Real Madrid clinch La Liga title with Villarreal triumph

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Real Madrid clinch La Liga title with Villarreal triumph

Real Madrid clinched their first La Liga title for three years with a 2-1 win over Villarreal, giving them an unassailable seven-point lead at the top of the table after Barcelona’s 2-1 home defeat to Osasuna. Zinedine Zidane’s side came into their penultimate game of the season knowing a victory would be enough to get them over the line following a nine-game winning streak following the restart, but their result, in the end, was irrelevant as Barcelona’s title defence ended with a whimper. Karim Benzema opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark, with Casemiro picking off a loose pass in the centre of the pitch before feeding Luka Modric. The Croatian fed Benzema and the French striker finished through the legs of Sergio Asenjo. The hosts doubled their advantage in controversial circumstances after 77 minutes when Sergio Ramos and Benzema emulated Thierry Henry and Robert Pires by spurning a penalty kick only for the referee to order it to be retaken. Benzema made no mistake with the second attempt. Vicente Iborra gave Villarreal hope of a late comeback, heading home a Mario Gaspar cross with seven minutes left to play, but Real Madrid had enough in the tank to clinch the Spanish title, the 34th of their history.