Girona keeps impressing in Spain, defeats Villarreal 2-0

March 3, 2018

MADRID (AP) Zinedine Zidane fielded his regular starters before the Paris Saint-Germain match and Real Madrid will travel to France boosted by a good performance by its stars and a comfortable win in the Spanish league on Saturday.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice and Gareth Bale once as Madrid eased past 10-man Getafe 3-1.

Madrid faces PSG in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday, leading 3-1 from the first leg.

''It was important to win before a match like we have on Tuesday,'' Zidane said. ''We will have three days of good mood in the squad.''

Ronaldo became the fastest player to reach 300 goals in La Liga, taking his tally to 301 in 286 matches. He goes to Paris having scored 10 goals in his last five matches in all competitions.

Madrid is in a fight for third place with Valencia, which is only four points behind going into its home match against Real Betis on Sunday.

Spanish leader Barcelona hosts second-place Atletico Madrid on Sunday to defend its five-point advantage.

Zidane rested Ronaldo and other starters this week when it lost at Espanyol 1-0.

He played with the ''BBC'' trio of Karim Benzema, Bale, and Ronaldo on Saturday, a sign of his possible lineup for the match against PSG. Left back Marcelo returned from injury as a second-half substitute.

Bale opened the scoring from close range in the 24th minute. Ronaldo made a pair of nice moves to clear defenders inside the area in first-half injury time for his first. His second goal was a header in the 78th from a pass by Marcelo.

Ronaldo, who had a goal disallowed for offside midway through the second half, was substituted shortly after his second goal.

Getafe's lone goal was a 65th-minute penalty kick converted by Francisco Portillo.

Getafe, 10th in the standings, played a man down from the 47th after striker Loic Remy was sent off for a reckless foul on Nacho Fernandez.



Girona's impressive debut in the league continued in beating Villarreal 2-0, a result that put the modest Catalan club in position to make it to the Europa League.

Christian Stuani and substitute Anthony Lozano scored for Girona, which moved to seventh place and the final qualification spot for the second-tier European competition.

It was the fourth win in six matches for Girona, which is one point behind sixth-place Villarreal and five behind fifth-place Sevilla. Villarreal lost its second straight game.

''We reached our first goal, which was to reach 40 points and earn the right to remain in the first league for another season,'' Girona coach Pablo Machin said. ''Now we will keep trying to win, and with five rounds to go we will see what are our chances regarding the European competitions.''

Girona, whose main goal at the beginning of the season was to avoid demotion, is 20 points clear of the relegation zone with 11 matches remaining.

The teams in fifth and sixth place receive an automatic spot in the Europa league, while the seventh-place team enters a qualifying round.



Deportivo La Coruna's winless streak under coach Clarence Seedorf increased to five matches after drawing with Eibar 1-1 at home.

Deportivo remained second-to-last in the standings, inside the relegation zone.

The hosts played a man down from the 39th as goalkeeper Maksym Koval was sent off for a foul outside the area.

Florin Andone's first-half goal was the team's first in the five matches under former Dutch midfielder Seedorf.

Deportivo hasn't won in 12 straight matches in all competitions, losing three times since Seedorf took over as coach.



Leganes ended its eight-match winless streak by defeating last-place Malaga 2-0.

Malaga's own winless run reached 12 matches. It is six points behind second-to-last Deportivo La Coruna.



Sevilla won a second straight match when it defeated visiting Athletic Bilbao 2-0. Sevilla was within five points of fourth-place Valencia.


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