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Taty Castellanos scores four goals as Girona beats Real Madrid

Girona’s Valentin Castellanos celebrates scoring their fourth goal with teammates

Girona’s Valentin Castellanos celebrates scoring their fourth goal with teammates
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Former Major League Soccer scoring leader Taty Castellanos netted four times as Girona defeated Real Madrid 4-2 in the Spanish league on Tuesday.

Castellanos, playing on a one-season loan from New York City FC, scored twice in each half to help the Catalan club stun the defending league champions.

The loss further damaged Madrid’s hopes of catching Barcelona at the top of the standings. Barcelona can increase its lead to 14 points with seven matches remaining with a win at mid-table Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday.

The result may also allow third-place Atletico Madrid to cut its gap to Madrid to three points. Atletico hosts Mallorca on Wednesday.

Madrid’s focus has been on the Champions League semifinal against Manchester City and the Copa del Rey final against Osasuna. Coach Carlo Ancelotti did use some of his regular starters, though, including Vinícius Júnior, who several times exchanged provocations with Girona fans in the stands and players on the field.

The Brazilian scored Madrid’s first goal with a header in the 34th minute and set up Lucas Vázquez’s goal in the 85th.

After scoring his goal, Vinícius looked toward the stands and started laughing. Fans at one point chanted “How bad you are, Vinícius.” The forward, who is Black, has been targeted by racist insults this season.

Castellanos, a 24-year-old Argentine, got his four goals in just over an hour of play. He scored in the 12th, 24th, 46th and 62nd minutes and received a standing ovation from the Girona fans at Montilivi Stadium when he was substituted in the 72nd.

Girona moved to ninth place with the victory, its second in three matches, and guaranteed its place in the first division next season. The Catalan club is back in the top flight after a three-year absence. Like NYC, it is controlled by City Football Group, the parent company of Manchester City.

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