Real Madrid clinch La Liga title
5/3/2012 1:30:10 AM -
Real Madrid clinched the La Liga title for the first time since 2008 after their 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao.
Goals from Gonzalo Higuain, Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo sealed their 32nd league crown.
Despite Barcelona's 4-1 win over Malaga, Jose Mourinho's men hold a seven-point lead with two games to go.
The Portuguese has now won league titles in four different countries after triumphs with Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan.
The success provides much relief for Los Blancos fans after their disappointing defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final.
Having converted 25 consecutive spot-kicks, Ronaldo saw his penalty saved by Manuel Neuer in the shoot-out against the Germans.
And once again, the former Manchester United man was off target, with his penalty kept out by Bilbao goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz.
Higuain gave Real the lead with an arrowing effort into the top corner, and Ronaldo was involved again, laying on Ozil, who tapped in at the back post, before the Portugal international completed the scoring with a header.
Earlier in the day, Lionel Messi broke the record for goals in a top-flight European season as he took his Barcelona tally to 68 with a hat-trick in the 4-1 win over Malaga.
Bayern Munich legend Gerd Mueller's record had stood for 39 years but that mark was bettered as Messi claimed his ninth treble of the season.
Ajax sealed their 31st Dutch title with a straightforward 2-0 win over VVV Venlo.
The victory put them beyond the reaches of Feyenoord with one match remaining.
Swiss midfielder Siem de Jong's double inside the hour was enough to start the party in the Amsterdam Arena.
AC Milan moved to within a point of Italian league leaders Juventus after the defending champions beat Atalanta 2-0 after goals from Sulley Muntari and Robinho, while Juve drew with lowly Lecce 1-1 in Turin. There are two matches remaining in Serie A.