Leaders Girona frustrated by bottom side Almeria in goalless draw


LaLiga cellar dwellers Almeria hold title chasers Girona to draw

Girona's LaLiga title hopes take a hit after a 0-0 draw against bottom of the league Almeria.

Surprise LaLiga leaders Girona were left frustrated after being held to a goalless draw by bottom side Almeria on Sunday and ending the contest with 10 men as Aleix García was shown a straight red-card late in the second half.

With Real Madrid playing in the Spanish Super Cup final against Barcelona in Saudi Arabia later on Sunday, Girona climbed back to the top of the standings with 49 points, one ahead second-placed Real and eight clear Barca in third.

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Girona held a little over 55% of possession but were bereft of ideas and barely threatened their opponents, registering only one shot on target during the entire game.

They were lucky to salvage a point in a match a wasteful Almeria were the superior side but failed to score as they remain winless in the league after 20 matches.

"We have no excuses ... there is not an explanation to give or many ways to defend our situation because... we haven't won a single game," Almeria manager Asier Garitano told a news conference.

Girona's LaLiga title hopes were hit as they failed to beat Almeria.
Photo by JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images

Almeria squandered another chance to win a match they dominated against a top level opponent.

They had given a hard time to Barcelona before the Christmas break but came away empty handed after a late Sergi Roberto strike secured the Catalans a 3-2 victory.

On Sunday Almeria were better throughout the game but were frustrated by goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, who made a string of saves.

Midfielder Sergio Arribas wasted several great chances, including a sitter from close range.

In the 80th minute, Aleix Garcia was given his marching orders after holding Gonzalo Melero from behind when the Almeria midfielder was trying to surge past Gazzaniga at the edge of the box.

Girona soaked up the late pressure to salvage a point but a second draw in three games will feel like another wasted opportunity to open up a bigger gap at the top of the standings.

"We can't always win. When the opposition beats you like today, it's great news that we at least steal a point," Girona manager Míchel told reporters.

"A team that wants to stay on top of the standings need games like this, in which they can rescue a point against a rival that plays better than you in every aspect of the game."