Real Madrid win LaLiga, Burnley and Everton keep fighting, the race for the Serie A title remains hot

The LaLiga title was won, Serie A got hotter and two Premier League teams ended up with amazing victories. You missed that this weekend. (Author: Gardener)

Serie AReal Madrid clinched LaLiga, Burnley and Everton both clinched victories to keep their respective hopes of relegation to the Premier League alive and the Bundesliga endured plenty of drama as Borussia Dortmund lost a seven-goal thriller albeit he led with less than 10 minutes to go. There was also fun in the Serie A title race as neither AC Milan nor Internazionale looked to give up, and Ligue 1 provided some sparks as two well-known rivals went head to head. Here's Rob Dawson, Julien Laurens, Sam Marsden and James Tyler with what you need to know from across Europe. What a job Mike Jackson did! Since Sean Dyche's sacking on April 16, Jackson has guided Burnley to three wins and a draw in his four games in charge - not bad for a man who has previous managerial experience at Shrewsbury and Tranmere. Burnley's form has not only given them a chance to avoid relegation, it has also given Jackson a chance to land the top job permanently. Vincent Kompany and Wayne Rooney are among the names mentioned to take over in the summer, but if Jackson can keep Burnley in the Premier League with an exciting great escape, why would they want to switch? In just a short time, he got the team to play for him while rekindling their faith. They were down against Watford until the 83rd minute on Saturday before two goals in three minutes secured a fantastic comeback. Jackson may not be a big name, but he has already achieved great things. It was party time in the Spanish capital on Saturday as Real Madrid beat Espanyol 4-0 to celebrate their 35th La Liga title with four games to go. Many will point out the lack of competition at the top end of the table - Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have played irregularly while Sevilla's challenge has fizzled - but credit also needs to be given to Carlo Ancelotti and his players for their remarkable consistency. They have lost just three times in three years to claim a second title, wrestling the trophy back from Atletico. - Hunter: How Real Madrid fought for their 35th LaLiga crown - Ancelotti becomes first coach to win the five major European leagues The image of the weekend, with players partying with their fans in Cibeles, came from Ancelotti, who won the Spanish league title was the first manager to win the five major European leagues after successes in Italy, England, Germany and France. He was photographed wearing a Madrid scarf, sunglasses and a cigar surrounded by players. About Vinicius: After a season in which he emerged as one of football's best youngsters, here's a quick kudos for the Brazilian, but that title will likely be remembered for Karim Benzema's influence. The Frenchman, who scored against Espanyol, has scored 26 goals this season, 11 more than anyone in the league, and has become the symbol of this title-winning Madrid side. Marseille win reminds Lyon of what could have been for them Lyon are seventh in Ligue 1, 10 points behind second-placed Marseille, yet it was OL who emerged convincing and comprehensive winners on Sunday. Lyon struggled with consistency all season, had one good game, two bad ones and the same thing over and over again. Sunday was further proof: two weeks after the humiliating 2-1 defeat in Brest they were capable of delivering such a performance in the hostile atmosphere of the velodrome: solid defensively, offensively inspired at times and with their young talents Castello Lukeba and Malo Gusto wear them. Manager Peter Bosz has been wise in his decisions (Bradley Barcola starts on the right, Thiago Mendes and Houssem Aouar in midfield), a phrase we haven't said often this season given some of his shocking decisions elsewhere during a tough season . But as always, the two Olympiques, Marseille and Lyon, put on a great spectacle and Lyon continued their great run against their rivals, losing just one in their last 14 meetings. But what happens next weekend at bottom of the table Metz? Serie A is Milan's defeat, but Inter are still at it. Italy's 2021/22 season still has three rounds of games to go and it's still too close to be at the top as both Milan sides have won this weekend to keep it neatly balanced. Milan left late to beat Fiorentina 1-0 and needed a keeper gaffe for Rafael Leao to break the deadlock in the 82nd minute and take the three points destined to elude them. Meanwhile, Inter went 2-0 up at Udinese with goals from Ivan Perisic and Lautaro Martinez in the first half but had to hold out in the last 15-20 minutes after Ignacio Pussetto cut the lead to one and caused some nervous ones moments. - ESPN+ viewer's