Real Madrid lifts 34th La Liga title

Real Madrid clinched its first La Liga title in three years, and a record 34th league title, with a 2-1 win over Villarreal.

ZIdane and Ramos pose with the La Liga trophy after clinching the title with the defeat of Villareal.   -  REUTERS

Real Madrid clinched a record-extending 34th La Liga title with one game to spare by beating Villarreal 2-1 at home on Thursday thanks to two goals from its leading scorer Karim Benzema.

Real have 86 points after 37 games, seven more than deposed champion Barcelona which was beaten 2-1 at home to Osasuna.

Benzema fired through the legs of keeper Sergio Asenjo to put Madrid ahead after 29 minutes and converted a penalty in the 77th to help Real on its way to a remarkable 10th consecutive league win since the season resumed after the COVID-19 stoppage.

AS IT HAPPENED | Real Madrid 2-1 Villareal

Benzema had put the ball in the net moments earlier after an audacious pass from the spot kick by original penalty taker Sergio Ramos but it had to be re-taken due to encroachment.

The French forward then stepped up to take the penalty himself and slammed it into the bottom corner to score his 21st league goal of the campaign.

Villarreal pulled a late goal back through Vicente Iborra and should have snatched an equaliser in added time, while Real's Marco Asensio thought he had added a third goal later on but it was ruled out by VAR for offside.

After the match Real captain Ramos hoisted the Liga trophy into the air at the empty Alfredo di Stefano stadium, where the Madrid side has been playing its final games of the season while its Santiago Bernabeu home is being renovated.

“To return after spending three months locked in our homes and to win 10 matches in a row is incredible, but I always believed in my team and knew we could win it,” said Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Atletico beats Getafe

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe 2-0 away in its penultimate La Liga game on Thursday to continue its relentless run of form.

Marcos Llorente put Diego Simeone's side in front early in the second half before substitute Thomas Partey scored in the 80th minute, sealing Atletico's seventh win in 10 matches.

Third-placed Atletico, which had already sealed a top-four finish and qualification for next season's Champions League, moved on to 69 points after 37 matches, two ahead of fourth-placed Sevilla who drew 0-0 at Real Sociedad.

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