Girona – Athletic Club: Girona Get Back To Winning Ways Against Athletic Club (2-1)
The thirteenth round of fixtures of the La Liga season kicked off with a visit to Girona for the high-flying Athletic Club, who had the chance to climb all the way up to third temporarily. It was the hosts who came away with all three points on the back of a strong performance to end a rotten run of results.
Tactical analysis and match report by Neel Shelat.
After three seasons down in the Segunda División, Girona were back in the Spanish top flight in the 2022/23 season by virtue of winning the playoffs. Unsurprisingly, they were at risk of going straight back down as they started this game in 17th place but were level on points with the second-bottom side. No wins in their last seven league games was not a great run of form going into this match, but a draw against the league-leaders Real Madrid last weekend did provide some encouragement.
Athletic Club’s flying start to the season had slightly tailed off of late as they ended a four-match winless streak against Villarreal last weekend, but they still remained in touch with the best of the rest behind Real Madrid and Barcelona. Our model expects them to be locked in a tight battle with local rivals Real Sociedad for what could be the last two European spots in sixth and seventh, so picking up maximum points against such lower-quality opposition was imperative for them.
Girona lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation again, with Arnau Martínez, Santiago Bueno, David López and Miguel Gutiérrez ahead of Paulo Gazzaniga in goal. Aleix García and Yangel Herrera were ahead of Oriol Romeu . . .