guide: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, more Things arguably look easier for Inter from here - barring a Coppa Italia final against Juventus, they meet three of the bottom six to end their season while Milan still have Atalanta and Sassuolo on the schedule - but Milan's two-point lead is the motivation they should need. Don't expect this one to close cleanly; There are still some shocks ahead given the twists and turns of the title race at the track. A point can make all the difference in the battle to remain in LaLiga and Lucas Perez's stunning free-kick earned Cadiz an unlikely one in Friday's Champions League chase against Sevilla. Youssef En-Nesyri had put Sevilla ahead in the first half at the Sanchez Pizjuan but Cadiz, who had won at Barcelona two weeks ago, equalized through Perez's set piece, finding the top corner from every 30 metres. From today's perspective, that point is the only difference separating Cádiz and Granada, third and bottom of the relegation zone, with four thrilling games to go. Kicking off early after a Wednesday night Champions League game, Liverpool's journey to in-form Newcastle was marked by 'trapping'. Naby Keita's win at St James' Park was a well crafted team goal in itself, but also crucial in the context of the title race. As the pressure mounted, Keita rolled his foot over the ball to fool the keeper before his finish, who dodged three defenders en route to goal. We should have known Borussia Dortmund had yet another meltdown this season, right? And Saturday felt like the Dortmund collapse: after being 2-0 down at home against Bochum within the first eight minutes (classic!), a hat-trick by Erling Haaland (so Dortmund) with two penalties led by an hour mark. case closed, right? Then, in the 81st minute, Jürgen Locadia added a bit of magic to make it 3-3 and, well, you know what's going to happen next. (Mark '85th minute penalty for the visitors' on your bingo card.) But the joy was Locadia's finish to level the game: the Dutch striker used a soft save from Manuel Akanji and calmly cushioned Milos Pantovic's sweeping cross on his Unwind. twisted off Kanji's hip and slammed it low over a helpless Marwin Hitz. It was a smooth finish that silenced the Dortmund fans and set the stage for the remarkable comeback win. Atletico Madrid won the title last season but they're looking over their shoulders this year. They are fourth in the table ahead of next weekend's Madrid derby after losing to Athletic Club on Saturday. If they play against Real Madrid, they might even drop to fifth place because Real Betis play twice before. Madrid may have already won the league but they will be delighted to dashed their rivals' hopes of qualifying for the Champions League. Atletico then travel to Elche before ending the season against Sevilla and Real Sociedad, two sides vying with them for a top four position. After losing 1-0 at home to Nice on Sunday, Bordeaux have now conceded 85 goals in La Liga this season! In 35 games in Ligue 1, that's an average of 2.42 goals per game. It is by far the worst defensive in Europe's five major leagues. That's 15 goals more than the second worst in France (Saint-Etienne). They have now won just one of their last 13 league games. They're second from bottom but just four points behind Saint-Etienne in the relegation playoff position with three games to go. So it's not all for them, but they're so bad defensively (and frankly offensively too) that they need a miracle to stay up there. They changed coaches (Vladimir Petkovic out, David Guion in), kicked out some players (Laurent Koscielny), recruited new ones (Josuha Guilavogui, Marcelo), but it still doesn't work. We thought Bordeaux, six-time French champions (last in 2010), were too big to go under. If Everton stays in the Premier League - and it's still a big 'if' - they can look back to Jordan Pickford's second-half performance against Chelsea as the defining moment. Thanks to Richarlison's goal in the 46th minute, Pickford led with a series of saves to ensure Everton clinched a narrow 1–0 victory. A shot caught him square in the face, but style doesn't matter when you're battling relegation. There was also a notable double save as Mason Mount's shot swerved off the post, ricocheted over the goal and Pickford recovered to pop up at the far post and parry Cesar Azpilicueta's thundering low try. From the following corner, Pickford then parried Antonio Rüdiger's close-range shot at the far post. Everton are still in the bottom three but are one game ahead of Leeds United and Burnley, meaning Frank Lampard's side have five games to save. If Pickford can stay in this form they will at least be hard to beat. The England No1 is looking forward to the fight but Lampard will need a few others to match the intensity and passion of his goalkeeper if they are to survive.


