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Real Madrid clinch La Liga title after Girona beat Barca

Real Madrid clinch La Liga title after Girona beat Barca

Real Madrid won La Liga on Saturday after beating Cadiz 3-0 before Girona defeated last year’s champions Barcelona 4-2 to seal Los Blancos’ triumph.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side did their homework against the Andalucian stragglers to virtually guarantee a record-extending 36th Spanish title, confirmed when Barcelona dropped points at Montilivi. Girona’s dramatic victory saw the Catalan minnows qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history.

Brahim Diaz netted in the 51st minute to put Madrid ahead and then set up Jude Bellingham for the second, with Joselu tapping home a third to leave Madrid on the cusp of the title. “We leave our skins out there on the pitch to live moments like today’s, we are so close to the league,” Joselu told Real Madrid TV.

There are young players who are very hungry for titles, veterans who are delighted to be here… and these are special moments.” Ancelotti played a heavily rotated side ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich on Wednesday. The coach selected only captain Nacho Fernandez from the starting line-up that earned a 2-2 draw in Bavaria this week.

Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois started for the first time after a nine-month lay off after a knee injury and kept a clean sheet. Madrid midfielder Luka Modric became the oldest player to appear for the club in La Liga, at 38 years and 238 days, breaking late Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas’ record from 1965 by five days.

Madrid striker Joselu came close to reaching a dangerous cross and Chris Ramos fired off target for the visitors in an otherwise slow start at the Santiago Bernabeu. Ruben Sobrino barged his way past Eder Militao on the counter-attack after half an hour but Nacho slid in well to thwart him as he prepared to shoot.

The visitors, 18th and still battling to stay up, shaded the first half, although Dani Ceballos had a shot blocked after Cadiz goalkeeper Jeremias Ledesma went walkabout at a corner.

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‘Waiting for this day’

Courtois made a superb save to deny Ramos early in the second half and his team took the lead immediately afterwards. The Cadiz striker shook free of Nacho and ran in on goal but Courtois produced a superb save. Moments later Diaz sent Madrid ahead, receiving from the evergreen Modric on the edge of the area, turning slickly and curling an effort into the top corner.

Thibaut is the best in the world, he’s had a terrible season and we were waiting for this day to come,” added Joselu. Bellingham, on as a substitute for Turkish teenager Arda Guler, added the second soon after entering the fray. Modric and Diaz combined well, with the latter squaring for Bellingham to put the finishing touch on a fine team move.

It was the England international’s 18th league goal of the season, keeping him in contention to finish as the top scorer. Madrid put the cherry on their cake after a superb run by Nacho. Poised to depart at the end of the season, the Spaniard was hailed by the Bernabeu after setting up Joselu for a simple finish in stoppage time.

Los Blancos could celebrate after Girona came from behind twice to defeat Barcelona for the second time this season in a thrilling derby. Barcelona took the lead through Andreas Christensen but La Liga’s top scorer Artem Dovbyk levelled with his 20th goal of the campaign. Robert Lewandowski’s penalty sent Barcelona ahead but substitute Portu made a huge impact in the second half for Girona.

The winger netted the equaliser and then set up Miguel Gutierrez to put Girona ahead. Portu sensationally volleyed home the fourth to ignite Girona’s tiny Montilivi stadium and get the party started.



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Samuel Kwame Boadu