Real cap record season with victory over Levante
Madrid, May 19:
Spanish league champion Real Madrid capped a record-setting season on Sunday with a 5-2 win over Levante. Ruud van Nistelrooy and Sergio Ramos scored two goals each and Wesley Sneijder added the other as Madrid beat Levante, which had threatened to skip the match in a strike over unpaid player wages.
Madrid captain Raul Gonzalez accepted the Spanish champions record 31st league trophy at the close of the game at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Van Nistelrooy headed home Ramos’ headed flick-on in the 23rd minute and then got a leg out to poke in Robinho’s return pass in the 41st despite appearing to be offside. Ramos powerfully headed Jose Maria “Guti” Gutierrez’s short cross into goal in the 27th and used his head again in the 78th to score off a Madrid corner. Sneijder left goalkeeper Manuel Reina with no chance of reaching his free kick as it curled into the top of corner of goal in the 55th minute.
For Levante, Laurent Courtois got free of Madrid defender Pepe to feed Alexandre Geijo in the box in the 53rd and then again in the 65th. Madrid won the league with 85 points - the highest winning point total in 11 years. Villarreal finished second with a club-high 77 points after beating Deportivo La Coruna 2-0 with goals from Mattias Fernandez and Guillermo Franco.
Earlier, Ivan Bolado’s late goal gave Racing Santander a 1-0 win over Osasuna and spot in the UEFA Cup — the team’s first European place in their 95-year history. Zaragoza were relegated to the second division following a 3-2 loss at Mallorca. Mallorca finished seventh and Zaragoza returned to the second division for the first time since the 2002-03 season.