Real Madrid claim LaLiga crown with 4-0 rout of Espanyol

Sports Desk, Apr 30 (EFE).- Real Madrid thrashed Espanyol 4-0 Saturday to win their 35th LaLiga title on the same day that 2020-2021 champions Atletico Madrid saw their grip on fourth place slip with a defeat to Athletic Club.

The Blancos, who could have clinched with a draw, moved up to 81 points, 15 more than Sevilla with just four games left for both teams. Espanyol are 13th with 39 points.

Carlo Ancelotti could allow himself the luxury of leaving top striker Karim Benzema on the bench at the start of the match, though the Frenchman would come on for the final 30 minutes and boost his league-leading goal total to 26.

Rodrygo effectively put the contest to bed with a brace in the first half and Marco Asensio (m.55) and Benzema (m.81) doubled the margin in the second as Real Madrid reveled in winning the title in front of their supporters at the Santiago Bernabeu.

In Bilbao, meanwhile, Atletico fell 2-0 to Athletic and remain just 4 points ahead of Real Betis, who have a game in hand in the battle for the fourth and final Champions League place.

The hosts were much the better side from the start and went ahead in the 8th minute on an own goal charged to Atleti’s Mario Hermoso, who inadvertently deflected a ball from Iñaki Williams past goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

The Colchoneros were brighter to start the second half and a potential equalizer from Antoine Griezmann hit the cross-bar in the 51st minute.

A few minutes later, however, a defensive miscue left Hector Herrera with no option but to bring down Athletic’s Iker Muniain in the box and the referee pointed to the spot.

Iñaki Williams converted for the 2-0 and only a fine save by Oblak stopped him from making it 3-0.

Betis, the newly minted Copa del Rey holders, can move just a point behind Atletico with a victory Monday against 15th-place Getafe. EFE


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