Real Madrid win their 35th Spanish La Liga title

Carlo Ancelotti became the first coach to win all five major European titles on Saturday, as Real Madrid won their 35th La Liga title with a 4-0 home triumph against Espanyol.

Real Madrid needed only one point from their past five games and scored twice via Rodrygo in the first half at the Santiago Bernabeu, followed by goals from Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema.

With four games remaining, Real Madrid has a 17-point lead over second-placed Sevilla. Barcelona has a game in hand but is down by 18 points.

“It’s my first championship at the Bernabeu, and the atmosphere is really something extraordinary,” Ancelotti told Movistar Plus.

“If I was sobbing (at the last whistle), it was because I was overjoyed.”

It was no surprise that Madrid won a league they had controlled for months, but dips in form from Barcelona and Sevilla provided an opportunity for an early coronation.

With La Liga over, Madrid can devote their whole focus to the second leg of their semi-final against Manchester City at home on Wednesday, when they must overcome a 4-3 setback in the first game to proceed to another European final.

“Winning La Liga is unique,” midfielder Luka Modric said on Real Madrid TV, paying respect to the supporters who were unable to see the club’s championship triumph in 2020 because of the Covid-19 epidemic.

“We played a wonderful game, the atmosphere was amazing, and we aim to do it again on Wednesday.”

It is the earliest Madrid has won the title since 1989/90 when they won it with four games to spare.

“It’s the first time we’ve won it with so many games left, and it means a lot.” “We’ve had a wonderful season, and now we want to enjoy a little,” Modric remarked.

For the visit of Espanyol, Ancelotti rested Benzema and Vinicius Junior from the start, and Rodrygo capitalized with two goals late in the first half.

On 33 minutes, he teamed with fellow Brazilian Marcelo to put Madrid ahead, steering into the far corner for his second league goal of the season.

Mariano Diaz, who was given a rare offensive start, won the ball deep in Espanyol territory, and Rodrygo rolled in a second with a perfect finish past goalkeeper Diego Lopez.

On 55 minutes, Eduardo Camavinga set up Asensio to score Madrid’s third goal on the counter, with Modric subsequently making way for Toni Kroos and Benzema replacing Casemiro.

On a record day for Ancelotti, Benzema scored his 42nd goal in as many games this season in all competitions to complete a landslide victory for Madrid.

The Italian, who returned to Real Madrid in June for a second stint, won the Premier League with Chelsea, Serie A with AC Milan, Ligue 1 with PSG, and the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.

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