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Real Madrid 2-1 Villa-Real: Benzema brace secures 34th LaLiga title for Los Blancos

Karim Benzema scored a goal in each half as Real Madrid clinched a 34th LaLiga title with a 2-1 victory over Villarreal.

The Frenchman’s 20th and 21st league goals – the second of which came from a contentious penalty – of the season ultimately earned a win at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano that meant Barcelona’s result against Osasuna was rendered immaterial.

Zinedine Zidane’s men were in control against game opponents until Vicente Iborra’s late header made for a nervy finish, but a 10th straight win since LaLiga’s resumption means Madrid are champions with a game to spare.

This game did not initially look like being the banana skin it had the potential to be and it felt a matter of time before Madrid found an opening, albeit bar Luka Modric’s long-range drive their early endeavours proved fruitless.

The opener arrived after 29 minutes, though. Casemiro picked off Sofian Chakla’s pass and Modric quickly laid into the path of Benzema, who drilled through the legs of Sergio Asenjo.

Asenjo denied Dani Carjaval early in the second half after the full-back showed quick feet to get a left-foot shot away.

Madrid were gifted a golden opportunity to double the lead when Sergio Ramos tore forward and was awarded a dubious penalty when the referee judged Chakla to have clipped Los Blancos’ captain.

Ramos cheekily passed the ball off the spot for Benzema to score, only for the latter to have encroached, but Benzema clinically dispatched the re-take into the bottom-left corner.

Toni Kroos rattled the crossbar prior to Iborra’s thumping header to set up a tense finale, in which Thibaut Courtois brilliantly saved from Bruno Soriano and Iborra in the same move.

Marco Asensio thought he had calmed the nerves in the final minute of added time only to be denied by the VAR, but it did little to dampen the mood of the new champions.

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