Real Madrid vs Girona summary: Asensio handball, score, goals, highlights, LaLiga 2022/23
Real Madrid vs Girona: how it happened
Valuable points dropped, crucial point gained
It was a game that had huge implications at either end of the LaLiga Santander table. As it turned out, a point apiece edges Real Madrid that amount ahead of rivals Barcelona at the summit, while it lifts Girona out of the relegation zone, at least for the time being.
Expect calls of conspiracy
For any regular watcher of Spanish football -- and it applies the world over -- when key decision go against one of the big two, foul play is called. Headlines will be written and football shows will debate three massive moments: Girona's penalty for Asensio handball, Rodrygo's late goal being ruled out, and Kroos' red card in stoppage time.
The third of those should be ignored. Two yellow cards for two very bookable challenges. The first two can certainly be discussed, and they will be.
The truth is, no matter how you see those decisions falling, Madrid had 90 minutes (including the very fair 13 added on across both halves) to win this game, and didn't do enough. Yes, other opportunities to score came and went but the same applies to their opponents, who were resolute in defence, and threatening in moments on the attack.
Ancelotti, if he's being honest (which he usually is) will take this draw on the chin and move on. His team are a point clear after 12 games and comfortably into the last 16 of the Champions League. Days like this will happen. Don't let them fester.
Goals: Vinicius (70'); Stuani (80' pen)
Peep, peep, peeeeeep! It's all over and the spoils are shared.
Our nine minutes are likely to turn into 11 given extra delaying tactics.
Courtois has just taken a bit of a risk at the back under pressure but gets away with it.
Time ticking away, Girona holding on, despite having an extra man.
Vini dribbles in again at pace -- he's been a different player this half -- and then gets a flick on a cross that is easily caught by Gazzaniga, who then falls down claiming cramp.
Vini again on the move, and this time he is clearly clattered to the ground. A free-kick is awarded and it's a chance, although will have to be something special.
Modric dinks it to the back post, Rüdiger is there but loses control of the ball at the critical moment. Chance gone.
Vinicius almost sneaks around his marker but can't hit the brakes quick enough. Despite that, he and the masses sitting around him, scream for a foul. It wasn't.
Red card for Toni Kroos.
A second yellow, and two more obvious bookings you'll struggle to find, sees the German head off early.
Nine, yes 9, minutes to be added here.
It looked as though Mariano had indeed added some serious value, sprinting onto a long Modric pass, controlling, crossing and Rodrygo scoring.
But it's been ruled out for the Brazilian kicking the ball out of Gazzaniga's hand. Fine margins.
Mariano is thrown on with just a few minutes to become a hero.
As it stands, Madrid will move just a single point above Barça at the top of the table.
Chances at either end!
First it's a delicious cross from wide on the right offering the opportunity to knock home. On the stretch he's unable to control it.
No sooner have Madrid broken up the other end and a Carvajal ball across goal seems destined to be tapped in by Vini but he doesn't sort out his legs and its gone.
Stuani from the spot
It's awarded... the ball having slightly touched Asensio's arm after seemingly coming off his chest. That seems harsh but...
Another gilt-edged chance for Madrid, breaking at pace from defending a free-kick deep in their own half.
It's Asensio bursting away and as he tries to find the supporting Vinicius finds a defending leg in the way. Should have done better.
Michel looks to his bench again and throws the dice three times. Check the line-ups tab above for all those details if you care.
SAVE!! Stunning from Gazzaniga who deflects away a powerful turn and strike from Asensio.
Girona look a lot more vulnerable now.
Vini does it again
GOAL!!! Vinicius rewarded for his efforts
The Brazilian had dribbled in and out of defenders on the left before laying off to Valverde, who in turn found Rodrygo on the right. All of this inside the Girona penalty area.
A quick exchange and the Uruguayan slides a ball across goal on a silver platter for Vini to finish off.
SAVE!!! Fabulous one-on-one save from Courtois as the Madrid defence is cut open.
Looks as though it would have been ruled out for offside had Valery slotted home but neither of them were to know.
Nothing of note to shout about here, and remember the drum and chants, they've quietened just a touch too as concern slips into the consciousness of the champions.
Asensio replaces Camavinga.
The Spaniard appears to have turned his career and is seen as a player that can still unlock defences when others are struggling. Ancelotti will be hoping he brought his tools, with half an hour to go.
Courtois called into action by the impressive Castellanos. The Belgian has plenty of distance between him and the shot so gathers easily and looks to get things going.
Potentially important sub coming up here.
It would appear that Girona are more than happy to turn this into a rather scrappy affair, taking every slight pull or push as a means of allowing the clock to tick on.
