona will still sit in an impressive third place come the end of this weekend.
The pace has really dropped off, Madrid happy to sit in and shut out any spaces that open up. There's certainly no huge desire from the visitors to drive forward for more goals.
Girona sub: Savio is on for Torre.
Water break and Michel is giving out more orders. Maybe a goal now could provide some hope... but probably not.
Ceballos is on for Bellingham, by the way.
If there was any doubt, and it was starting to look like there wasn't, it has completely gone.
Madrid just need to see this game out now. Girona will look for a consolation.
Madrid make it three
GOAL!! Bellingham gets another
Almost out of nothing, Joselu's shot is saved and Jude is on hand to fire home the rebound.
Madrid sub: Vinicius trots off and is replaced by compatriot Rodrygo.
Carlo likely has Napoli in mind.
Tremendous blocking work from Gazzaniga who gets himself in the way of a couple of Bellingham efforts from close range. Joselu had initially been the threat but the ball just wouldn't fall kindly.
Camavinga decides he wants a piece of the forward-thinking action and strides confidently into the final third. He then takes a pot-shot which hits the defender's arm, but nothing he could do about it.
Girona subs: Portu and Stuani ON for Lopez and Dovbyk
Penalty shout from Girona. And it's a good one.
Herrera goes down, just inside the Madrid area, from a tackle by Tchouaméni. At first glance it seemed clean, but that replay has me doubting it. Ref says 'no', however, and that's all that matters.
Chance! Another headed opportunity goes begging for Girona. Herrera gets up and, following 'The schoolboy's book on heading a ball' directs it downwards.
The power sees it bounce over the bar, as Kepa breathes another sigh of relief.
Some tasty tussles taking place now as Girona press and Madrid fight back.
Chance! Girona almost get one back, a fabulous ball lifted to the back post and Lopez heads goalwards only for Kepa to parry away.
Clinical finishing is lacking from the hosts.
More Bellingham involvement as the Englishman links up neatly with Vini in the opposition box.
The move is thwarted simply due to the number of players squashed into the same space of grass.
Immediately Bellingham gets on the ball and drives forward, only stopped midway through the Girona half with two robust challenges that knock him over.
One change to tell you about, as Girona bring on Valery for Tsygankov.
We're back underway.
It's not been a classic by any means but that won't bother Madridistas. Coming away from here with the three points is all that matters and Ancelotti couldn't have asked for a better scoreline at the break, especially given they could, and probably should, have been two down within the opening 10 minutes.
As the players make their way back out onto the pitch, Michel will have surely reminded his troops that this Madrid defence can be got at.
I'm expecting a wave of red and white from the off.
Joselu celebrates opener
That is the face of a man who is really, really happy with scoring a goal.
Just watching the replay again, the Spanish striker almost messed it up, hitting the ball directly at Gazzaniga. But the block wasn't completed.
The whistle blows and the players disappear for refreshments and wise words.
The final piece of action hands Los Blancos a corner after a handy save from Gazzaniga on Kroos. The box is loaded but enough red and white shirts protect the goal and clear.
That should be that.
We'll be having an extra four minutes added here.
Nice play from Camavinga to bring the ball out of defence but Madrid not doing too much themselves in a goal-threatening sense. Likely just looking to see out this game, in spite of the length of time left.
More claims for some ref help to get back into this as Herrera goes down but they're waved away.
Michel is animated on the sideline, as Garcia tries his luck from distance. Nothing worth detailing, to be honest.
Chances are few and far between out here and a half-hearted claim by the hosts for a penalty for a handball is showing an element of frustration as to how this scoreline quickly got away from them.
A quick water stop for the players (it's rather warm out there) and we're back in business. Girona need to up their game and lift the crowd again.
Without dominating, Madrid are certainly more on the front foot after that early wobble. Valverde is the latest to get involved in an attacking sense but his ball through is not read by teammates.
Bellingham almost makes it three! He's set free through the middle and cleverly strikes the ball early to catch the keeper off guard.
Gazzaniga though is sharp and blocks away.
OK, things are falling apart quickly for Girona and they need to get some control back.
As I write that, Martín breaks and has an attempt from a difficult angle, not making enough contact for it to trouble Kepa.
