Published: 17:07, May 5, 2024 | Updated: 17:14, May 5, 2024
Real Madrid assure title, Girona reach Champions League
By Reuters
Real Madrid's Dani Ceballos (left) vies for the ball with Cadiz's Ruben Sobrino during the the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Cadiz at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, May 4, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

MADRID - Real Madrid were confirmed as La Liga champions with four games left to play after they won 3-0 at home to Cadiz, while FC Barcelona lost 4-2 away to Girona.

Cadiz had slightly the better of a dull first half in the Santiago Bernabeu, but everything changed after the break.

Thibaut Courtois kept the score 0-0 after he denied Chris Ramos when the Cadiz striker was clean through on goal early in the second half, and almost immediately afterwards, Brahim Diaz put Madrid ahead. The attacking midfielder looked to be well-marked, but found space to control Luka Modric's pass and score in the bottom corner.

Diaz turned provider to set Jude Bellingham up for Real Madrid's second in the 68th minute and Joselu added a third with a tap-in in injury time.

That result left FC Barcelona needing to win away to third place Girona to delay Madrid's title celebrations, but Girona won 4-2 with a stunning second half display.

Barcelona got a perfect start when Andres Christensen fired them ahead from outside of the penalty ahead in the third minute, but Girona equalized immediately when Ivan Martin crossed for Artem Dovbyk to head in his 20th goal of the season.

Xavi Hernandez's side retook the lead in first half injury time after the referee checked with the VAR to see if Lamine Yamal had been caught inside or outside of the Girona penalty area. The foul was on the line and Robert Lewandowski made no mistake from the spot.

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Real Madrid's Arda Guler (left) vies for the ball with Cadiz's Ruben Sobrino during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Cadiz at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, May 4, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

Portu came on as a second half substitute and had been on the pitch for just two minutes when he equalized after an error from Sergi Roberto in the 65th minute.

Miguel Gutierrez's deflected shot two minutes later put Girona ahead and Portu then scored another wonderful volley in the 75th minute to give his side a win that lifts them up to second and assures them a place in next season's Champions League.

Rodrigo Riquelme's fourth minute goal gave Atletico Madrid a vital win away to Mallorca that preserves their six-point cushion in fourth place and leaves Mallorca with work to do to ensure their top-flight survival.

In other matches, Real Sociedad assured they will remain in sixth place with a 2-0 win at home to Las Palmas, who have now lost their last seven matches.

Alex Suarez put Real Sociedad ahead in the 34th minute when he put Sheraldo Becker's cross into his own net and Becker doubled the lead with a 45th minute thunderbolt that went in off the woodwork.

On Friday night, fifth place Athletic Club Bilbao held on with 10 men for the last half hour and with just nine for 20 minutes to win 2-0 away to Getafe.

Two goals from Inaki Williams had set them on the way to what looked like a comfortable win, but red cards for central defenders, Yeray Alvarez and Aitor Paredes, left them defending deep as Getafe looked to level.

Unai Simon made several key saves, including a penalty from Mason Greenwood to maintain their cushion in the fifth place.