Pochettino and the paradox at PSG, an almost unmanageable club

So what next if Mauricio Pochettino leaves? Manchester United seemed ideal, but another possibility could come sooner (Author: Gardener)

PSGHere's probably just one thing a Paris Saint-Germain manager can do to improve his reputation, which is win the Champions League - and even then many people would be looking at the £900m net spend since Qatar took over 2011 and thought, "About time." Mauricio Pochettino didn't do that. If, as seems likely despite his insistence this week, he leaves PSG in the summer, he will do so with a rare second place spot on his tally. He will at least have responded to criticism that he has never won a silver medal - he won the Coupe de France last season and the Ligue 1 title this season - but that jibe has always been largely meaningless; Leading Tottenham to third, second and third place in consecutive seasons and the second-highest points total in their top-flight history (adjusted for two/three points for a win and the size of the division) is a major achievement. But there is now a feeling that Pochettino's status has declined in his two years in France. Despite all the usual caveats of social media polls, it's worth noting that when Gary Neville asked his Twitter followers last month if Manchester United would rather appoint Pochettino or Erik ten Hag, 82% backed the manager with no experience in the Premier League decided. Of course, Pochettino has to give credit for failing to win the league title last season. PSG's budget is roughly double that of its closest competitors; It's a sad fact of the economics of modern French football that if PSG don't win the league it's a failure. The problem was that PSG only took four points from six games against Lille, Monaco and Lyon, the other three teams that made up the top four. They've been found wanting in games against the toughest opponents, which is a huge problem for a club that prioritizes the Champions League like this. But that has always been PSG's paradox: the stronger it gets, the less it is challenged, and the less challenged it is, the less equipped it is to win the battles against teams at its own level. Dominance breeds decadence, which is why PSG's history in the Champions League is one of hilarious breakdowns. The front three of Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé may be one of the most exciting ever assembled but there is a price to pay, and that is that their extravagance has to be offset by a hard-nosed and deep-lying midfield that struggles against this type of integrated football , which defines the best and not just the richest teams in the world. None of this is Pochettino football and it's all his fault for taking the job. Perhaps making £5.6million-a-year after tax, living in Paris and lifting a few cheap trophies is attractive, but PSG as a club is almost unmanageable. Imposing the kind of modern, cohesive pressing that characterized Pochettino's sides at Tottenham, Southampton and Espanyol is largely pointless. So, yes, Pochettino's time at PSG has been mind-blowing and, yes, two years of a manager's career can't just be written off as irrelevant, but being successful at PSG is almost impossible - his sacked predecessor Thomas Tuchel also bearing responsibility for that League out, ended the season after moving to Chelsea by winning the Champions League. Results had declined at Tottenham in recent months, reaching the Champions League final masked a dismal end to the 2018/19 season and they were 14th in the Premier League when he was sacked in November 2019 but the troubles with the squad had long been signposted by Pochettino. The move to the new stadium constrained budgets and limited investment, but an equally big problem was a failure to switch players that Pochettino believed were beginning to become obsolete - and his intense management style means he might tire certain players out faster than he did most others . Burnt by the appointment of Jose Mourinho well past his peak, Manchester United appeared to fear Pochettino's best days could be behind him. But he's two years younger than Ten Hag, albeit three years longer as a manager, and has broader experience. There are very good reasons to appoint Ten Hag, provided he gets the right structure. But if United's decision really was unduly influenced, as has been implied, by concerns that Pochettino is in decline or by this poll, it only underscores concerns about the lack of football understanding at the top of the club. Pochettino's slight dip of late is unlikely to be due to him losing energy or motivation, struggling to connect with younger players, or football going beyond his interpretation. So what next if Pochettino leaves PSG in the summer? Another possibility could arise earlier, however, since Antonio Conte is the clear favorite to succeed him at PSG - in fact, Conte is currently the only real alternative candidate alongside Zinedine Zidane, who apparently hopes for a job in France after the World Cup. And Pochettino would, oddly enough, return with bolstered power given the concessions and reassurances Daniel Levy would presumably have to offer to persuade him to return - and if he loses Conte, the credibility would require a big personality. Pochettino would also boost his reputation as his warnings four years ago were clearly correct.


