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La Liga

Real Madrid Begin Final Countdown To UCL Final, Win La Liga

La Liga Real Madrid
ALAGA, SPAIN - MAY 21: The players of Real Madrid during celebrations at Cibeles Fountain after winning the 2016/17 Spanish football league, at Madrid on May 21, 2017. (Photo by Helios de la Rubia/Real Madrid via Getty Images)

Aside from the official anthem as penned by José de Aguilar in the year 1952, another anthem that powers the Real Madrid Club de Futbol of Madrid, Spain, is one that is composed by Nadir Khayat, a.k.a. RedOne. It is called “Hala Madrid, Y Nada Mas.” Forward Madrid, And Nothing Else. Indeed, the charges of Zinedine Zidane, bankrolled by the legendary brains trust guru in Florentino Perez, have maintained their focus: to remain the premier club in world football for another year.

The Copa del Rey may have eluded this esteemed organization and proven brand for many generations but the La Liga title was wrapped up in a no-nonsense performance away to Michel’s Malaga CF at La Rosaleda. Cristiano Ronaldo scored just two minutes into the first half and Karim Benzema added a second 55 minutes in to give Real its 33rd La Liga title, a league record that can only be shattered by Los Blancos themselves next season. The countdown to the UEFA Champions League final on June 3 will now begin for Real Madrid as they face Juventus, who defended their Serie A title without much opposition in Turin.

Luis Enrique’s FC Barcelona have their own cup final to deal with in the Copa del Rey and they prepared for it with a 4-2 win over Jose Luis Mendilibar’s SD Eibar at the Camp Nou. Lionel Messi scored a brace in the 75th minute and second minute of second half stoppage time. Takashi Inui put Eibar ahead 2-0 with goals in the seventh and 61st minutes but an own goal by David Junca in the 63rd minute and an equalizer by Luis Suarez in the 73rd minute set the stage for Messi’s expected heroics. Barcelona face Alaves at the Vicente Calderon on Saturday.

Real Madrid and Barcelona will be back in the UEFA Champions League group stage, as will be Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, who rolled past Ernesto Valverde’s Athletic Bilbao 3-1 at the Vicente Calderon. Fernando Torres scored a brace in the eighth and 11th minutes while Angel Correa added a third 89 minutes in. Bilbao can still qualify for the Europa League but they will need Barcelona to take out Alaves, who drew away to Leganes 1-1 on a Nenad Krsticic goal in the 64th minute.

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Sevilla, under the leadership of Jorge Sampaoli, are in the Champions League playoff round after a 5-0 smashing of relegated CA Osasuna at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. Vitolo (10′, 80′) and Franco Vazquez (20′, 60′) bagged braces while Stevan Jovetic added some 35th minute insurance. Fran Escriba’s Villareal CF will be in the Europa League group stage after a 3-1 win over Voro’s Valencia at the Mestalla. Roberto Soldado (1′), Manuel Trigueros (58′) and Nicola Sansone (88′) scored for Villareal in the win.

Eusebio Sacristan’s Real Sociedad played to a 2-2 draw with Eduardo Verizzo’s Celta Vigo at the Bailados. Mikel Oyarzabal (82′) and Juanmi (90′ + 4′) delivered some late show heroics for Sociedad, who can see their playoff-spot in the Europa League upgraded to a group stage spot if Barcelona win, allowing Bilbao to take Sociedad’s spot. Sporting Gijon, Osasuna and Granada have been relegated, while Levante UD has already been promoted with Catalonian side Girona FC close to joining Barcelona and Espanyol in the top flight.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Real Madrid (C) 38 29 6 3 106 41 +65 93 Qualification to Champions League group stage
2 Barcelona 38 28 6 4 116 37 +79 90
3 Atlético Madrid 38 23 9 6 70 27 +43 78
4 Sevilla 38 21 9 8 69 49 +20 72 Qualification to Champions League play-off round
5 Villarreal 38 19 10 9 56 33 +23 67 Qualification to Europa League group stage
6 Real Sociedad 38 19 7 12 59 53 +6 64 Qualification to Europa League third qualifying round
7 Athletic Bilbao 38 19 6 13 53 43 +10 63
8 Espanyol 38 15 11 12 49 50 −1 56
9 Alavés 38 14 13 11 41 43 −2 55
10 Eibar 38 15 9 14 56 51 +5 54
11 Málaga 38 12 10 16 49 55 −6 46
12 Valencia 38 13 7 18 56 65 −9 46
13 Celta Vigo 38 13 6 19 53 69 −16 45
14 Las Palmas 38 10 9 19 53 74 −21 39
15 Real Betis 38 10 9 19 41 64 −23 39
16 Deportivo La Coruña 38 8 12 18 43 61 −18 36
17 Leganés 38 8 11 19 36 55 −19 35
18 Sporting Gijón (R) 38 7 10 21 42 72 −30 31 Relegation to Segunda División
19 Osasuna (R) 38 4 10 24 40 94 −54 22
20 Granada (R) 38 4 8 26 30 82 −52 20
Source: La Liga, Soccerway
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Head-to-head points; 3) Head-to-head goal difference; 4) Goal difference; 5) Goals scored; 6) Fair-play points; 7) Play-off.[63]
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.

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