Real Madrid Win 32nd La Liga Title with Win over Athletic Bilbao

Michael CernaCorrespondent IMay 2, 2012

BILBAO, SPAIN - MAY 02: Pepe (R) of Real Madrid CF celebrates with teammates after Real scored their first goal during the La Liga match between Athletic Club and Real Madrid CF at estadio San Mames on May 2, 2012 in Bilbao, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

It is now official. Real Madrid have won La Liga.

After beating Athletic Bilbao 3-0 at San Mames in Bilbao, Real Madrid officially sealed the league by maintaining their seven-point lead over Barcelona with just two games left to play.

Gonzalo Higuain opened the scoring in the 16th minute after Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty in the 12th.

Ozil would add the second just four minutes later after a great counterattack that ended with Ronaldo providing the ball for Ozil to tap in.

Ronaldo then put the match beyond reach with a free header in the 50th minute.

The title is Real Madrid's 32nd and first in four years.

Real's last title came after the 2007-2008 season when Raul lead the team to an eight-point lead over second-place Villarreal.

The win over Bilbao makes official what seemed a foregone conclusion two months ago.

After apparently running away with the league and building a 10-point lead over Barcelona, Real started to unravel.

They would end up dropping four points in three days back in March against Villarreal and Malaga. Real then opened the door to Barcelona when they drew Valencia a month ago.

El Clasico could have allowed Barcelona to close the gap to just a single point with a win against their rivals. However, Real Madrid stood strong and beat Barcelona at Camp Nou.

That win essentially ended Barcelona's title bid, but it was not official until this victory over Bilbao.

Despite all the concern that Real were losing control on the league, they have still only lost two matches this season—against Barcelona and Levante last fall.

They have scored more goals this season than any other team in history and are also on pace to break La Liga's single-season point record by reaching 100 points for the first time in history.

This marks the first Spanish league title for manager Jose Mourinho. He has now won the domestic title in Europe's three biggest leagues. He won Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006 with Chelsea, the Italian Serie A in 2009 and 2010 with Inter, and now the La Liga trophy with Real Madrid. He also won Portugal's Primeira Liga in 2003 and 2004 with Porto.

Real Madrid have ended the reign of Barcelona under Pep Guardiola—who had won the league every season since he took over the club in 2008.

Congratulations to Real Madrid and their fans.


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