Thousands of Real Madrid fans celebrate the championship title with the team

“We did everything right, from the players to the staff to the coach. For us, Ancelotti is simply the best,” said Perez. (Author: Gardener)

Real MadridAbout 150,000 cheering Real Madrid fans flocked to the city's central Cibeles fountain on Saturday to join the players in celebrating their record-breaking 35th LaLiga title, clinched in a 4-0 home win over Espanyol. Almost an hour before the end of Saturday's game, which Real won with two goals from Rodrygo in the first half as a spur, fans gathered around the central landmark where the club usually celebrates its victories. Traffic restrictions were already introduced on Friday, while a stage was built around the fountain where the players, in an open-topped bus, traditionally join the fans coming from the Santiago Bernabeu to continue the party. It's the first time Real supporters have had the chance to gather for a celebration without masks following the Covid-19 pandemic, as the club's last league title of 2020 was in the middle of lockdown. It was a record-breaking day for the Brazilian defender, who won his 24th silver piece with Real to overtake Gento as the player with the most trophy wins in the club's 120-year history. He helped Benzema lift the trophy and led the team around the stadium as the players and coaches celebrated with their families on the pitch for more than an hour while thousands of fans stayed in the stands to share the moment. The players arrived at Cibeles two hours after the game and Marcelo took on the traditional responsibility of 'crowning' the statue of the Greek goddess in what looks likely to be the last of the 33-year-old's 16 seasons with the Spanish club. He placed a Real Madrid scarf around the statue's head and a white flag with the club crest across her chest as his teammates and fans raised their hands and waved to the rhythm to "We Are The Champions" played out loud. Real's normally low-key Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti was one of the liveliest during the celebrations at the stadium and at Cibeles, concluding his speech to the fans with a rallying cry: "Let's go against Man City!", a reference to their Champions League semi-finals, second leg on Wednesday. This game was the reason the party ended early by Spanish standards as the players left just after 9pm local time. Ancelotti had rested several regular players, Real held the second leg in just a few days with a 4: 3 deficit. Club president Florentino Perez was delighted with the title and praised his team. “We did everything right, from the players to the staff to the coach. Tonight we all celebrate together. Tomorrow we train and on Wednesday we have another important game," added Ancelotti. The only Real Madrid player to miss the celebrations was Welsh striker Gareth Bale, who has rarely played this season through injury as fans and local media turned against him. He was greeted by loud boos earlier this month as he made his first home game appearance at the Bernabeu pitch in more than two years in Real's 2-0 win over Getafe. “So disappointed not to be able to attend the celebrations tonight due to a bad back spasm, but really proud of the team for winning the title!


