Real Madrid draw final game to send opponents Leganes down

Reuters

MADRID (Reuters) - Newly-crowned La Liga champions Real Madrid were unable to maintain their perfect run of results since the season re-started as they drew 2-2 at neighbours Leganes, who were relegated on Sunday.

Real ended the campaign on 87 points after the draw interrupted a run of 10 consecutive victories, five clear of second-placed Barcelona.

Leganes finished 18th on 36 points, joining 19th-placed Real Mallorca and Espanyol in being relegated, while Celta Vigo, who finished on 37, stayed up after drawing 0-0 at Espanyol.

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Sergio Ramos headed home his 11th league goal this season to put Real in front after nine minutes, as Zinedine Zidane heavily rotated his team following the 2-1 win over Villarreal on Thursday that clinched their first Liga title since 2017.

Leganes levelled on the stroke of halftime through midfielder Bryan Gil but Marco Asensio restored Real's lead early in the second half.

Roger Assale equalised in the 78th to give Leganes a slither of hope of survival and they needed one more goal to pull off a miraculous escape from relegation.

They came agonisingly close to finding it, having a late penalty appeal turned down for handball against Luka Jovic after a VAR review.

Oscar Rodriguez then blasted over from inside the area deep in added time and the Madrid side dropped out of the top-flight for the first time since winning their maiden promotion to La Liga in 2016.

"Even though we didn't get the result we wanted, the sacrifice was worth it and we are proud to have fought until the end," said Leganes defender Unai Bustinza. "What we have done should be seen as an example that you should never give up."

Bustinza also reflected on the fact his side lost their two main strikers at the start of the year, forced to sell Youssef En-Nesyri to Sevilla and then Martin Braithwaite to Barcelona in February after their buy-out clauses were triggered.

He added: "This year has been an uphill struggle because as well as the lockdown period we didn't have that little bit of luck we needed and some very important players were taken away from us. We'll do our best to get back up."


(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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