Real Madrid reign in Spain again after Barcelona slip

Real Madrid have won a record-extending 36th Spanish league title after securing an insurmountable 13-point lead over second-place Girona with four games remaining.

Real reclaimed the domestic crown when a 3-0 defeat of Cadiz was followed by Barcelona’s 4-2 reverse at Girona. Only a victory by Barcelona would have forced Real to have waited for another round of fixtures.

The Madrid giants also have a chance to add to their unequalled 14 European Cups. They host Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday with their semi-final evenly balanced after a 2-2 first-leg draw in Germany. Either Paris Saint-Germain or Borussia Dortmund will await the winner in the June 1 final.

Carlo Ancelotti, the Real coach, overhauled his lineup ahead of the decider against Bayern. Centre back Nacho Fernandez was the only starter from the first leg against Bayern to begin against Cadiz.

Madrid have only lost once in 34 rounds so far and beat Barcelona in both league “clasico” matches, as well as dealing Girona a pair of lopsided losses in their two meetings.

Brahim Diaz broke through Cadiz’s defence in the 51st minute at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, rifling home from the edge of the penalty area.

Season standout Jude Bellingham tapped in a second goal in the 68th minute, with Joselu Mato adding a third in injury time.

Barcelona took to the pitch knowing anything other than victory would leave them unable to catch the leaders. In the event, they led 1-0 and 2-1 as Andreas Christensen and Roberto Lewandowski from the penalty spot struck either side of Artem Dovbyk’s fourth-minute equaliser.

However, Portu levelled 20 minutes into the second half and, after Miguel Gutierrez had put the home side ahead, sealed a win which sparked celebrations in Madrid and lifted his side above the Catalans into second place.

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