Ilkay Gundogan on Man City's lesson for Real Madrid as Jack Grealish avoids dubious decisions

Here are your Man City headlines. (Author: Gardener)

Ilkay GundoganIlkay Gundogan has urged Manchester City to emulate Leeds' performance against Real Madrid. Here are your Manchester City headlines for Sunday 1st May. Ilkay Gundogan says Man City must emulate Leeds lesson against Real Madrid Ilkay Gundogan says Manchester City must repeat the defensive determination they showed in the Champions League second leg against Leeds United against Real Madrid. Pep Guardiola rested Kevin de Bruyne, benched the Belgian and allowed Bernardo Silva a late cameo in the 4-0 win after Wednesday's seven-goal thriller against Los Blancos. READ MORE: Man City keep them ahead with a simple improvement Liverpool FC City are just 90 minutes from their second consecutive Champions League final. It seems much more than a month since the appointment of Paul Tierney for the FA Cup semi-final was seen as an advantage for Manchester City. That suggestion was just as ridiculous then as it is now, but while the referee's performance at Elland Road was unbiased, not having to rely on this approach to make game-winning decisions by Jack Grealish will have no regrets shortly. Pep Guardiola and City knew Elland Road was not going to be a pleasant experience for them. Not only are Leeds proud of their hostile reputation, but a struggling City squad on multiple fronts are tired enough that Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne have both been named on the bench ahead of the second leg of the Champions League semi-final in Madrid on Wednesday - the first time neither has started a league game (which City lost) since Tottenham on opening day. With Tierney's help, City got off to a smooth and effective start. Junior Firpo was cautioned in the opening minutes of the game for bringing down Raheem Sterling in a dangerous position down the right, and moments later Sterling won a free-kick down the left which Phil Foden headed in for Rodri.


Ancelotti smokes cigar in Vinicius Jr snap from Real Madrid's La Liga celebrations

Real Madrid clinched a record-extending 35th La Liga crown with a 4-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday, and Los Blancos manager Carlo Ancelotti celebrated in style (Author: Gardener)

La LigaAs if Carlo Ancelotti couldn't look cooler, the suave Italian was seen smoking a cigar during Real Madrid's La Liga title celebration while donning a pair of snazzy sunglasses. A Rodrygo brace and goals from Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema ensured Los Blancos clinched the 35th LaLiga title in style on Saturday, extending the record as the Spanish giants beat Espanyol 4-0. With Real's recent triumph, Ancelotti also made history by becoming the first manager to win the league title in all five major European leagues. La Liga success means the 62-year-old has completed the 'Grand Slam' having previously won the English Premier League, Italian Serie A, French Ligue 1 and German Bundesliga. If that wasn't enough to see Ancelotti steal football's headlines this weekend, then his celebrations during Real Madrid's cover party certainly did the trick. Following Saturday's success, the Italian and his side embarked on an open-top bus tour of the Spanish capital to enjoy their La Liga triumph with thousands of their adoring supporters. Pictures from the parade showed players posing with the La Liga trophy atop a plush trainer, as well as Ancelotti casually puffing on a cigar while wearing chic sunglasses and wrapped in a Real Madrid scarf. The striking group picture was uploaded to Instagram by Los Blancos forward Vinicius Jr and also featured Eder Militao, David Alaba and Rodrygo. The quartet could all be seen laughing and smiling as they surrounded the super suave looking Ancelotti. The Brazilian also uploaded a selfie of him posing with the huge La Liga trophy in front of a crowd of Real Madrid's overjoyed supporters. Video footage also showed Ancelotti dancing alongside Vinicius Jr., much to the amusement of his star-studded crew. What is Carlo Ancelotti's place in the debate about the greatest football managers of all time? A 4-0 triumph and success in La Liga should give Real Madrid plenty of confidence ahead of their Champions League semi-final second leg encounter with Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu this Wednesday. Los Blancos lost 4-3 in one of their greatest games of all time at the Etihad Stadium last Tuesday. Should Real Madrid defeat Pep Guardiola's side, they would secure a place in the Champions League final where either Liverpool or Villarreal await. And if they win in Paris on May 28, Ancelotti would continue to rewrite the history books of football. The Italian is one of just three managers to have won the Champions League three times - twice with AC Milan and once with Real Madrid - and success at the Stade de France would give him an unprecedented fourth European title.


