Knowing they would secure a first La Liga title if they avoided defeat to Malaga on the final day of the season, Real Madrid made no mistake on Sunday evening.
If Los Blancos were feeling any nerves at all at La Rosaleda they were all but vanished within two minutes, when Cristiano Ronaldo received a pass from Isco and rounded goalkeeper Carlos Kameni to give the visitors an early lead. As well as edging them closer to a first league title since 2012, it also meant for the first time ever they have scored in every league game of a season.
From that moment on there was little doubt Zinedine Zidane’s men would finish the job, and 10 minutes into the second half his compatriot Karim Benzema doubled their lead when following up a blocked Sergio Ramos shot. After the match, the Bernabeu boss expressed his relief that the title would return to the Spanish capital for only the second time in the last nine years.
“It was very important (to win the league),” Zidane told Marca. “It was a lot of years without winning it and we knew that the league is everything. For Real Madrid, because it is the best club in the world, we have to return with this league title. Now we can celebrate – we have to go to (the city centre) because we have to think about all the people that are part of the club.”
The celebrations are likely to be a short-lived affair, as Real have the small matter of the UEFA Champions League final against Juventus next weekend. Zidane’s side are aiming to become the first to retain the trophy since Milan in 1990, but they face his former club who are also in fine form having just secured a sixth successive Serie A title and are now hunting for a treble having also won the Coppa Italia.