Real Madrid wins record 31st Spanish league title

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{image-real madrid_05052008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Paris, May 5: Make it 31 league titles and counting for Real Madrid. Spanish soccer's most famous team captured yet another La Liga crown Sunday after posting a 2-1 victory on the road over Osasuna. Real Madrid has 78 points and enjoys an insurmountable 10-point lead over second-place Villarreal with three games remaining in the season. Real Madrid, reduced to 10 men after Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro earned his second yellow card of the game early in the second half, received late goals from Dutch winger Arjen Robben and Argentine midfielder Gonzalo Higuain to win their second consecutive league championship.


Francisco Punal scored from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute to give Osasuna a 1-0 lead, but Robben headed in a cross from Fernando Gago four minutes later to equalize and Higuain scored with a volley in the final minute of regulation time to lift Madrid to the victory.
Madrid began the season with six wins and a draw in their first seven games, but stumbled over the finish line, winning just six of their 12 matches before Sunday's contest.


The Spanish champions also benefited from the fact the traditional rivals FC Barcelona hit a rough patch of form the last two months and dropped to third place behind Villarreal after occupying second place and chasing Madrid for most of the season. But Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas said his team deserved to win the title.


"Real Madrid has led the league from the start. It makes me laugh that people are saying that Barcelona has let the league slip away," Casillas said.
"No one pays any attention to how you won the league because what people value is the title itself," added Madrid defender Sergio Ramos.


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