Tuesday, September 26, 2017

La Liga Review: Barcelona wrap up the title with a week to spare

SoccerNews in La Liga 17 May 2015

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Lionel Messi scored his 54th goal of the season to earn Barcelona a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid that confirmed the Liga title for the Camp Nou club.

Having started the penultimate round of fixtures four points clear of second-placed Real Madrid, Luis Enrique’s men knew they needed to match Real’s result against Espanyol to put the title out of reach of their rivals.

And Barca did just that, thanks to Messi’s brilliant close-range finish 25 minutes from time, rendering Real’s 4-1 hammering of Espanyol irrelevant.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s seventh hat-trick of the season was not enough to rescue a miserable week for Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who have now won just one title in seven years and were dumped out of the UEFA Champions League by Juventus in midweek. 

In contrast, Barcelona have now claimed five titles in seven seasons and their 2014-15 success marks their 23rd La Liga success.

Valencia were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Celta Vigo and face a tense final-day trip to Almeria as they seek to hang on to fourth place and a chance of Champions League qualification.

Almeria’s hopes of avoiding relegation suffered a blow as they lost 2-1 at Sevilla, who could still pip Valencia to fourth after reaching a club record points total of 73 for the season.

The final day will see a tense battle to avoid the drop and Eibar picked up a point in a 1-1 draw at Getafe thanks to Borja Fernandez’s goal to keep their survival hopes alive.

Granada pulled themselves away from the drop zone with a 3-0 win at Real Sociedad, while Deportivo La Coruna ran out 2-0 winners at home to Levante to put themselves two points clear of danger.

Athletic Bilbao scored three times in 10 minutes to grab a dramatic 3-2 victory at Elche, while bottom club Cordoba slipped to a 2-1 home defeat to Rayo Vallecano.

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