Real Madrid took over the Spanish title from arch rival FC Barcelona on Thursday after two seasons without success in La Liga. The league-leader needed only a 2-1 victory over Villarreal in the penultimate round.
Real, with top purchase Eden Hazard again in the base, the empty Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano did not have an easy time with the compact defending team Villarreal, but after half an hour Karim Benzema broke the spell.
It is no coincidence that the opening goal came from a quick switch. Casemiro took the ball in the center circle, Luka Modric served Benzema and the Frenchman shot closely through the legs of keeper Sergio Asenjo. It was already the striker's sixth goal since the resumption of La Liga.
Fifteen minutes before time, Real received a penalty after a light foul on Sergio Ramos. The captain himself stood behind the ball and tried to imitate the famous penalty kick from Ajax players Johan Cruijff and Jesper Olsen from 1982 by putting the ball wide on Benzema, but the Frenchman walked in too early. The penalty had to be taken over and now Benzema scored in one go: 2-0.
Villarreal substitute Vicente Iborra headed home a few minutes later in the far corner (2-1) and the visitors came very close to the equalizer, but Thibaut Courtois had a great save in injury time. Real also won his tenth game since the resumption of La Liga and secured the title.
WOW, what would this have been a goal 😍Unfortunately the penalty is rejected due to Benzema catching up too early ❌⚽ #ZiggoSport #RealMadridVillarreal #LaLigaAvatar
For the users of the app: tap the video to see how Ramos and Benzema try to imitate Cruijff and Olsen.
Zidane wins eleventh prize as a trainer of Real
For Real it is the first title since 2017 and the 34th in total. This makes the Madrid people more than a record holder in Spain. FC Barcelona, which won the title the previous two seasons, is on 26 championships.
Zinedine Zidane, who started his second period in Madrid last March, can already credit his eleventh prize as a trainer of Real. The 48-year-old Frenchman sat on the bench when Real won the championship in 2017 and also has three times the Champions League, twice the World Cup for clubs, twice the European super cup and twice the Spanish super cup on his honors list.
Real was second in mid-June when La Liga resumed, two points behind league-leader Barcelona. However, 'De Koninklijke' remained faultless after the corona break, while the eternal rival from Catalonia shot.
The close defense is Real's strongest weapon, with keeper Thibaut Courtois and the 34-year-old Ramos as the stars. Zidane's team is only 23 goals after 37 matches and has only scored four goals since the resumption.
Attacking, top scorer Benzema with 21 goals and eight assists is again of great value, while Ramos is no less than ten goals. 34-year-old Luka Modric (three goals and eight assists) was again the conductor in midfield after a somewhat less 2018/2019 season, together with Toni Kroos (four goals and five assists).
Karim Benzema gave Real Madrid the fourth 1-0 win in the last six games. (Photo: Pro Shots)
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