…Benzema got a brace to secure significant victory for Real Madrid
Real Madrid have secured their 34th La Liga title by beating Villarreal 2 – 1 at home as Karim Benzema got a brace.
Real with one game to spare extend their title-winning record having 86 points after 37 matches, seven more than the unseated champions Barcelona who were beaten 2-1 at home to Osasuna.
Benzema put the Champions in front after 29 minutes when he fired a shot through the legs of keeper Sergio Asenjo and also converted a penalty in the 77 minutes to help Real on their way to an outstanding 10th consecutive league victory since resumption of season from COVID-19 lockdown.
Villarreal pulled a late goal back through Vicente Iborra and was close to an equaliser in added time, while Real’s Marco Asensio thought he had added a third goal later on which was cancelled by VAR for offside.
After the match, Real captain Sergio Ramos lifted the Liga trophy into the air at the empty Alfredo di Stefano stadium, where the Madrid side have been playing their final games of the season while their Santiago Bernabeu home is being renovated.
The players were excited as seen jubilating in ecstatic versions and Former Chelsea goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois expressed his joy after the match.
“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.
Meanwhile, it was a gloomy night for Real Madrid’s fiercest rivals, Barcelona as 10-man Osasuna dazed them with 2 – 1 at Nou Camp.
Barcelona conceded their first goal in 15 minutes when Jose Arnaiz smashed home a shot from the centre of the box into the left corner. Messi got a superb strike he curved from a wall-laden free-kick to level in 62 minutes.
Enric Gallego was sent off in 77 minutes when he elbowed Clement Lenglet, and the hopes that would have been raised for the deposed champions were shattered as Roberto Torres got a late goal in 94 minutes, sinking Barcelona’s dream of lifting the trophy they won in two consecutive seasons.
Lionel Messi showed his frustration after the match as he attested to his team’s inconsistency. “We didn’t expect or want it to end in this way, but it’s a reflection of the season in a way. An inconsistent, weak team that is beaten in intensity and enthusiasm.”
Barcelona were riding speedily ahead of Madrid in the league before the COVID-19 break, and had been inconsistent since the restart of the season which Madrid gained advantage of by recording ten straight wins boosting their race to secure the title.
It is expected of the Barcelona to gather momentum as their next major competitive game resumes in August 8, when they host Napoli in second leg of UEFA Champions League round of 16. The first leg ended with a goal apiece and Napoli who are 6th on the Serie A table might visit to further worsen the season for the Catalans.