Gazzaniga also gets his name taken after a slow restart following the exit of the pitch by Couto, who has struggled to get going again after that Kroos tackle.
While Lopez was booked for that earlier incident, Kroos decided to join him in the referee's little book with a wild swing of the leg behind him, taking out and injuring Couto.
We've got a little break in play as he gets some treatment.
If I'd argued at the break that Vini had been quiet, he's clearly been told to make more of a nuisance of himself.
From several runs down the left, he picks up the ball centrally and works it out to the right.
Then, winning a corner, gives an unwelcome push to Lopez who gently nudges him back with his head, with the Brazilian throwing himself to the floor in apparent agony. Nuisance indeed.
Modric has a go from the edge of the area and it's well blocked, as the home team looks to reinstate its dominance on this encounter, something they lost halfway through the first half.
Vini immediately positioned himself on the left-hand touchline and getting his boots white more could be exactly the solution to opening up their opponents.
Three times the Brazilian is fed and attempts to run at his markers. Each one foiled.
Peeep! Madrid get us going again...
More needed from Vini
It was a relatively quiet half from the Brazilian star.
What will Ancelotti have said to him and the others to open up their visitors more?
So, what to make of that.
Madrid came out of the blocks well and across the first 25 minutes carved out a number of opportunities that on another day may have found their desired location, Modric's well-worked effort very early on being the best of the bunch.
But it wasn't to be and Michel's men grew into the game well...
Valery Fernandez's flying header on minute 20 was the first real sign that the relegation strugglers were going to make a fist of things, and an even closer effort with around five to go gave the Bernabéu faithful a real scare, as Herrera came back out off the underside of the bar, Courtois helpless and fortunate it didn't hit him on the way out.
As I mentioned in the build-up, Girona have not been picking up many points, but have also not been far off it in each game. They are showing exactly why that is here.
All to play for as we settle in for the second half...
Peeeep! The whistle blows on a very decent first half.
We've had no goals but plenty of action at both ends of the park.
The first half is coming to a close with some confident interplay from the visitors, who are clearly buoyed by the last 20 minutes or so.
We'll have an extra two minutes to play.
The natives are restless. With the game not yet going to plan, any small decision against those in white is being booed and whistled by the packed stands.
Truth is, Girona have given almost as good as they've got, and are worthy of being level right now.
CLANG! So so close for Girona and it's Herrera who smashes a powerful strike off the underside of the crossbar.
Route one from Gazzaniga leaves Valery and Carvajal fighting it out in a run down the left, the Madrid full-back ending up on the deck and potentially hurt (pride, at least).
The cut back is met on the penalty spot and Courtois can thank whoever he prays to for that not hitting him or the net. Should be 0-1.
Carvajal is clearly following my live feed as he hits the byline and whips a decent ball in. Rodrygo is in the mix but outnumbered and outmuscled.
Girona do well to win a corner but are in no hurry to get across and take it. The home crowd are quick to make their feelings known.
In the end it's easily defended but provides the Blanquivermells with some more control, Madrid low to push on.
There's been no let up behind the goal as the Madrid drums and chants continue, but the playing action has fermented between each penalty area.
I'd suggest that Los Blancos need to use their width more and pull that tight defence away from where they're comfortable.
Carlo will be hoping to 'count' another three points onto the LaLiga total in an hour or so. Sorry!
Patient build-up takes over for a couple of minutes after a rather frenetic period. Then Kroos gets fed up of that and thwacks an ambitious effort goalwards, not causing too many problems for the Girona stopper.
It certainly feels as though Carlo has told his talented stars to have potshots whenever the opportunity arises.
Camavinga bends one just wide of Gazzaniga's post and then a minute later Rodrygo lashes a Kroos cutback onto the upright.
I sense a goal coming...
The visitors, all in yellow are happy to sit back and let Madrid have more of the ball, but are ready to pounce on a loose pass.
That is perfectly demonstrated there as possession is turned over, there's a four on four break, and Fernandez glances a lovely header towards Courtois' back post. Just the wrong side, but a warning to the hosts.
Almost a huge error in the Girona backline hands Madrid the lead.
A simple pass back is miscontrolled by Gazzaniga and only at a stretch does he clear up his mess before Rodrygo could tap home. Lucky boy!
Los Blancos are popping the ball around the midfield almost as if they have been rehearsing with the drummer in the home end.
They're being forced to keep their passing sharp by an energetic press from the visitors.
SAVE! Any it's one from Gazzaniga will have some nice snaps to show his grandkids with.
Rodrygo was the one with the latest effort, from distance, and the Argentine threw himself to tap it wide, although it may have been heading that way all by itself.
