Barcelona have won La Liga! Needing just one draw to clinch the league title against Deportivo La Coruña, the Blaugrana showed their strength and won 4-2 to make a statement and celebrate. Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick, and the undisputed best team in Spain this season has been crowned as such with the domestic double. Next mission? Go the entire league season without a single loss.
The Blaugrana made a strong start to the match, controlling possession and not allowing Deportivo to have an early blitz as the home team. Barça took control of the game and scored quickly, with Philippe Coutinho finishing off a great team move with a lovely strike to the top corner.
Deportivo needed a win to avoid relegation, so they naturally went forward in search of a desperate equalizer, and they got it with Lucas Pérez, but the goal was correctly disallowed for offside. Depor’s efforts to attack more didn’t trouble Barça that much, and Lionel Messi doubled the visitors’ lead with a fantastic volley to finish off a killer counter attack.
But Lucas Pérez finally was able to score a legal goal right after Barça’s second, and we went into halftime with just a little bit of doubt about whether or not the leaders could hold on to the lead and become champions.
Deportivo sensed that the Barça defense was vulnerable and ready to concede an equalizer at any moment, so they sent even more bodies forward looking for a miracle win to keep them alive in the relegation fight. They did get the equalizer with Emre Çolak, but there were 25 minutes left in the match and Barça took full advantage of Depor’s desperation.
And also, Lionel Messi was Lionel Messi, with two fantastic goals in the final 10 minutes to complete his hat-trick and guarantee the win for Barça. There was still time to honor Andrés Iniesta, who came on in the 85th minute and got a standing ovation from the entire stadium, filled with fans who were watching their team get relegated. That’s how much Iniesta means.
The final whistle came, and Barça were mathematically crowned champions. It wasn’t the most exciting title campaign, but it was certainly deserved. We might go the whole season unbeaten, which would be just unbelievable.
Unbelievable. That’s a good word to describe this Barcelona season.
Deportivo: Rubén; Juanfran, Schär, Albentosa, Luisinho; Borges, Guilherme, Krohn-Dehli; Çolak; Lucas, Valle
Goals: Lucas (40’), Çolak (64’)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Dembélé (Denis), Rakitic (Iniesta), Busquets, Coutinho (Paulinho); Messi, Suárez
Goals: Coutinho (7’), Messi (38’, 82’, 85’)