Real Madrid 4-0 Espanyol (Rodrygo Goes x2, Marco Asensio & Karim Benzema). Here is the immediate reaction to the big win. Still to come: celebration highlights, player ratings and the ManagingMadrid title winning podcast.
One solitary point was all that was required in order to secure the La Liga title for Real Madrid against Espanyol today, but they would still be setting up to win all three. The squad was really utilised by Ancelotti for this one, with Jesús Vallejo, Dani Ceballos and Mariano Díaz gaining starting places. Castilla defender Mario Gila was listed on the bench alongside some of the far more regular names for the first team - but there was still no sign of Gareth Bale anywhere. La Liga second top scorer, and Castilla graduate Raúl de Tomás was in the line-up for the visitors, and rumours this week have put him in contention for a potential return to the capital for next season. Marcelo captained the team on a day in which he could lift his sixth league title for the club.
Despite the rotations Madrid looked comfortable on the ball from the start, but it was a tame start until Mariano Díaz glanced a header just wide of the post. His ex-Castilla teammate Raúl de Tomás didn’t really test Thibaut Courtois with a soft effort, but then Mariano again missed the chance to put the hosts in front with his head, putting another effort just past the other post. Rodrygo Goes was the man to give Madrid the lead, being sent through by Marcelo before finishing coolly low past another Castilla graduate in Diego López. It became two before half-time, with the man in-form Rodrygo doubling his tally, this time latching on to a mistake and finishing easily but accurately from close range to put a firm grasp on that La Liga trophy.
Rodrygo with two perfect finishes to put Real Madrid on the brink of the La Liga title ✨ pic.twitter.com/ixXhNXpdEV— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 30, 2022
The action wasn’t done there, as a block from Mariano almost gave Espanyol a way back into the game - but fortunately it flew over the bar. Marco Asensio bagged the third goal on the counter, drawing the keeper out before lofting the ball past him in familiar fashion. Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Isco were introduced to the game, with Isco bringing some extra magic to the play. Firstly, he set up Lucas Vázquez who should have scored after the give and go. He then appeared to score the first goal after finding the top corner off of a Benzema assist - only for the goal to be ruled out by VAR because Rodyrgo was obstructing the goalkeeper’s view. Mario Gila was brought on by Ancelotti to make his Real Madrid senior debut, and he didn’t look a foot after place despite the big occasion. The fourth goal did arrive, but through top goal scorer Karim Benzema who was provided the ball to slot home by Vinícius Júnior yet again this season. Widespread celebrations began after the final whistle confirmed the unchallenged 4-0 victory - and more importantly the 35th La Liga title for Real Madrid! A fantastic day to be a Madridista...