MADRID — Girona stepped back into the Spanish title race by defeating Rayo Vallecano 3-0 and moving above Barcelona into second place on Monday.

Girona started the day a point behind its Catalan neighbor but a goal after 52 minutes from Viktor Tsygankov and an injury time double from Sávio took it to within six points of leader Real Madrid.

The result in difficult, rainy conditions ended a run of three games without a win for Girona.

After leading the table for much of the season, Girona faltered in February when it took just one point in nine and was beaten by Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.

However, it slipped back into contention on a miserable night, aided by the sending off of Rayo substitute Pep Chavarría.

Girona led from seven minutes into the second half when David López’s clever pass beat the Rayo offside trap. Miguel Gutiérrez’s cut back was dispatched by Tsygankov.

Chavarría replaced Jorge de Frutos after 64 minutes but he was on his way off again 12 minutes later after committing two bad fouls in two minutes.

Sávio then wrapped up the win with two late goals. The 19-year-old Brazilian cut in from the right wing on both occasions and finished with aplomb.

Rayo is winless in its last seven league games.

More soccer news

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months