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Real Madrid bag the title on a big day for Malaga old boys

Zinedine Zidane celebrates winning the league title with his players.
Zinedine Zidane celebrates winning the league title with his players. / AFP
  • Weligton, Demichelis and Duda received a rapturous reception pre-match as they waved goodbye to La Rosaleda

  • Malaga finish the season in 11th place despite allowing Los Blancos to secure the league title

There have been few occasions at La Rosaleda to match this one in recent years and the home faithful didn’t disappoint; a sell-out crowd turned out to witness the final game of the season and one that would decide the destination of the title.

It was an especially momentous occasion pre-match as fans showed their appreciation for club legends Weligton, Duda and Martín Demichelis who all announced this week that they would be hanging up their boots.

Zinedine Zidane has made a habit of rotating his squad for away games this campaign, but with the league title on the line, the Real coach was taking no chances and stuck with the exact same team which saw off Celta midweek.

However, few expected the title favourites to get off to such an electric start, taking the lead within 90 seconds thanks to their talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Former Blanco Luis Hernández was certainly culpable in the build-up; his misplaced pass fell straight to home boy Isco who threaded through the Portuguese who had the easiest of tasks to round Kameni in goal.

The in-form home side showed no sign of laying down, though, especially former Barcelona man Sandro Ramírez who seemed to be on a one-man mission to send the title to Catalonia. First, he forced Keylor into a neat save at his near post with a low drive, before showing his strength from set pieces, with the keeper needed to pull off a superb top-corner save from a freekick and be on his toes to stop a corner going straight in under his crossbar.

After a sustained spell of home pressure, Real started to find their way back into the game with Kroos bringing a sprawling save from Kameni before the Cameroonian did fantastically well to throw a hand onto Ronaldo’s low shot, getting defender Mikel out of jail for letting the ball run across the face of goal.

Keko gave Los Blancos a heart-in-mouth moment just before the break when his header looped narrowly over the bar.

However, not long after the second half resumed, Real grabbed the all-important second goal with Karim Benzema pouncing on the rebound after Kameni saved superbly from Ramos’ header. By this stage, with Barcelona trailing 2-0 at home to the unfavoured Eibar, Real were cruising.

Demichelis, Duda and Weligton were given a warm reception before kick-off.

Demichelis, Duda and Weligton were given a warm reception before kick-off. / Ñito Salas

With Madrid minds now on the Champions League final in June, they could afford to rest players and give minutes to the likes of Mateo Kovacic, James Rodríguez and Álvaro Morata.

Malaga themselves brought on Charles and Duda for their final appearances in a Malaga shirt while Demichelis had to be satisfied with being an unused sub.

With the game petering out to its inevitable conclusion, Mikel showed there was still life in his team with an ambitious volley which needed tipping over via a deflection, while Charles terribly miscued his near-post flick to the amusement of the home faithful.

Chory could have bagged a consolation but his strike rattled the crossbar.

In the end it was easy for Los Galácticos who did what they needed to do and secured their first La Liga title in five seasons while Malaga rounded off their impressive end to the season with an 11th-placed finish.