Sports News BD

Real Madrid claimed a record-extending 36th La Liga title on Saturday after Girona beat Barcelona 4-2, a result that left Carlo Ancelotti’s side with an unassailable lead in the standings. Real Madrid, who have lost only once in the league this season, hold a 13-point advantage over second-placed Girona while Barcelona dropped to third with four matches remaining.

Ancelotti’s side did their homework against the Andalucian stragglers to virtually guarantee a record-extending 36th Spanish title, confirmed when Barcelona dropped points at Montilivi. Girona’s dramatic victory saw the Catalan minnows qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history. Brahim Diaz netted in the 51st minute to put Madrid ahead and then set up Jude Bellingham for the second, with Joselu tapping home a third to leave Madrid on the cusp of the title.
“We leave our skins out there on the pitch to live moments like today’s, we are so close to the league,” Joselu told Real Madrid TV. “There are young players who are very hungry for titles, veterans who are delighted to be here… and these are special moments.” Ancelotti played a heavily rotated side ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich on Wednesday. The coach selected only captain Nacho Fernandez from the starting line-up that earned a 2-2 draw in Bavaria this week. Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois started for the first time after a nine-month lay off after a knee injury and kept a clean sheet. Madrid midfielder Luka Modric became the oldest player to appear for the club in La Liga, at 38 years and 238 days, breaking late Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas’ record from 1965 by five days. Madrid striker Joselu came close to reaching a dangerous cross and Chris Ramos fired off target for the visitors in an otherwise slow start at the Santiago Bernabeu. Ruben Sobrino barged his way past Eder Militao on the counter-attack after half an hour but Nacho slid in well to thwart him as he prepared to shoot. The visitors, 18th and still battling to stay up, shaded the first half, although Dani Ceballos had a shot blocked after Cadiz goalkeeper Jeremias Ledesma went walkabout at a corner. ‘Waiting for this day’ Courtois made a superb save to deny Ramos early in the second half and his team took the lead immediately afterwards.