Saturday, December 16, 2017

Real Madrid crowned champions – La Liga Round-Up Week 38

Gill Clark in Editorial, La Liga 22 May 2017

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Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates Madrid’s title triumph. Image via Getty

La Liga finished with a flourish on Sunday as Real Madrid ended their five-year wait for the trophy after beating Barcelona to top spot. Elsewhere there was drama in the European spots with Villarreal taking fifth and Real Sociedad pipping Athletic Bilbao to sixth thanks to a last minute equaliser at Celta Vigo.

Madrid end wait for title

The only place to start is at Malaga where Real Madrid ensured there was no final day slip-up with a 2-0 win. Cristiano Ronaldo, who else, calmed any nerves with an opener after just two minutes, rounding goalkeeper Carlos Kameni before tapping into an empty net. Malaga did have their chances with former Barcelona man Sandro Ramirez trying to do his old club a favour but a second goal from Karim Benzema, after Kameni had parried Sergio Ramos’ effort, sealed the win. Madrid finish the season three points clear of Barcelona with manager Zinedine Zidane winning the title in his first full season with the club. The legendary Frenchman will now hope to complete a double by winning the Champions League, and becoming the first club to retain the title in its modern format. Madrid, who scored in every single La Liga game for the first time ever, are now 5/6 to land the European Cup.

Barcelona win but finish second

Barcelona did their best on Sunday but it was not enough as they had to settle for the runners-up spot in Luis Enrique’s final Liga game of the season. In truth it could have been much worse, Eibar went ahead through Takashi Inui and a strangely profligate Barca side missed a host of chances to equalise. Inui then added a stunning second which seemed to finally wake the visitors from their torpor. Neymar swiftly halved the deficit by forcing a David Junca own goal before Luis Suarez levelled the game. Lionel Messi, who had earlier missed a penalty, awarded after Jordi Alba fell over with no-one near him, then put Barca ahead from the penalty spot with Ander Capa sent off after bringing down Neymar. Messi then lit up the game with a sensational solo goal to seal a 4-2 win  and end the season as the pichichi with 37 goals from 34 games.

Atletico wave goodbye to the Calderon in style

Atletico Madrid bade a fond farewell to the Vicente Calderon with a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao. Fernando Torres scored twice in the first 11 minutes to send the hosts on their way and although Inaki Williams got one back a late strike from Angel Correa sent the fans home happy. Diego Simeone insisted after the game he would stay at the club, who will play their home games at their 67,000 capacity Wanda Metropolitano stadium next season. Athletic, meanwhile, will have to wait and see if Barcelona beat Alaves in the Copa del Rey to free up an extra Europa League spot while coach Ernesto Valverde is now widely expected to leave the club and replace Luis Enrique at Camp Nou.

Five-star Sevilla sign off in style

Sevilla had already secured fourth spot in La Liga but finished in some style in what could be Jorge Sampaoli’s last match with the club, he is expected to be named the new Argentina coach shortly. Vitolo and Franco Vazquez both scored doubles while Stevan Jovetic was also on target in a 5-0 romp.

Seven games, seven defeats for Tony Adams

Tony Adams took aim at Arsene Wenger in the week but he signed off with yet another defeat as Granada lost 2-1 to Espanyol. In fact the hosts were two down inside 10 minutes thanks to goals from Leo Baptistao and Ruben Vezo. Manchester United loanee Andreas Pereira grabbed one back for Granada but that was as good as it got as they finished the season bottom. Seven defeats from seven for Adams, and the club managed just three games during his time in charge.

Villarreal beat Valencia to finish fifth

Villarreal finished the season in fifth place and will play Europa League football next season after a 3-1 win over Valencia. Roberto Soldado opened the scoring but although Nani levelled the game further goals from Manuel Trigueros and Nicola Sansone secured victory.

Sociedad secure sixth in dramatic style

Real Sociedad needed a last-gasp equaliser from Juanmi to secure sixth after a 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo. Celta ended an awful run of defeats by picking up a point although it could have been so much better after goals from Fabián Orellana and Joaquín Larrivey had put them 2-0 up.

Draws for Alaves & Real Betis

Ruben Castro was the star for Real Betis as they finished off with a 2-2 draw at Sporting Gijon. Castro scored twice, to make it 13 for the season, although a later equaliser from Carlos Carmona gave the hosts a point. Leganes and Alaves also played out a draw, the game finishing 1-1, with David Timor’s stunning equaliser rescuing a point.

Deportivo see off Las Palmas

Las Palmas ended with five straight defeats after going down 3-0 at Deportivo. Florin Andone scored twice before Carles Gil grabbed his first goal for the club. The visitors then saw Hernan dismissed as they finished with yet another loss.

La Liga results in full

Granada 1-2 Espanyol

Sevilla 5-0 Osasuna

Leganes 1-1 Alaves

Deportivo 3-0 Las Palmas

Sporting Gijon 2-2 Real Betis

Atletico Madrid 3-1 Athletic Bilbao

Celta Vigo 2-2 Real Sociedad

Valencia 1-3 Villarreal

Barcelona 4-2 Eibar

Malaga 0-2 Real Madrid

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gill Clark


Gill is a freelance football writer who has spent many years working for Goal, writing and editing news, previews, match reports, ratings, live blogs and just about anything else she can get her hands on.

She now contributes to a variety of online publications, including Soccernews, predominantly covering the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A.

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