Real Madrid claimed a record-extending 35th La Liga title on Saturday after thrashing Espanyol 4-0 at a packed Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
The win also made their Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti the first manager to capture titles in each of Europe’s top five leagues England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France.
Rodrygo’s double put Real 2-0 up at the break before Marco Asensio added a third after 55 minutes and La Liga top scorer Karim Benzema sealed the points in the 81st.
Captain Benzema lifted the trophy after coming off the bench late in the second half as Ancelotti rested several regular starters with Real hosting Manchester City in their Champions League semi-final second leg on Wednesday trailing 4-3.
Real have 81 points with four games to go. They are 17 points ahead of second-placed Sevilla and 18 clear of Barcelona, who have a game in hand, and needed a point against Espanyol to clinch the title with almost a month of the season remaining.
It was a record-breaking day for defender Marcelo, who won his 24th piece of silverware with Real to leapfrog Gento as the player with the most trophy wins in the club’s 120-year history.
“It’s an immense joy,” an emotional Marcelo told reporters in what is set to be the last of the 33-year-old’s 16 seasons at the Spanish club.
“We have won as early as possible, and that is everyone’s job to be celebrated”, Marcelo added, with the players looking towards the clash with Manchester City next week.
“Today we have to celebrate, but we have an important game ahead. If we do it right, there is nothing to worry about.”
Ancelotti believes the celebrations can help lift the players’ spirits to fight back against Pep Guardiola’s side.
“A celebration like this can bring an extra energy to the locker room, it can be good as another motivation facing such a difficult task against a great team,” Ancelotti said.
“The season has been spectacular. Lots of regularity. Consistency. I have to thank the players for their work and their attitude. Today we have to celebrate, not to talk. I want to celebrate.”
Dortmund defeated despite Haaland hat-trick
VfL Bochum scored two late goals to snatch a 4-3 victory at Borussia Dortmund, despite an Erling Haaland hat-trick, to ensure their Bundesliga safety
The result kept Dortmund a short point of securing second spot with two games remaining, with the Ruhr valley club on 63 points, eight ahead of third-placed Bayer Leverkusen, who host Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday.
Freiburg are also on 55 after climbing to fourth following their thrilling 4-3 win at Hoffenheim. RB Leipzig, who are fifth on 54, travel to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Monday.
The top four teams qualify for next season’s Champions League group stage. Bayern Munich, who secured their 10th straight league title last week, are on 75 following their 3-1 loss to Mainz 05.
In a seven-goal, drama-filled encounter Haaland scored a treble to carry Dortmund from 2-0 down to lead 3-2.
Visitors Bochum got off to a dream start in their local derby and were 2-0 up by the eighth minute thanks to goals from Sebastian Polter and Gerrit Holtmann.
Dortmund quickly recovered and pulled a goal back with Haaland’s 16th-minute penalty.
The Norway international was far from done and he scored his second with another spot-kick on the half-hour mark.
Haaland thought he had completed their comeback with a tap-in and a lucky bounce in the 62nd but Bochum came back once more, leveling though Juergen Locadia in the 81st and Milos Pantovic’s penalty for their first win at Dortmund since 1998.