Liga - Mourinho enjoys winning send-off at Real Madrid

La Liga, Santiago Bernabeu - Real Madrid 4 (Higuain 35, Essien 38, Benzema 69, Callejon 87) Osasuna 2 (Torrres 52, Alvaro 63)

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Liga - Mourinho enjoys winning send-off at Real Madrid
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Real Madrid's Michael Essien celebrates a goal with his coach Jose Mourinho during their Spanish first division soccer match against Osasuna at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid June 1, 2013. (Reuters)

Jose Mourinho ended his three-year reign as Real Madrid coach with a 4-2 win over Osasuna in La Liga on Saturday in a match where he was cheered and whistled in equal measure by a two-thirds full Bernabeu.

The 50-year-old has agreed by mutual consent to leave the club, despite having three years left on his contract, and is widely expected to return to his former team Chelsea.

Gonzalo Higuain, Michael Essien, Karim Benzema and Jose Callejon scored as an under-strength Real side ended the season in second place behind champions and arch-rivals Barcelona.

Mourinho, who finishes a campaign without a major trophy for the first time in his career, was the centre of attention at a game with nothing riding on it but he maintained a silence he has held since losing the Copa del Rey final two weeks ago.

"We respect his decision (to leave), as do the club, and we wish him luck," Real defender Alvaro Arbeloa told reporters.

"Everyone knows we have taken a big step forward in terms of competitiveness and we know we could have achieved so much more but because of details and a lack of luck it wasn't to be.

"He has got some things right and made some mistakes like everyone but he has given his all and defended Real Madrid above all else."

Mourinho won the Copa del Rey in his first year, La Liga with a record points haul of 100 points last season, and the Spanish Super Cup at the start of this campaign.

He also led the side to the last four of the Champions League three years in a row but his failure to reach the final with one of the world's most expensive squads frustrated fans.

As this season faltered Mourinho's confrontations with his squad, in particular captain Iker Casillas and Pepe, saw divisions emerge within the dressing room and in the stands, as was evident against Osasuna.

The Portuguese did little to humour the home support, leaving Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso out of the squad, and played fourth-choice keeper Jesus Fernandez instead of fan-favourite Casillas who was also omitted.

As has become the norm in recent weeks Mourinho's name was whistled before kick-off when it was read out over the public address system.

He stayed in the tunnel until the game started when he moved into the dugout but he was unable to avoid the limelight.

The referee had to halt the match a few minutes in as a scrum of photographers and camera crews caused a disturbance on the touchline when Mourinho stood up in the technical area.

Stewards had to herd the photographers off the pitch while Real's hardcore fans, the 'Ultra Sur', chanted his name from behind one goal but a good portion of the stadium whistled in response.

Captain Higuain, who is also expected to leave the club, opened the scoring after 35 minutes when he spun away from his marker and advanced to fire in Real's 100th goal of the campaign.

It is the fourth year in a row the nine-times European champions have reached that landmark.

Three minutes later on-loan Essien nodded in a corner and ran across to dedicate the goal to Mourinho who brought him to Madrid from Chelsea.

Osasuna, like Real with nothing left to play for, pulled one back early in the second half with a raking low shot from Roberto Torres and Alvaro Cejudo headed an equaliser soon after.

A superb piece of skill by Mesut Ozil set up Karim Benzema for Real's third before Jose Callejon wrapped up the scoring in the 87th minute.

At the final whistle Mourinho came out of the dugout and waved to the hardcore fans who had chanted his name, turned and quickly left the pitch.

Once the majority of the supporters had left the stadium, Mourinho returned to salute the 'Ultra Sur'.

Mourinho's parting words to fans were posted in a brief statement on the Real website on Friday evening.

"I wish everyone associated with Real Madrid much happiness in the future," he said.

"I appreciate the support of lots of fans and respect the criticism of others. Once again a lot of happiness to everyone and, above all, good health. Hala Madrid."

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