WITH three goals from Luis Suarez Barcelona secured their sixth La Liga title in eight years, making no mistakes at Granada where they needed a win on the hotly anticipated season finale to see off their rivals in Madrid. With a tally of 40 goals this season, Suarez became the first man not named Messi or Ronaldo to become La Liga’s top scorer since 2009.
It was in many ways a typical Barcelona performance, a hat-trick from one of their deadly front three South Americans, an easy victory without a hint of struggle or controversy. With Real and Atletico Madrid also registering wins against Deportivo and Celta respectively, however, the Catalan giants desperately needed these three points to reel in the title they had almost thrown away.
Six weeks ago it was considered a mere formality that Barcelona would be awarded their second successive La Liga title when the superstar team underwent a spectacular series of three consecutive defeats, their worst league run since 2003. An 8-0 thumping of Deportivo on April 20, however, kicked off a five game winning streak that culminated in today’s victory at Granada.
With all 38 games played Barcelona stand on 91 points, three less than they managed last season, while Zinedine Zidane’s Real men finished second on 90, and Diego Simeone’s Atletico on 88 points in one of the tightest three-way seasons in living memory.
One of the Madrid rivals will have the opportunity to snatch perhaps an even greater success on May 28 when they face one another at Milan’s San Siro stadium in the Champions League final.
Barcelona meanwhile can win the league and cup double against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final on May 22, with victory likely to cement Luis Enrique’s growing reputation as one of the finest coaches in the game today.