Barcelona won La Liga yesterday after recording a 1-0 victory at reigning Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, with Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi scoring the only goal of the match.
The Catalan giants knew that a win would bring them the title regardless of Real Madrid’s result at Espanyol.
Los Blancos claimed a 4-1 victory over Barcelona’s neighbours, but it was of little consequence because of Barcelona’s victory.
Barcelona dominated the first half, but ‘keeper Claudio Bravo still had to save from a Jose Gimenez header. However, for the rest of the first period the Catalan giants were in control.
Messi saw an effort well saved on 11 minutes by Jan Oblak, before Neymar fired over with a chance half-way through the first period. Atletico midfielder Gabi then fired wide of goal from 18 yards out.
Then came a moment of controversy, as Dani Alves went down under a challenge near the Atletico penalty area. The Brazilian claimed a penalty, but the referee gave a free-kick and the full-back a yellow card for his protestations.
Messi took the resulting free-kick and shaved the bar with the effort. Just before the break Atletico ‘keeper Jan Oblak produced a superb save from Alves.
Atletico had some chances in the second half, as Diego Godin headed over the bar and Fernando Torres saw an effort from 12 yards dealt with easily by Bravo. However, the breakthrough for Barcelona came on 65 minutes though.
Messi played a one-two with Pedro, before showing quick feet in the Atleti box and firing a low effort into the bottom corner of Oblak’s goal.
Neymar missed a golden opportunity to double the Barcelona lead, as he fired well over the bar after Andres Iniesta had found the Brazilian in space in the home side’s box.
Atletico pushed for an equaliser, but Barcelona held on to a win which confirmed their fifth Spanish title in the last seven years.
Arch-rivals Real Madrid have now won La Liga just once in the last seven years and boss Carlo Ancelotti could now face the axe.
Did Barcelona deserve to win La Liga?