Girona (Spain), Cristhian Stuani managed a brace here to give Girona a 3-2 win against Celta Vigo and lift the Catalan side into sixth place in La Liga.
Despite suffering the first defeat of the season, Celta remain third, though only by virtue of goal difference, as Girona and three other teams are tied with the Vigo club on points with 7, reports Efe news.
Girona, who shone in their first La Liga season, were expected to suffer from the departure of coach Pablo Machin for Sevilla, but they are on track to improve on last year’s results under new boss Eusebio Sacristan.
Portu had a chance to put the hosts on the board in the 6th minute after a great ball into the box from Borja Garcia, but ended up sending his shot straight into the hands of Celta goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez on Monday.
Five minutes later, the wood-work bailed out Girona keeper Bono when he was caught off-guard by Pione Sisto’s strike from close range.
Stuani, the No. 5 scorer in La Liga last season, opened the scoring in the 21st minute with an assist from Aday Benitez, who squandered an opportunity to double Girona’s advantage a few minutes later.
Celta’s franchise player, Iago Aspas, beat Bono with a direct free kick to bring the visitors level in the 34th minute, only for Girona’s Pedro Alcala to make it 2-1 in the 36th, redirecting Alex Granell’s corner.
Celta started the second half in dogged pursuit of the equalizer, yet the next goal would belong to Girona, as Stuani scored in the 56th minute on the counter to increase the lead to 3-1.
Half-time sub Sofiane Boufal managed to reduce the deficit for Celta to 3-2 with a goal in the 86th minute, but Girona saw out the match to break a seven-game home winless streak.