Castellanos hits four as Girona thrash champions Madrid

Castellanos hits four as Girona thrash champions Madrid

April 25, 2023 at 7:41 PM
Girona's Argentinian forward Taty Castellanos (3L) celebrates his fourth goal during the win over Real Madrid.
Girona's Argentinian forward Taty Castellanos (3L) celebrates his fourth goal during the win over Real Madrid.. Photo: LLUIS GENE / AFP
Source: AFP

Girona striker Taty Castellanos hit an incredible four goals as his side thrashed champions Real Madrid 4-2 in La Liga on Tuesday, helping leaders Barcelona edge closer to the trophy.

Carlo Ancelotti's Madrid are 11 points behind Barcelona having played one extra match, with this defeat virtually killing any hope they had remaining of defending the title.

Castellanos was left in tears after missing a big chance against Barcelona earlier in April as Girona drew, but made amends in spectacular fashion at Montilivi against Madrid.

The Argentine striker, on loan at Girona from New York City FC -- owned by the City group -- exposed gaps in Madrid's defence ahead of their Champions League semi-final tie against Manchester City in May.

Ancelotti had said his team needed to stay in a positive winning dynamic in the league to stay at the top of their game in Europe, but badly took their eye off the ball in Girona.

The Italian was hampered by striker Karim Benzema taking a knock in the win over Celta Vigo at the weekend, while goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois did not travel because of a stomach problem among other absentees.

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Former Madrid defender Miguel Gutierrez set up the opening goal with a cross for Castellanos, which he headed home from six yards out after 12 minutes.

Rodrygo might have equalised for Madrid but badly mishit his shot after the electric Vinicius Junior set him up following a mazy dribble.

Castellanos doubled Girona's lead after 24 minutes when he got in behind Eder Militao and blasted through Andriy Lunin's legs.

The lively Viktor Tsygankov could have made it three but hammered wildly over when two Madrid defenders collided and gave him a sight of goal from the edge of the box.

Vinicius pulled one back for Real Madrid with a header from Marco Asensio's fine inswinging cross, giving them hope of a second half comeback.

However Castellanos netted his third just 36 seconds after the interval after a fine run and cross from Yan Couto.

The striker pounced again after 62 minutes, again capitalising on a Militao mistake to net his and Girona's fourth.

It brought to mind Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski netting four against Madrid for Borussia Dortmund in 2013 in the Champions League.

Militao, who has been one of the league's best defenders this season, will hope to move on quickly from a painful evening.

Lucas Vazquez pulled another back for Madrid late on after more good work by Vinicius, but it was too little, too late.

AFP photo