Lionel Messi grabbed the Liga-winning goal in the 65th minute, as his give-and-go magic with Pedro inside the box led to a far-post shot that Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak couldn't reach.
GOOOOL DI0SSSS #genius pic.twitter.com/SmQeaMg1I4— FCB (@Emenderk) May 17, 2015
Messi's goal wins La Liga for FC Barcelona.
FT: Atlético de Madrid 0-1 Futbol Club Barcelona
Xoel's Take on the La Liga season
This has been one of the most interesting, emotional and uplifting Liga seasons in recent FC Barcelona history.
From the start, Barcelona was up against the odds. With Luis Suarez suspended until late October, El Blaugrana went forward and started off very well. Claudio Bravo went 754 minutes without conceding a goal. Barcelona went 7W-0L-1D and heading into the first Clásico against Real Madrid, it looked like Barcelona had a good shot at continuing its record start.
But at the Santiago Bernabéu, things went wrong. Despite having Suarez, Barcelona looked poor and lost 1-3 to Los Blancos. Things went bad the following week went Barça suffered an embarrassing loss to Celta Vigo at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona bounced back and won five of six, although the team didn't look impressive against Almeria and needed a stoppage time goal from Sergio Busquets at Valencia. It seemed that maybe, just maybe, things were going turning things around heading into the new year.
Then, Luis Enrique and his team flew out to Basque Country to face Real Sociedad.
The match changed everything, as Barcelona lost 0-1 and via an own goal. The team looked lost and none of its superstars showed up. Lucho looked like he had no answers and no ideas. His constant rotations early in the season seemed to have backfired.
The week from hell began shortly after the La Real match. Andoni Zubizarreta was fired as sporting director, Lucho looked like he was going to get fired that week, and club president Josep Maria Bartomeu called for early elections scheduled for the summer. Meanwhile, Real Madrid was on a roll and it seemed like 2014-15 was going to be a lost La Liga season for Barcelona.
Then, the comeback began.
Barça won six straight Liga games, with started against Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou. Luis Suarez heated up, as well as Messi. Add to this Copa del Rey success, and Lucho's men charged forward in play and wins. But a bad 0-1 slip-up against Malaga at home, and it seemed the comeback was on the brink of falling apart. But beating Manchester City in England in their round of 16 Champions League tie gave Barcelona the momentum boost it needed to take back into Liga action.
In round 26 of La Liga, Barcelona took over first place in La Liga, and never looked back. The Catalans won six in a row, including the second Clásico of the season at the Camp Nou. Suarez's second-half goal gave FCB the 2-1 win over Madrid and a four-point lead in the Liga table.
La Liga is ours! Gràcies #MSN. @TeamMessi, #Messi, @LuisSuarez9, @neymarjr #LigaChampions @FCBarcelona pic.twitter.com/aBd79cLOqw— Xoel Càrdenas (@XoelCardenas) May 17, 2015
A tough 2-2 draw at Sevilla brought things closer together in La Liga. One more slip-up, and Barcelona could see La Liga slip away. But Messi, Neymar and Suarez led Barça to six wins in a row, including key wins vs. Valencia (2-0), at Espanyol (2-0), and vs. La Real (2-0). Add to this Barcelona storming through the Champions League quarterfinals and semifinals—defeating PSG and Bayern Munich respectively—and it was clear nothing was going to stop this team.
Against Atletico Madrid, Barcelona did not play its best match, but did what all champions do: get the win with heart, fire, and determination. It was fitting that Messi grabbed the goal that won La Liga. Leo's 2015 has been spectacular, and it's clear Messi is on his way to a fifth Ballon d'Or.
Personally, I have gone though many emotions this season. I remember at the beginning of the season that I trusted Luis Enrique. I even wrote an article entitled "In Lucho We Trust". Then, the rotations continued and the crisis of January happened. I felt Lucho failed all of us, and I wanted him gone.
It's not official yet, but Culers around the world have spoken: Luis Enrique must go! Now, we wait. pic.twitter.com/I0pNn5Arew— Xoel Càrdenas (@XoelCardenas) January 6, 2015
Obviously, I should have kept my faith in Luis Enrique. I was wrong, and for that, I apologize to him (if he reads this) and to everyone.
Luis Enrique has taught me and all Culés that wanted him out a valuable lesson. His patience and ability to overcome adversity is phenomenal and shows what kind of person he is. Even with all of the rumors surrounding him and a mid-season clash with Messi, Luis Enrique never faltered under the pressure or weakened. In fact, he only got stronger as a manager.
Stay calm and trust the plan. It may show faults at some point, but patience, determination, and hard work pays off in the end. Luck is involved on some occasions, but in this Liga season, Lucho and Barcelona made their own luck.
In Lucho We Trust.
GIF Luis Enrique #fcblive pic.twitter.com/l4iC9S8JxD— FCBarcelona Live (@Vida_Blaugrana) May 17, 2015
Xoel's Final Word
FC Barcelona won its 23rd La Liga title in the club's glorious history, and the 7th Liga title in the last 10 years.
For some, it's their first Liga title. For Xavi, it's his eighth. Barcelona will celebrate next week at the Camp Nou.
La Liga is ours once again. Thank you, MSN, Gerard Pique's defensive revival, Javier Mascherano's leadership and toughness, the midfield's excellent play, Ivan Rakitic's signing, Xavi still showing the world he's forever a legend, the two great goalkeepers in Claudio Bravo and Marc-André ter Stegen, Lucho and the entire staff.
One title down, two more to go.
Visca el Barça i Visca Catalunya!
Pa dentro pic.twitter.com/3LYVA71tDx— FCB (@Emenderk) May 17, 2015
CAMPEONESS CAMPEONESSS OEOEOEE #genius pic.twitter.com/Y4vA76CbZP— FCB (@Emenderk) May 17, 2015
GRANDESS pic.twitter.com/A2bvxqLhlY— FCB (@Emenderk) May 17, 2015
CAMPEONES!!! #FCBLIVE pic.twitter.com/QLzPu9YDek— FCBarcelona Live (@Vida_Blaugrana) May 17, 2015
OÉ! OÉ! OÉ! pic.twitter.com/FSNwN0eXEy— Culé, CAMPEONES! (@RockBottom88) May 17, 2015
Video: Dressing-room celebrations http://t.co/Id7bERJFW2 [fcb]— barcastuff (@barcastuff) May 17, 2015
LA FOTO DE LOS CAMPEONES DE LIGA #genius pic.twitter.com/u62Kc5S83R— FCB (@Emenderk) May 17, 2015
Felicitats campions!!!! Sou els millors. Visca el Barça!— Carles Puyol (@Carles5puyol) May 17, 2015
Barcelona, campeones de La Liga 2015. Felicidades. #ViscaElBarca— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 17, 2015
CAAAMPEONES DE LIIIIGAAA— Ronaldinho Gaúcho (@Ronaldinho2103) May 17, 2015
Gif: Team celebrating #fcblive [via @periodistasanon] pic.twitter.com/C4yUSWPvE4— barcastuff (@barcastuff) May 17, 2015