Barcelona wins second straight Spanish league title

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BARCELONA: Barcelona has won its second straight Spanish league title after defeating Granada 3-0 on Saturday with a hat trick by Luis Suarez in the final round.

The result capped a five-game winning streak that allowed the Catalan club to finish one point ahead of Real Madrid, which fell short despite winning its last 12 league games.

Suarez finished the season as La Liga’s top scorer with 40 goals, breaking Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s grip on the honour since 2009.

Barca ended with 91 points, one ahead of Real Madrid who won 2-0 at Deportivo La Coruna.

A Barcelona's fan celebrates after winning the Spanish first division soccer championship in Barcelona.─Reuters
A Barcelona’s fan celebrates after winning the Spanish first division soccer championship in Barcelona.─Reuters

Ronaldo scored twice for Real before being substituted at halftime, finishing the campaign with 35 goals. Gerard Pique came close to giving Barca an early lead when his header was tipped away by goalkeeper Andres Fernandez who also saved well from Messi.

Fernandez was powerless to stop Suarez’s opener, however, the Uruguayan tapping the ball home at the far post.

The second goal was delightful. Javier Mascherano launched a long diagonal pass towards the byline and Alves raced to meet it before hooking a cross for Suarez to nod in from close range. Suarez nearly laid on a third for Neymar but the Brazilian was denied by Fernandez.

Neymar then generously played in Suarez to complete his hat-trick before the end.

“This title tastes great after so much hard work throughout the year and suffering right until the end,” said Barca captain Andres Iniesta.

Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (hidden) celebrates with Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar (2ndL) and Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi(R) after scoring during the Spanish league football match.─AFP
Barcelona’s Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (hidden) celebrates with Barcelona’s Brazilian forward Neymar (2ndL) and Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi(R) after scoring during the Spanish league football match.─AFP

“The league is the tournament that tests your consistency throughout the year and it’s the one we want to win every year.” Real got off to an ideal start at Deportivo when Gareth Bale manoeuvred his way past a defender on the left and cut the ball back to Karim Benzema who squared it for Ronaldo to score in the seventh minute.

The Portugal striker’s second in the 25th minute had an element of good fortune, his header from a corner bouncing off Deportivo’s Pedro Mosquera on its way into the net.

Ronaldo also hit the post and the crossbar before being replaced by James Rodriguez although there was no suggestion he had an injury two weeks before the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid.

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