Real Madrid secure their 35th LaLiga title with a dominant win over Espanyol

Napoli reduced their gap to Serie A leaders Milan to four points by beating Sassuolo (Author: Gardener)

Real MadridRodrygo scored twice, with Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema adding the shine to ensure they sealed the deal with four games to go. Rodrygo needed just a draw to secure victory again, taking 33 minutes to open the scoring. The Brazilian added a second 10 minutes later with a fine finish in a dominant display at the Bernabeu. Asensio's goal allowed Carlo Ancelotti to rest the players in preparation for the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Manchester City on Wednesday before Benzema ended things to put Madrid unassailable at the top. Madrid's triumph capped a notable milestone for Ancelotti as the Italian became the first manager to win titles in each of Europe's top five leagues - England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France. It was also a record-breaking day for Marcelo, who won his 24th Silver Award with Real Madrid. The Brazilian defender skips Gento as the player with the most trophies in the club's 120-year history. Today we have to celebrate but we have an important game ahead of us [against Manchester City]. Ancelotti, meanwhile, believes the celebrations will help lift the spirits of players to fight back against Pep Guardiola's side. "A celebration like this can inject extra energy into the dressing room given such a difficult task against a great team," said Ancelotti. "The season was spectacular," added the Italian. Today we must celebrate, not talk. On the day that the Spanish title was handed to their bitter rivals, Atletico Madrid's top-four hopes were dashed as they lost 2-0 at Athletic Bilbao in La Liga. The hosts took the lead in the eighth minute when Mario Hermoso deflected a cross shot from Inaki Williams into his own net. Jan Oblak made two great saves to keep Atletico in the game but was outsmarted by Williams, who scored a second-half penalty from Panenka. Atletico are now just four points clear of Betis in fifth place and the Copa del Rey winners have a game in hand. Athletic boosted their own hopes in European football, closing within a point of Villarreal after Unai Emery's side suffered a shock defeat at the ailing Alaves. Levante were unable to find an equalizer until nine minutes from time when Oscar Duarte went home and are six points from safety. In Serie A, Napoli kept their faint title hopes alive with a 6-1 win over Sassuolo, with Dries Mertens scoring twice as the hosts reduced the gap to leaders Milan to four points. Sampdoria moved to safety, leaving Genoa staring at relegation after winning 1-0 in the derby. Abdelhamid Sabiri's close-range finish proved sufficient as Genoa missed an injury-time penalty. Cagliari missed a chance to pull away as they lost 2-1 at home to Verona. In the Bundesliga, Erling Haaland scored a hat-trick for Dortmund but still lost 4-3 at home to local rivals Bochum. Haaland had helped the hosts from a 2-0 deficit to a 3-2 lead, but the guests struck twice in the last 10 minutes. Mainz gave champions Bayern Munich their fifth defeat of the season with a 3-1 home win. Freiburg won 4:3 in Hoffenheim and climbed to fourth place. In the end, Stuttgart remains two points ahead of Arminia Bielefeld in the relegation zone after both teams equalized late at home against Wolfsburg and Hertha. In Ligue 1, Rennes consolidated their third place with a 2-0 home win over Saint-Etienne, who remain third in the table. Lens fought back from two goals and a man down to draw 2-2 at home to Nantes.


