Soccer-Lacklustre Girona slump to 1-0 loss at Mallorca


(Reuters) -High-flying Girona came crashing back to earth with a frustrating 1-0 defeat at Mallorca on Sunday, a third consecutive loss away from home that provided another reality check to the Catalans' lofty LaLiga title ambitions.

Girona, the season's early pacesetters, were unbeaten in 15 successive league games until their 4-0 thrashing by Real Madrid three weeks ago, and they have not been the same since, winning just one of their last five.

They remain second in the standings on 59 points, seven behind leaders Real Madrid and two points ahead of third-placed Barcelona, who have a game in hand and will play at Athletic Bilbao later on Sunday.

Although there had been some indications that Michel's well-oiled machine was not running quite as smoothly as it could, Girona had still looked set to maintain their push for a first LaLiga title.

Now they are in danger of being overtaken by the likes of Barcelona and fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, who are edging closer on 55 points.

Energised after a hard-fought win on penalties at Real Sociedad in midweek earned them a spot in the Copa del Rey final, Mallorca were dangerous on the counter against a toothless Girona who dominated possession but were out of ideas up-front.

Jose Copete scored the winner in the 33rd minute pouncing on a loose ball to find the top corner and Mallorca held on to their narrow lead with a flawless defensive performance to frustrate a Girona side that had gone 11 away games unbeaten before their recent bad run.

"We lacked aggression in attack," Girona manager Michel told Movistar Plus.

"We were imprecise in the first half, they scored a goal from a strategic play and we didn't make our chances count in an intense and evenly matched game."

(Reporting by Fernando KallasEditing by Toby Davis)

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