Real Madrid champion after Barcelona's loss to Blind and co

Real Madrid is officially the champion of Spain. Barcelona fell on Saturday evening at Girona, which means it is also mathematically impossible for things to go wrong for the Madrilenians. Moreover, Xavi and his team have also lost second place in LaLiga.

Real Madrid champion after Barcelona's loss to Blind and co Embed from Getty Images

In the heated atmosphere of the Catalan derby, the match began with a surprising intensity.

Andreas Christensen’s early volley was a stunning start for Barcelona, momentarily uplifting the spirits of the home fans. However, the joy was short-lived as Artem Dovbyk, maintaining his excellent form, responded almost immediately with a goal of his own, keeping his lead in the race for Spain's top scorer.

The match was crucial not just for bragging rights in Catalonia but also had significant implications for the LaLiga standings. Real Madrid, sitting comfortably at the top, was watching closely, as a loss of points for Barcelona could seal their championship victory without them even playing. This added an extra layer of pressure on Barcelona, which was evident as the first half came to a close. A critical moment came just before the break when a VAR check confirmed a foul by Lamine Yamal, setting up Robert Lewandowski to successfully convert a penalty, which momentarily gave Barcelona the lead.

However, as the game progressed into the second half, Barcelona's inability to capitalize on their chances began to show. Despite having control, their failure to secure a third goal left the door open for Girona. Daley Blind, along with his team, exploited this, staging a stunning ten-minute turnaround that saw them score three goals past Marc-André ter Stegen, whose night went from bad to worse. This included a calamitous back pass from Sergi Roberto, leading to a goal by Portu, who then sealed the deal with a formidable strike, leaving no chance for Ter Stegen to save.

The ramifications of this result were immediate. Real Madrid, now unassailable in the league, were confirmed as champions, able to celebrate a title won not on the pitch but through the shortcomings of their fiercest rivals. Barcelona, on the other hand, faced the harsh reality of not only losing the match but also losing their grip on second place to Girona. The match underscored the broader struggles Barcelona has faced this season, with a once formidable defense now proving to be their Achilles' heel.

Looking ahead, Xavi faces significant challenges in reshaping his team to reclaim their competitive edge. For Girona, the victory was more than just three points; it marked a milestone in their remarkable season, securing them a spot in next season's Champions League a testament to their growth and ambition. Meanwhile, in Madrid, the celebrations were undoubtedly mixed with relief and schadenfreude, as their title win was made all the sweeter by the struggles of their historic rivals.

Updated: 07:49, 4 May 2024

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