Despite those scares, Girona waste no time and get an attack built, again down the right. Some neat exchanges opens up space behind the Madrid defence but it's shored up pretty rapidly and any chance disappears.
Camavinga now threatens, this time cutting inside his marker and letting fly from about 20 yards. It seems to follow in the slipstream of Modric's previous hit.
Strong start from the hosts.
CLOSE! First chance falls to Modric who after laying off a volley first time inside the Girona area meets the return around the penalty spot and fires just wide of the right post.
He'll be disappointed with that.
Girona get us going and immediately get some possession worked down the right-hand side, before coming into the centre. It's well defended and away, a foul being won from the high press.
Peeep! We're off...
As the Madrid anthem rings out around the stadium, many fans belting it out with the pride you'd expect, the stars from each team are led out from the tunnel by today's officials.
It's almost time...
Warming up nicely
The players have been going through their usual routines while the crowd has slowly filled up the Bernabéu.
Our referee today is Mario Melero Lopez. Remember, he's the one to blame when things go against your team. He's totally biased in favour of the opposition, whether you're a Madrid or Girona fan.
Simple rule: don't blame it on the sunshine, don't blame it on the moonlight... blame it on the ref. It makes it easier to accept defeat.
Real Madrid’s Militão, Rodrygo signed new contracts in July
Vinícius Júnior wasn’t the only Real Madrid player who renewed his contract before the start of the season. The club also rewarded Éder Militão and Rodrygo Goes for their role in Los Blancos’ LaLiga and Champions League double by handing the Brazilians new deals at the beginning of July.
While Vinícius has extended his contract until 2027, AS understands that Militão and Rodrygo have both penned agreements running until 2028.
Courtois clean sheet?
The big Belgian in goal for Los Blancos hasn't yet kept an opposition strike force from scoring at least one in the league this season. That will give hope to the likes of Yangel Herrera and Cristhian Stuani, the latter of whom enjoys a late goal.
Two of Stuani's three league goals this season have come after the 80th minute.
Real Madrid now knows its great rival in the Club World Cup
In case you missed the earlier news, the Spanish giants, who will once again be the clear favourite to win the Club World Cup, found out who their biggest opponent will be: Flamengo.
Full details in the above article.
Madrid's VRV frontline
What's your take on Ancelotti's XI, Madridistas?
With no Benzema, the two young Brazilians will be expected to trouble Gazzaniga today, while the likes of Valverde and Modric will no doubt be heavily involved at that end of the pitch too.
Starting XI: Girona
Gazzaniga; Arnau, David López, Bueno, Couto,Miguel; Aleix, Romeu, Herrera; Valery, Castellanos
Starting XI: Real Madrid
Courtois; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Kroos, Modric, Camavinga; Valverde, Vini, Rodrygo.
OK, looks as though team news is whittling its way through to me...
How it stands: Girona
Today's visitors Girona have a very different fight on their hands, trying hard to avoid relegation after being promoted up just last season. They’re starting to pick up more positive results, with two recent draws keeping them in touch with their fellow bottom half sides. However, their poor record against teams in the top half of the standings (D1, L4) suggests that they will have a long afternoon.
The White and Reds have struggled on the road in the league this season, losing four and drawing one, but with all four defeats coming by just a single goal, they may consider themselves unlucky not to have picked up a few more points. That also implies that they will make Madrid work hard for everything. It’s a big ask.
How it stands: Real Madrid
There was a bit of a shock for the reigning Spanish and European champions, Real Madrid, in their midweek Champions League action. They lost.
For much of the game against RB Leipzig, Carlo Ancelotti’s men looked second best and, despite still being a) guaranteed a place in the round of 16 and b) almost certainly qualifying as top dogs in the group, will be more than keen to get back to winning ways against Girona in front of their adoring home fans at the Bernabéu.
As you can see from the table, domestic rivals Barcelona pulled level with them at the top of LaLiga, after overcoming Valencia on Saturday evening.
Have you ever been to the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid? If not, I'd thoroughly recommend it, both for the stadium, the city and so much more.
Careful, though, as you may love it so much you end up living there!
Real Madrid vs Girona preview: how to watch on TV, stream online in US/UK and around the world
As well as hanging on my every word in this feed as I paint a picture of the contest, there are some folks out there who can provide you with actual pictures.
I knocked up this handy guide in case that's of interest to you.
Real Madrid vs Girona live: welcome
Hello and a very warm welcome to you as we prepare for our latest instalment of the battle at the top of LaLiga Santander.
Barcelona picked up another win yesterday (just) to keep the pressure up on Real Madrid, so Carlo Ancelotti will be expecting a convincing victory in front of the home fans to put some space between them and their rivals once again.
Stay with me and we'll find out together...
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