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Girona move top with stirring comeback against Osasuna

Girona midfielder Aleix Garcia (centre) celebrates scoring against Osasuna. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP

Girona produced a stunning comeback to beat Osasuna 4-2 in a thriller on Saturday and provisionally move top of La Liga.

The Catalan minnows’ Ukrainian duo Artem Dovbyk and Viktor Tsygankov’s goals helped Girona triumph from 2-1 down to move three points ahead of Real Madrid, who face Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

Ivan Martin sent the visitors ahead but Osasuna striker Ante Budimir netted twice to turn the game on its head before Dovbyk and Tsygankov intervened and Aleix Garcia made the game safe in stoppage time. 

Girona earned their 10th victory in 12 league games to continue their remarkable start to the season.

Despite climbing to the top of the pile Girona coach Michel said his club were not competing with Spain’s big three — Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid — but instead the other sides aspiring to establish themselves in the top four.

“We’re not in the league of Barca, Madrid and Atleti, but we will fight to be in the league of those coming in behind them,” said Michel.

“I dream of that, being in the league of Real (Sociedad), Athletic, Rayo… now, yes, I dream of that league.

“The objective of survival is close and (we move) without stopping thinking about that objective, but taking another step forward.”

Martin netted the opener after a slick team move involving Savinho and Dovbyk, but Budimir pulled Osasuna level to ignite their El Sadar stadium.

There were no further goals in the end-to-end first half but Croatian target man Budimir nodded home early in the second period with a header after a 19-pass move.

Dovbyk headed home from Miguel Gutierrez’ cross after 71 minutes to level the game, and then his compatriot Tsygankov struck at the second attempt after being teed up by the imposing striker.

Garcia rounded off the rout with a volley into the ground which bounced over Osasuna goalkeeper Sergio Herrera’s dive.

“Of course I remember (Leicester) like everyone does,” Girona defender Eric Garcia told DAZN, when asked if his team’s title charge could unfold like the Foxes’ shock Premier League victory in 2016. 

“However there’s a long way to go, and we have to go little by little.

“We have to enjoy this now and from Monday, think about the next game.”

Later Saturday champions Barcelona, fourth, visit fifth-place Real Sociedad.

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