Marcelo wants Real Madrid to remain with the La Liga champions on the back of a record-breaking 24th title

The veteran Brazilian left-back is set to play on a free transfer this summer but he would welcome an opportunity to extend his tenure at the Santiago Bernabeu (Author: Gardener)

MarceloMarcelo has become a record-breaker at Real Madrid, lifting the 24th trophy with Los Blancos when he lifted the La Liga title in 2021-22 and the Brazilian defender is still hoping for a new contract. However, he has eclipsed the efforts of club legend Francisco Gento in terms of silver medals and would welcome the opportunity to chase more medals in the Spanish capital next season. No new terms have been presented to the longtime South American yet but he's not ruling out anything, telling El Chiringuito when quizzed about his future: "I don't know what's going to happen. “I have just surpassed a legend of madridism like Paco Gento. I'm the most titled player at the best club in the world and that's priceless. "If I stay or don't stay... I want to stay, that's clear." Marcelo is now the most successful Real Madrid player of all time 🏆— GOAL (@goal) April 30, 2022 In 15 memorable years at Real, Marcelo has the art of collecting large trophies. After arriving in Spain in the 2007 winter transfer window, the veteran defender cost him the LaLiga title in his debut season. Marcelo has won four Champions Leagues, four FIFA Club World Cups and three UEFA Super Cups. He has been limited to just 17 appearances this season and his wish for a contract extension is not expected to be granted by Los Blancos president Florentino Perez despite being the club's captain.


Barcelona maintain respectful tradition with Real Madrid after the rivals won the title

The two El Clasico rivals share a great rivalry on and off the pitch, but there is a respectful tradition that has survived what continued after Real Madrid won the title (Author: Gardener)

Real MadridThe two El Clasico rivals share a great rivalry on and off the pitch, but there is a respectful tradition that persists, one that continued after Real Madrid won the title. Real Madrid secured their 35th goal home win against Espanyol on Saturday meant no side could overtake them. Celebrations continued into the evening in the Spanish capital as Los Blancos players and management savored the triumph with their fan base. This was the first time they had been able to lift the trophy at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium since 2007 and sparked wild celebrations across Madrid. The team's open-top bus celebrations left their stadium with the trophy to parade through the streets in front of their fans, culminating in their arrival at the city's Plaza de Cibeles. It was the club's second league trophy in three years to cement the transition of power back to the club and away from Barcelona. The Catalan giants - Madrid's traditional El Clasico rivals - have now gone three seasons without a league title and will end this season without a trophy. The Blaugrana stumbled with a home loss to Eintracht Frankfurt to end their European tour last month, followed by La Liga defeats at home to the underdogs Cadiz and Rayo Vallecano that ended their faint hopes of a late rise to the title. And that despite Xavi Hernandez's side clinching an impressive four-goal El Clasico win in March, which Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has now explained helped his side clinch the title. Barca defender Gerard Pique tweeted that night to confidently say 'we're back', while Dani Alves claimed Los Blancos were 'lucky' to be ahead of the Blaugrana in the standings. Will Real Madrid win the Champions League this season? Real Madrid's celebrations began as they sealed the league title on Saturday After Real Madrid secured the league title, Barcelona's official Twitter account wrote: "FC Barcelona congratulates Real Madrid on their 35th La Liga title." It is a long tradition of congratulating the two clubs other than themselves who win trophies in Spain. In fact, after Barca's last cup win in 2021, Madrid publicly declared: "Congratulations to @FCBarcelona and their fans on their deserved victory at the 2021 Copa del Rey. Rodrygo Goes scored a first-half double for Real Madrid against Espanyol on Saturday to win." putting them on track to a comfortable win to seal the title when Marco Asensio and second-half substitute Karim Benzema scored in the second half.


Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti becomes the first coach to complete football's 'Grand Slam'

Carlo Ancelotti is the only manager to have won national football championships in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. (Author: Gardener)