GOAL!! Tchouameni has doubled the lead
It's too easy. Corner played in by Kroos and the unmarked midfielder rises to head in
It's fair to say that was not really going with the run of play, a bright start from the Catalans being dampened with the goal.
Madrid take the lead
GOAL! Joselu slots home at the back post.
It's a tremendous ball in from Bellingham, and the striker gets in front of the covering defender to fire in.
Vini collects again, this time level with the 18-yard box and tries to use his pace to create a chance. He's brushed away, though, with two covering defenders ensuring he's not having any joy this time.
Vinicius gets a mini-mocking from the local fans. He's not been involved much so far and decided to take a run at the full-back knocking the ball into the space behind him.
His knock, however, went straight out of play, hence the jeers.
It's taken over 10 minutes for the first show of teeth from the visitors, but it was only a quick glimpse, a dangerous cross to the back post and it's headed away well. The resultant corner comes to nothing.
Camavinga gets a word in the ear from the ref after what appeared to be a sore challenge on Miguel. On second viewing I don't think there was too much in it, so good decision not to get the card out, despite several requests.
More confidently wing play from Girona has Carvajal stretched but he does well not to be turned inside, as there wasn't enough cover thereafter.
Strong start for the hosts and their fans will still be wondering how they have nothing to show for it.
CLANG! Almost immediately and the hosts are at it again.
This time the cross from the left is met by Tsygankov, stopping down to head. Kepa's beaten but it hits the far post and cleared.
Madrid are all over the place at the back.
CHANCE! Girona should be ahead.
The measured build up works its way to the right and a perfect cross finds Gutierrez in front of goal, but he heads over. Bad, bad miss and he knows it.
Madrid, all in black today, get us going, shooting from left to right as I look on.
The opening push forward is dealt with rather easily and Girona build from the back carefully.
Peeep! We're off
The teams are out on the pitch and the fans are in good voice, holding aloft neatly arranged coloured cards to create a nice pattern. Right, they can sit down now and cheer on their heroes...
Crucial match-up: García vs Vinícius
Eric García, the defender who recently switched from Barcelona to Girona, showcased his scoring prowess by netting his first goal against Villarreal this summer. Surprisingly, in his five previous encounters with Real Madrid, all he has to show is a single booking.
On the other side, Vinícius Jr. celebrated his 100th win donning the Real Madrid jersey when he faced Las Palmas. Yet, despite his impressive scoring record against them in the previous season, Carlo Ancelotti's squad failed to secure a victory in both head-to-head clashes, managing only a draw and a loss.
Bellingham warming up
The Englishman has been such a key figure for Ancelotti this season, but some, your truly among them, have questioned whether he has slightly papered over the cracks with his clutch late goals.
Against Atlético last week he was unable to do enough damage, and Míchel will have taken note. Expect Jude and Vini to look to link up from the start and quieten the home fans.
Girona to hold Madrid, says Cal
We're about 15 minutes away from kick-off. What's your prediction?
I'm going to suggest a share of the spoils today, with an entertaining 2-2 scoreline.
Although Madrid are away from home tonight, some people have been asking what the situation is with the club's famous stadium.
We sent our Joe along to the Santiago Bernabéu to get some details for you.
Watch and follow: Girona vs Madrid
If you are one of those folks who like some moving imagery to accompany my text, then you may want to know that you can watch a live stream of Girona vs Real Madrid on FuboTV (which has a free trial option)
Girona's men who feel at home in between the sticks, came out to see the gathering crowd.
Can Gazzaniga keep Madrid's attack at bay?
Why is Courtois not playing for Madrid?
Real Madrid's big belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is one the stars we won't be seeing today.
He, along with Militao, Arda Güler and Alaba remain on the sidelines due to injury... but Ancelotti appears confident that the latter will be fine for the Napoli Champions League game.
The Girona threat
Luis Nieto wrote about the game earlier today and had some key pointers for Madrid to be mindful of. Here's a snippet.
Savinho succeeds in two out of every three dribbles he attempts, contributes to a third of the team's goals, and is a notable set-piece taker. He also blends well with Tsygankov and Dovbyk, the Ukrainian striker who replaces Taty Castellanos.
