Soccer-Dovbyk hat-trick spurs Girona to end season with 7-0 thrashing of Granada


Soccer Football - LaLiga - Girona v FC Barcelona - Estadi Montilivi, Girona, Spain - May 4, 2024 Girona's Artem Dovbyk celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo

(Reuters) -A hat-trick from LaLiga top scorer Artem Dovbyk propelled Girona to their biggest ever win as they thrashed relegated Granada 7-0 on Friday to complete a dream season with a third-place finish in the standings.

The atmosphere at the Montilivi stadium was festive as fans celebrated the Catalans' remarkable season, ending with 81 points and securing their maiden Champions League berth.

"I am happy because it is a historic season, these players are incredible," Girona coach Michel told a news conference. "It has been a great season, people have supported us and felt proud and represented by this team. Let's celebrate."

Defender Eric Garcia opened the scoring on the half-hour mark, pouncing on the visitors' sloppy defending to head home from close range before Viktor Tsygankov doubled the advantage with a tap-in three minutes later.

Dovbyk made it 3-0 from the penalty spot in the 44th minute after a foul on Portu and Tsygankov scored his second with a simple finish nine minutes into the second half.

Granada were dealt a further blow when they were reduced to 10 men in the 61st minute after Facundo Pellistri's second yellow card before Dovbyk scored again in the 75th. Substitute Cristhian Stuani got on the scoresheet with a close-range strike in the 78th minute.

Dovbyk completed his hat-trick with a 90th-minute penalty to reach 24 league goals this season, ahead of Villarreal's Alexander Sorloth in the battle for the league's top goalscorer.

"The only thing we had at stake today was to make our fans proud, which is the main objective in every game," Michel said.

"Also to help Dovbyk for the possibility of being top scorer, those were the two objectives and I think we have achieved them.

"It is difficult because of Granada's position, it is difficult, we understand them but we had to achieve our objectives," the Spaniard added referring to their opponents' last game in the top flight.

(Reporting by Janina Nuno Rios in Mexico City, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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