After three years of wait, Real Madrid eventually bring the La Liga title back to the capital city after confirming their season effort at San Mames stadium this midweek by trashing Athletic Bilbao 3-0.
Although there’s still two more games left to play, Madrid’s victory kept their seven points gap with Barcelona intact, so considering there’s only six more possible points that Barca could earn, Jose Mourinho’s side are mathematically un-catchable by the Blaurgrana.
Madrid’s strong intention to immediately sealed their title this midweek was pretty visible with their aggression from right from kick off as they could’ve taken the lead after just 12 minutes if Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t miss from the spot kick. It was a rare miss indeed from the Portuguese international, but apparently the tension simply got to him as his shot was saved by Bilbao’s keeper, Iraizoz, who turned Ronaldo’s shot over the bar.
Fortunately for the visitor, their strong pressure eventually paid off when Gonzalo Higuain’s wonderful drive flew into Iraizoz net without anything much that the keeper can do this time. Just as always, that goal simply made things easier for Los Blancos as space begun to open up since Bilbao were upping their game, creating several holes at the back which always gave a side like Madrid goal scoring chances.
Madrid’s counter attacking play were just too effective for Bilbao as Mesut Ozil doubled the visitor’s lead after the German converted Ronaldo’s assist. The Portuguese eventually made up for his penalty miss with a goal five minutes after the re-start as he majestically headed in Xabi Alonso’s set piece assist to firmly seal the game for Mourinho’s team and eventually confirmed Madrid’s La Liga title for this season.
Previously, Barcelona continue to give some pressure for Madrid after picking up a 4-1 victory over Malaga, with Lionel Messi bagging a hat-trick after Carles Puyol puts the Catalan on the lead against Manuel Pellegrini’s team. Jose Salomon Rondon actually gave a lifeline for the visitor at Camp Nou after leveling Puyol’s opener, but two penalties which were converted expertly by Messi simply canceled out Malaga’s hope in the game.
Obviously the victory isn’t going to affect Barcelona since Madrid were winning their game, but at least it’s a fitting goodbye scene for their departed tactician, Josep “Pep” Guardiola, who is leaving Barca by the end of this season. Meanwhile, the defeat halted Malaga’s attempt in securing that Champions League spot but luckily for them, one of their main competitors, Levante also suffered a 1-0 defeat against struggling Real Zaragoza.