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MADRID: Real Madrid earned a comfortable 3-0 win over Cadiz which ensures they will win La Liga if Barcelona fail to beat Girona later Saturday.
Los Blancos did their homework against the Andalucian stragglers to move a step closer to a record-extending 36th Spanish title, which could be theirs within a matter of hours.
Brahim Diaz netted in the 51st minute to put Madrid ahead and then set up Jude Bellingham for the second, with Joselu tapping home a third to leave Madrid just one point away from clinching the title.
“We leave our skins out there on the pitch to live moments like today’s, we are so close to the league,” Joselu told Real Madrid TV.
“There are young players who are very hungry for titles, veterans who are delighted to be here… and these are special moments.”
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti played a heavily rotated side ahead of the Champions League semifinal second leg against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
The coach selected only captain Nacho Fernandez from the starting line-up that earned a 2-2 draw in Bavaria this week.
Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois started for the first time after a nine-month layoff after a knee injury and kept a clean sheet.
Madrid midfielder Luka Modric became the oldest player to appear for the club in La Liga, at 38 years and 238 days, breaking late Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas’ record from 1965 by five days.
Madrid striker Joselu came close to reaching a dangerous cross and Chris Ramos fired off target for the visitors in an otherwise slow start at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ruben Sobrino barged his way past Eder Militao on the counter-attack after half an hour but Nacho slid in well to thwart him as he prepared to shoot.
The visitors, 18th and still battling to stay up, shaded the first half, although Dani Ceballos had a shot blocked after Cadiz goalkeeper Jeremias Ledesma went walkabout at a corner.
Courtois made a superb save to deny Ramos early in the second half and his team took the lead immediately afterwards.
The Cadiz striker shook free of Nacho and ran in on goal but Courtois produced a superb save.
Moments later Diaz sent Madrid ahead, receiving from the evergreen Modric on the edge of the area, turning slickly and curling an effort into the top corner.
“Thibaut is the best in the world, he’s had a terrible season and we were waiting for this day to come,” added Joselu.
Bellingham, on as a substitute for Turkish teenager Arda Guler, added the second soon after entering the fray.
Modric and Diaz combined well, with the latter squaring for Bellingham to put the finishing touch on a fine team move.
It was the England international’s 18th league goal of the season, keeping him in contention to finish as the top scorer, trailing Girona’s Artem Dovbyk by one.
Militao missed two good chances from close range in the final stages but Madrid eventually put the cherry on their cake after a superb run by Nacho.
Poised to depart at the end of the season, the Spaniard was hailed by the Bernabeu after setting up Joselu for a simple finish in stoppage time.
While Madrid are on the verge of domestic delight, Cadiz are staring down the barrel of relegation.
Defeat leaves them five points from safety having played one more match than Celta Vigo, 17th.

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