El Centrocampista

¡Campeónes! Real Madrid end four years of hurt: La Liga Round-Up and Highlights


Real Madrid finally ended Barcelona’s four-year stranglehold of La Liga  after enjoying an emphatic 3-0 victory over Athletic Club  at San Mamés on Wednesday night.

The league leaders were expecting a tough game from their Basque hosts, but in truth Jose Mourinho’s side rarely looked troubled as Gonzalo Higuain (16′) and Mesut Ozil (20′)  put them  firmly in the driving seat by the break. Cristiano Ronaldo then made amends for a missed first-half penalty as he scored his 44th league goal of the season five minutes after the restart – powering an Ozil corner past a hapless Iraizoz in the Athletic goal.

The home side struggled to impose themselves on the game and their misery was compounded when Javi Martinez was sent off  with 20 minutes to go after picking up a second yellow card; both for handball. Madrid failed to add to their lead but there were jubilant scenes when referee Texeira Vilienes called time on the proceedings, as Mourinho was hoisted into the air by his players after winning his first la liga title with two games still to play.

Earlier, Barcelona ensured Real Madrid would have to win their title on the pitch after a Lionel Messi hat-trick sent them on their way to a comfortable 4-1 triumph over a weakened Malaga side at the Camp Nou. Carles Puyol was an unlikely goalscorer to break the deadlock after 13 minutes – the Barça captain sliding into the six-yard box to guide Andres Iniesta’s cross past Idriss Kameni in the visitor’s goal. Malaga were soon back in the game however, as Saloman Rondon got in between three Barcelona players to head past  Jose Pinto and level the scores.

Lionel Messi restored the home side’s advantage less than 10 minutes later when he beat the goalkeeper from the spot and increased Barça’s lead 15 minutes after the break; again from 12 yards out. The Argentine striker rounded off his hat-trick with 25 minutes remaining when he latched onto a sublime through ball from Iniesta, to lift the ball over the advancing Kameni in the Malaga goal.

Valencia guaranteed themselves a place in next season’s Uefa Champions League after thumping four late goals past a shell-shocked Osasuna at the Mestalla. The visitors had looked to be on their way to earning a point as the game headed into the final 15 minutes goal less, however two goals apiece for Aritz Aduriz and Jonas ensured Unai Emery will leave the club at the end of the season having steered them into Europe’s premier club competition for the third consecutive year.

Real Zaragoza kept their survival hopes alive after a tense 1-0 victory over Champions League-chasing Levante at La Romareda. Edu Oriol got the game’s only goal after 10 minutes to move Manolo Jimenez’s men to within three points of Rayo Vallecano with two games to play.

Jose Roman Sandoval’s Rayo continue their dismal recent form as a 1-0 defeat at Mallorca sent them to their fifth straight loss – leaving them perilously close to a swift return back to la Segunda. The Madrid side went into the game knowing a point would send relegation rivals Sporting Gijon down but a lacklustre display was compounded when Gonzalo Castro scored the only goal of the game just past the hour mark. Rayo travel to Sevilla at the weekend before a final day clash against Granada at Vallecas.

Sevilla were left stunned as Beñat fired in a stoppage winner for Betis in the Seville derby at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. The hosts had enjoyed a perfect start to the game as Alvaro Negredo netted after just five minutes and Michel’s side could have added to the lead before Beñat’s free kick drew the sides level just before the interval. Sevilla still harboured hopes of securing a European place but these were dashed when Beñat beat Javi Varas deep into time added on with another sublime free kick.

In Wednesday’s early game. Atletico Madrid suffered a major setback in their Champions League qualification hopes as Carlos Vela snatched a dramatic injury time equaliser for Real Sociedad at the Vicente Calderon. Gabi gave Diego Simeone’s side the lead 10 minutes after the break but the former Zaragoza player turned villian with 15 minutes reamining as he was given his marching orders following a second caution. Despite being a man down, the hosts looked to have done enough to secure the victory until Vela netted deep in stoppage time.


















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