Girona paid more than seven million for 50% of his rights, making him the most expensive signing in the club's history.
Last year, he scored 29 goals for the Ukrainian team. Several clubs, including Lazio, wanted to sign him this summer. 'Most of them were thinking of selling their attackers for a lot of money before considering me,' he said. 'So I chose Girona because no other team had Tsygankov.'
Dovbyk had a brief stint in the Danish league without making much of an impact. He signed with Midtjylland when they sold Sorloth to Crystal Palace. The club's talent scout, Lars Hallengreen, explained his purchase: 'He resembled Sorloth a lot. Despite being very tall, he was well-coordinated.'
We'll be keeping a close eye on them.
Who is the referee for Girona vs Real Madrid?
Today's main officials for the game are:
Referee: Pulido Santana (Las Palmas).
VAR: jaime Latre (Aragón).
Starting XI: Real Madrid
Kepa; Carvajal, Rüdiger, Nacho, Camavinga; Fede Valverde, Tchouaméni, Kroos; Bellingham; Joselu, Vinicius.
Subs: Lunin, Piñero, Lucas, Carrillo, Fran García, Mendy, Modric, Ceballos, Brahim, Rodrygo.
Starting XI: Girona
Gazzaniga; Yan Couto, David García, Eric García, Blind, Miguel; Aleix García, Yangel Herrera; Tsygankov, Savinho; Dovbyk
Subs: Juan Carlos, Fuidias, Arnau, Ibra, Stuani, Borja Garcia, Valery, Juanpe, Pablo Torre, Jhon Solís, Iván Martín, Portu.
Team news is incoming...
LaLiga 2023/24: how it stands
As you can see, it's tight at the top, with just a single point between today's two teams.
Barcelona will only remain top at the end of this weekend if this clash ends in a tie.
Carlo Ancelotti decided to rest the England international against Las Palmas in midweek after a super start to life in the Spanish capital.
Bellingham did not play a single minute against García Pimienta’s newly-promoted side in the 2-0 home victory. But he's back tonight...
Pride in position
Given that it may not last too long, the social media team in Girona were keen to share an image of the table-toppers a couple of days ago.
Expect that to be one of many images we see later if a home win is secured.
There Madrid goes
The Real Madrid players and staff headed off from the capital's Barajas airport earlier today as they made their way east to Girona.
Madrid have point to prove
Real Madrid have somewhat recovered from the setback of losing to Atlético. The tremendous disappointment of how the derby defeat occurred began to fade as they won against Las Palmas at home with plenty of goal creation.
This latest test, however, serves as a prelude to an intense October with matches against Napoli and the first Clásico showdown of the season against Barcelona. It's a tough game for Ancelotti's team, where they must make a statement and they'll not want to leave without all three points.
Player to watch: Vinicius. The Brazilian is back in the starting lineup after his injury. He already got some minutes against Las Palmas and is a big plus.
Girona: a Real threat
As I mentioned below, Girona is the biggest news at the start of this LaLiga season. With seven games already played, it feels more than just a freak couple of results that has given the top of the table its current look. After Barcelona's result on Saturday, the Catalan team finds itself sandwiched between the two big boys of Spanish football and get to test themselves out on one of them tonight.
It speaks to how well Girona is playing and how effectively they have translated that into points. They haven't suffered a defeat; they've only managed a draw right at the start of their new campaign in a tough away game against Real Sociedad. This is their first encounter against one of the contenders to win the championship. It's definitely a challenge but the thought of going to sleep tonight as leaders once again, and the home crowd behind them, could drive them on.
Player to watch: Savinho. One of the sensations of the league, he's emerging as one of the most disruptive players. It's a big day for him.
Girona vs Real Madrid
Hello and a very warm welcome to you. No matter where you are joining me from on the planet you can be sure, well almost sure, that we have a cracking game ahead of us tonight from LaLiga EA Sports.
The surprise package of the early part of this season has been Girona, who came into this weekend as league leaders. They now host Carlo Ancelotti's title-chasing Real Madrid knowing a draw will keep them ahead of their illustrious visitors, but a win would feel so much better.
My name is Calum and I'll be bringing you all you need to know until we have a result. Let's get going...