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Real Madrid clinch record 34th La Liga title with win over Villarreal (Photos)

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Real Madrid clinched their first La Liga title for three years with a 2-1 win over Villarreal, giving them an unassailable seven-point lead at the top of the table after Barcelona’s 2-1 home defeat to Osasuna.

Zinedine Zidane’s side came into their penultimate game of the season knowing a victory would be enough to get them over the line following a nine-game winning streak following the restart, but their result, in the end, was irrelevant as Barca’s title defence ended with a whimper.

Karim Benzema opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark, with Casemiro picking off a loose pass in the centre of the pitch before feeding Luka Modric.

The Croatian fed Benzema and the French striker finished through the legs of Sergio Asenjo.

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The hosts doubled their advantage in controversial circumstances after 77 minutes when Sergio Ramos and Benzema emulated Thierry Henry and Robert Pires by spurning a penalty kick only for the referee to order it to be re-taken. Benzema made no mistake with the second attempt.

Vicente Iborra gave Villarreal hope of a late comeback, heading home a Mario Gaspar cross with seven minutes left to play, but Real Madrid had enough in the tank to clinch the Spanish title, the 34th of their history.

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