Girona snatch late win over Atletico to keep pace with leaders Mardrid


Laurens: I can't see Girona slowing down in LaLiga title race

Julien Laurens does not think Girona will take their foot off the gas in LaLiga after their dramatic 4-3 win over Atlético Madrid.

Ivan Martin's stoppage-time goal earned Girona a dramatic 4-3 home win against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday that kept them level on points with Real Madrid at the LaLiga summit.

Atletico striker Alvaro Morata had grabbed a hat-trick as they fought back from 3-1 down to level but Martin showed superb close control before firing into the top corner to snatch the three points and maintain Girona's stunning start to the season.

Girona coach Michel called the win "historic," but cooled any talk of winning LaLiga this season despite his team's success at the midway point of the season following a first-ever win over Atleti.

"It's not the objective [winning LaLiga]," Michel said. "First to think game by game and try to reach Europe, which would make history for this club. Today a really great game, really difficult, did a lot well. Atletico as well, a great game. My players have an incredible mentality: resilience in the bad moments, always give everything to take the match forward.

"For me the success of these players is that. Our dream is to make europe, but we can't fight toe-to-toe with Real Madrid. To have the level of points of the big teams is very difficult.

Despite their coach's realistic assessment of the rest of the season, surprise package Girona moved to 48 points, behind Real, who beat Mallorca 1-0 earlier on Wednesday, on goal difference. Atletico Madrid remain third with 38 points.

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"We dropped a game, we dropped points and now we have to think about what's to come," Morata told Movistar. "It's football. We've lost, everything else doesn't matter. We have to get our heads up, rest, the Cup and the Super Cup are coming up and we don't have much time to think about it."

Girona opened the scoring two minutes into the game with Valery Fernandez curling in a great shot from the edge of the box before Atletico levelled through Morata in the 14th minute.

Girona's high pressing paid off as they stole the ball from Atletico's Koke before Savio scored at the second attempt to make it 2-1 in the 26th minute.

Dutch defender Daley Blind extended the hosts' lead in the 39th minute with a tap-in before Morata pulled one back for Atletico with a fine solo run in the last minute of the first half.

Morata got his third in the 53rd minute, firing home from inside the box to equalise again, but Martin sealed the win for Girona with a brilliant strike.

"I was lucky to score the goal. It's no coincidence, we've been doing a great job since we were in the second tier," said Martin. "I'm happy to play the way I'm playing. European football is there for us, but we have to keep going."

Girona and Atletico kick off their Spanish Cup campaigns on Saturday against Elche and Lugo, respectively.