Real Madrid stumble vs. Girona as VAR takes centre stage

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Vinicius Jr. (C) of Real Madrid scores during a Spanish La Liga football match between Real Madrid and Girona in Madrid, Spain, Oct. 30, 2022. (Photo by Gustavo Valiente/Xinhua)

Real Madrid dropped two points in the race for La Liga when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to struggling Girona on Sunday afternoon.

Although his side kicked off the game third from bottom, Girona coach Michel said in his pre-game press conference that they were not going to the Santiago Bernabeu to make up the numbers, and that was how it proved to be.

In the first half, Girona restricted Madrid to long-range chances and it wasn't until the 70th minute that they took the lead, when Fede Valverde's low cross was turned in by Vinicius Jr.

Veteran Girona forward Cristhian Stuani came into the game in the 75th minute and five minutes later scored from the penalty spot after Marco Asensio had handballed.

Toni Kroos was sent off for a second yellow card in the last minute, and despite nine minutes of injury time, Real Madrid were unable to find a winner.

Real Betis moved up to fourth after goals from Juan Cruz and Borja Iglesias in the 85th and 93rd minutes gave them a 2-0 win away to Real Sociedad.

Elsewhere, Inaki Williams' second-half goal following an excellent pass from Raul Garcia saw Athletic Bilbao return to winning ways against Villarreal. The first half was an even affair, but Athletic dominated after the break and should have won by more than 1-0.

Osasuna are seventh thanks to a 2-0 win at home to Valladolid. Chimy Aliva netted a 13th-minute penalty and Moi Gomez added a second just six minutes later as Osasuna had the game wrapped up well before halftime.

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