Eibar ended 2017 in style with a commanding win over visitors Girona. The Gunsmiths were in complete control of the match. Although the Whites and Reds had a couple of good chances, Eibar fully deserved the win and the scoreline did them justice.
Girona had been one point from the potential of European football next season. But, now Eibar slips ahead to seventh place and is level on points with Villarreal. Though the Yellow Submarines have an extra game in hand.
Eibar scored in the first moments of the match. From a throw-in, Charles let the ball pass by and the ball went through to Inui on the edge of the penalty box. Inui made a powerful run into a central position and then struck into the bottom left of the Girona goal to make it 1-0.
A few minutes later, Girona almost had an immediate response with a free kick from Aleix García that flew over all the heads in the Eibar penalty box. It bounced off a surprised Dmitrovic whose central position in the goal allowed him to get a leg to the ball.
The Gunsmiths continued to pile the pressure the Whites and Reds. Inui backheeled a lovely ball for Cote down the left wing, who sent a long cross at pace to Charles. The Brazilian did not even have to move, the cross was aimed so perfectly and his header did not miss. Less than ten minutes in and Eibar were already 2-0 up. The match was turning into a nightmare for Girona.
25 minutes in, Girona had the chance to get back into the match. A free kick from Timor was curled neatly into the top righthand corner of Dmitrovic’s goal. The Serbian made a valiant leaping effort across goal, but the shot from Timor was simply unstoppable.
In the second half, Eibar came out swinging. Bébé got into a dangerous position in the box and sent a powerful shot across the face of the goal. Charles was well positioned in space behind the Girona defenders, but the ball was hurled at such pace that it deflected wildly off him and into the air. Charles was unable to head it towards what would have been a certain goal.
But, it did not take long until Eibar put the match out of Girona’s reach once again. Kike García received the ball and selfishly attempted a shot from a wide position. Luckily for him, the ball was deflected by Bono straight at an approaching Inui with a wide-open goal. The final nail in the coffin came in the 92nd minute with a strike from Joan Jordán.
Eibar coach José Luis Mendilibar was pleased with the final match of 2017. “Confidence is everything. The players play easily and they dare to do things. This is not by chance, we have worked very well in the last few games. For a team like us, it is very difficult to have a streak of 16 out of 18 points.”
On the other hand, Girona coach Pablo Machín was not happy with the team’s performance. “Surely today was Girona’s worst match of the season. We were not good at all.”
Girona has a chance for revenge when the two sides face each other again in May, this time at the Montilivi. Until then, securing a spot in the top flight for next season is still the priority for both clubs. They will have a chance to keep accruing points after the New Year. Both sides enjoy their first 2018 fixtures on January 6th.