Carlo AncelottiNeeding a draw to clinch Spain's record-breaking 35th LaLiga title, Real Madrid smashed 4-0 in front of a cheering crowd at the Santiago Bernabeu Espanyol on Saturday. The win helped Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti become the first manager to win titles in all five major European leagues. Ancelotti, 62, returned to Real Madrid for a second spell in June after leaving English Premier League side Everton midway through the 2021/22 season. "Don Carlo" already has national titles in the Italian Serie A with AC Milan (2004), the French Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain (2013), the English Premier League with Chelsea (2010) and the German Bundesliga with Bayern Munich (2017) won. The former midfielder also won the Serie A title in the 1980s. On his first spell at Madrid, Ancelotti helped Los Blancos complete 'La Decima' - their tenth European Cup (now UEFA Champions League) title in 2014. The former Parma coach, who started his coaching career at Reggiana, is also one of just three managers to have won the Champions League three times. He has also won the FIFA Club World Cup twice with AC Milan and Real Madrid. In fact, he is one of the seven who play with the Champions League as a player and as a manager. He was part of the victorious AC Milan side that won the European Cup in 1989 and 1990. Considered one of the greatest coaches of all time, Carlo Ancelotti has also helped shape the coaching careers of Zinedine Zidane, Pep Guardiola, Frank Rijkaard, Johan Cruyff, Giovanni Trapattoni and Miguel Munoz. In total he has now won 21 titles as a coach including Coppa Italia, FA Cup, Copa del Rey, German Super Cup etc. Real Madrid are now 17 points clear of second placed Sevilla with four games remaining in La Liga. Carlo Ancelotti, now supported by his son Davide, can end the season with another trophy with the Champions League crown. Real Madrid will need to quash Manchester City's 4-3 first-leg win when the two sides meet again in the first-leg semifinals at the Santiago Bernabeu on Thursday night.


Real Madrid win their 35th Spanish LaLiga title

Madrid lifted the trophy in front of nearly 80,000 spectators inside the stadium and the traditional celebrations continued at the Cibeles Fountain in the Spanish capital. (Author: Gardener)

SpanishReal Madrid secured their 35th LaLiga title with a 4-0 home win over Espanyol on Saturday as Carlo Ancelotti became the first manager to win all five major European leagues. Needing just a point in their last five games, Madrid scored twice through Rodrygo in the first half at the Santiago Bernabeu before goals from Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema completed the win. "It's the first time I've won a title at the Bernabeu, the atmosphere is really special," Ancelotti told Movistar Plus. Ancelotti returned to Madrid last summer to take over from Zinedine Zidane for a second spell after leaving Everton. Given they've been at the top since November, it came as no surprise that Madrid won a league they've dominated for months, but slumps in form from Barcelona and Sevilla offered the chance for an early crowning achievement. Madrid are 17 points clear of second-placed Sevilla with four games to go. Barcelona have a game in hand but are 18 points behind. With La Liga wrapped up, Madrid can turn their full attention to the second leg of the semifinals at home to Manchester City on Wednesday if they need to reverse a 4-3 defeat from the opening game to advance to another European final. Winning La Liga is something special, midfielder Luka Modric told Real Madrid TV as he paid tribute to fans who were unable to see the club's title win in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the earliest time Madrid have won the trophy since they won it with four games to go in 1989/90. "It's the first time we've won so many games before the end, that means a lot. Ancelotti rested Benzema and Vinicius Junior from the start for the Espanyol visit and Rodrygo capitalized on his chance with two goals late in the first half. He combined with fellow Brazilian Marcelo to put Madrid ahead in the 33rd minute when he headed into the far corner to score only his second league goal of the season. Mariano Diaz made a rare attacking start, then won the ball deep in Espanyol territory and Rodrygo rolled past goalkeeper Diego Lopez in a second with a clean finish. Eduardo Camavinga played in Asensio to score a third for Madrid in the 55th minute, while Modric then made way for Toni Kroos and Benzema replaced Casemiro on the hour. Benzema scored his 42nd goal in as many games in all competitions this season, sealing a stunning triumph for Madrid on a historic day for Ancelotti. Villarreal suffered a 2-1 defeat at bottom side Alaves three days before the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Liverpool. Atletico Madrid could risk missing out on their return to Europe's top club competition after losing 2-0 to Athletic Bilbao.