Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Iniesta hails Barcelona dominance as champions defend La Liga

SoccerNews in La Liga 14 May 2016

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Andres Iniesta hailed the dominance established by Barcelona in La Liga as they claimed their sixth title in eight seasons on Sunday.

The reigning champions sealed a 3-0 win over Granada – courtesy of a Luis Suarez hat-trick – to ensure they finish a point ahead of rivals Real Madrid at the top of the table.

Barca surrendered a nine-point lead in April to allow Real and Atletico Madrid back into the title race, but a run of five consecutive wins without conceding ensured they ended the campaign with their 24th top-flight title.

And Iniesta, made club captain after Xavi’s departure at the end of last season, highlighted the intense work rate of the team in maintaining a near-unbroken domestic dominance since 2009.

“Six league titles in eight says a lot about this cycle,” an emotional Iniesta told Canal Plus.

“It’s a title that means a lot. It’s been a lot of hard work throughout the season, it’s a competition of consistency, the title that we want to win every year. It feels wonderful.

“We had a very big advantage but we didn’t do things that well. In the end we recovered the points. La Liga is won by the most consistent and that’s been us.”

Barca were knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals but Iniesta insists that a failure to defend last season’s treble should not be considered a disappointment, especially with his side facing a Copa del Rey final with Sevilla next week.

“It can’t be a bad season,” he said. “When you win La Liga, the season is always good. The Copa and the Champions League are bonuses.”

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