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Two Karim Benzema goals fire Real to 34th La Liga title

Report as Real Madrid seal La Liga title with a game to spare; Barcelona lose 2-1 to Osasuna

Karim Benzema's double fired Real Madrid to their 34th La Liga title in a tight 2-1 victory over Villarreal.

The Frenchman's powerful low strike in the 29th minute put the hosts in control and Benzema extended Real's lead by firing in a retaken penalty in the 76th minute at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium.

The original spot-kick taken by Sergio Ramos was chalked off as he bizarrely attempted to pass it to Benzema, who ran into the box before referee Hernandez Hernandez blew his whistle.

Substitute Vicente Iborra scored a powerful header late on (86) for the visitors and substitute Marco Asensio had a goal chalked off by VAR in injury-time, but Real still emerged title winners as second-placed Barcelona lost 2-1 to Osasuna.

Real Madrid started the contest without nerves with Dani Carvajal's audacious lob, caught by Sergio Asenjo, and a Benzema cross-cum-shot proving early warning shots.

The hosts' opener came in just before the half-hour mark as Luka Modric teed up Benzema on the counter-attack before he fired through Asenjo's legs into the net for the Frenchman's 20th goal of the campaign.

With Villarreal rarely threatening the Real goal, the hosts had the opportunity to extend their lead from the spot in the 72nd minute when Ramos was tripped up by Sofian.

The club captain took the kick but elected to pass it to Benzema, who strayed into the box too early. The retaken penalty was then converted by Benzema low into the bottom-left corner of the net.

Toni Kroos hit the woodwork in the 81st minute before ex-Leicester midfielder Iborra headed in a late reply two minutes later to set up a frantic finish.

Thibaut Courtois, who suffered a nasty head injury midway through the second half, was forced into a fine double save to deny Bruno Soriano and Iborra before Asensio had a goal ruled out by VAR due to a Benzema handball in the build-up.

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