Real Madrid presents league trophy to fans then routs Alaves

Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Deportivo Alaves at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Jose Breton/AP Photo)

MADRID — Real Madrid presented its 36th Spanish league trophy to its fans at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Tuesday, then followed up the celebrations with a 5-0 rout of Alaves that featured a pair of goals by Vinícius Júnior and another by Jude Bellingham.

Federico Valverde and Arda Guler also scored for Madrid, which had yet to play at the Bernabeu since clinching the league two rounds ago. The club celebrated the title on Sunday through the streets of Madrid, but it couldn’t go through its traditional celebration at the Bernabeu because of a concert at the stadium.

It couldn’t celebrate when it clinched the title in advance with a win against Cadiz on May 4 because it had to play Bayern Munich a few days later in the semifinals of the Champions League, a game it won 2-1 to make it to the June 1 final against Borussia Dortmund in London.

“I’m really pleased with the team’s performance, we need to get into a good rhythm. We have a very important game left to crown our season,” Vinícius said. “We always enjoy wearing this shirt and playing for these fans at this stadium. My dream since I was a child was to play here and now we have the opportunity to deliver this victory for many kids who want to be here but can’t.”

Alaves’ players gave Madrid a guard of honour before the match, lining up near the sideline and applauding Madrid players as they entered the field. Madrid captain Nacho Fernández stepped onto the field carrying the league trophy.

The other 35 league trophies were represented in images placed around the midfield circle.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti used the regular starters again after giving them some rest in a 4-0 win at Granada on Saturday.

Bellingham opened the scoring in the 10th minute, Vinícius scored his first goal in the 27th and Valverde found the net in first-half stoppage time. Vinícius got his second in the 70th and Guler sealed the result in the 81st.

It was the ninth straight league win for Madrid and sixth in its last seven matches in all competitions. It reached 93 points from 36 matches, 17 points more than second-place Barcelona.

Earlier, relegation-threatened Mallorca drew 1-1 at Osasuna, moving to 15th place and staying seven points from the demotion zone.

Girona missed a chance to overcome Barcelona for second place after a 1-0 loss to mid-table Villarreal at home. Girona stayed in third place after the loss, one point from Barcelona and five ahead of fourth-place Atletico Madrid.

Atletico visits mid-table Getafe on Wednesday, while Barcelona is at last-place Almeria on Thursday.

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