La Liga title for Real Madrid, Champions League for Girona as Barca lose

Girona scored a stunning 4-2 win over their Catalan rivals Barcelona to hand a 36th Spanish league title to Real Madrid.

Real Madrid’s comfortable win over Cadiz sent them 14 points clear of last season’s champions Barcelona [Manu Fernandez/AP]Published On 5 May 20245 May 2024

Real Madrid earned what coach Carlo Ancelotti said was a “deserved” La Liga title after beating Cadiz 3-0 and Girona sealed it with a stunning 4-2 victory over Barcelona.

Ancelotti’s side did their homework by beating Cadiz and after last season’s champions stumbled against Girona, Los Blancos were crowned champions for a record-extending 36th time on Saturday.

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Girona’s dramatic victory saw the Catalan minnows qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history, in only their fourth season in Spain’s top flight.

Ancelotti rotated heavily ahead of the Champions League semifinal second-leg clash with Bayern Munich next week, but his players still got the job done.

Brahim Diaz netted in the 51st minute to put Madrid ahead and then set up Jude Bellingham, with Joselu tapping home a third.

“We’ve had a spectacular Liga campaign,” Ancelotti told reporters.

“We’ve made few errors and the advantage is deserved.”

Madrid’s comfortable win over Cadiz sent them 14 points clear of last season’s champions Barcelona, in third, with only 12 left to play for.

Girona, second after their second 4-2 win over Barcelona this season, trail Madrid by 13 points.

“We leave our skins out there on the pitch to live moments like today’s,” Madrid striker 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.”

Champions League music at Girona’s Montilivi stadium

Los Blancos were able to celebrate after Girona came from behind twice to defeat Barcelona in a wild clash, moving second.

Barca took the lead through Andreas Christensen’s fine volley after three minutes but La Liga’s top scorer Artem Dovbyk levelled with his 20th goal of the campaign just a minute later.

Robert Lewandowski sent Barcelona ahead with a penalty after Lamine Yamal was felled, but substitute Portu made a huge impact in the second half for Girona.

Michel Sanchez’s side netted two goals in two minutes to turn the game on its head. Portu netted the equaliser moments after coming on and then set up Miguel Gutierrez to put Girona ahead.

Portu sensationally volleyed home the fourth to ignite Girona’s tiny Montilivi stadium and get the party started.

“The players have entered Girona’s history books, what we’ve done this year is incredible,” said Sanchez.

Girona played Champions League music over the stadium sound system to give their fans a taste of things to come.

“I want to play against Liverpool, I want a historic giant here, there are many, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Inter.”

“It’s incredible to look at your shirt and experience this. There is nothing more beautiful than living this,” an emotional Portu told DAZN with tears rolling down his face.

“I had a thorn in my side with this club. A few years ago, I experienced the other side, which was relegation and I felt very responsible because I played a lot. Today I made amends with the fans and I can smile again.”

For Barcelona, third, the summer will be for self-reflection rather than dreams.

“It’s a shame, we sink with any negative situation,” said Barcelona coach Xavi after Barcelona lost their crown.

“Like this it’s impossible to compete.”

Girona’s Portu celebrates scoring their second goal [Albert Gea/Reuters]

Source: News Agencies