02 May 2012
Realmadrid.com / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Real Madrid are the champions of the 2011/12 La Liga. The Whites won their 32nd league title with an amazing performance at San Mames, defeating Athletic Bilbao 3-0 and scoring a record number of goals in the championship. It is the team's second title in two years with Mourinho at the helm.
Coentrao, Higuain and Callejon made the starting lineup and the team played an intense game from the get-go looking for a goal. Iriazoz managed to only just snatch the ball from Higuain in the opening minute and one minute later cleared a shot by Coentrao. Real Madrid attacked and Athletic withstood it as much as they could, but Javi Martinez touched the ball with his hands on the 11-minute mark and a penalty was awarded. Cristiano Ronaldo took the shot and Iriazoz managed to save it, but Real Madrid kept trying: Ozil passed the ball to Higuain four minutes later and the Argentine defeated the keeper with a sensational shot. The German midfielder netted a second for the team after an impressive collective effort and a masterful cross from Ronaldo (19').
Real Madrid started to control the game well and the locals created little danger. Casillas saved the day with a great stretch in an Iñigo Perez free-kick, after which San Jose sent the ball to the crossbar (36'). The Madridistas had another chance to net a third one minute later through Ozil, whose shot also hit the crossbar.
Real continued to have the reins of the game after half-time and scored their third goal on the 50-minute mark when Ronaldo headed in an Ozil corner-kick. The locals' pride was hurt and they looked harder for a goal, but the Whites' defence was incredibly solid, especially against Toquero and Llorente. They also tried to net more strikes and Callejon came close to tallying a fourth, but Iriazoz cleared his shot (59'). Athletic were only proving dangerous in set pieces, while Real Madrid never relaxed and continued giving an intense performance to the end.
De Marcos hit the crossbar with a distant shot on the 67-minute mark and, minutes later, Javi Martinez was sent off with a second booking (72'), which dampened the mood of the match, which had until then unfolded normally. Mourinho replaced Higuain with Benzema (76') and two minutes later Granero came on for Ozil.
Real Madrid continued to absolutely dominate the clash in the final minutes of the encounter. They had possession of the ball and let time go by in order to celebrate winning the league title as soon as possible. At the sound of the final whistle, the entire squad and coaching staff stormed the pitch and embraced in jubilation. Congratulations champs!