May 26, 2018

Messi hits three as Barca win Spanish La Liga title

01 May 2018, 04:53 | Clyde Nash

GETTY Neymar is reportedly unhappy at PSG

   Neymar is reportedly unhappy at PSG

Deportivo pulled one closer with a goal by Lucas Perez in the 40th and equalized with Emre Colak's shot from inside the area in the 64th.

Victory over Barcelona would nearly certainly have ignited Real's season, but the visitors had other ways, Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Aleix Vidal making hay at the Bernabeu to extend their lead over Los Blancos to an imposing 14 points.

Barca began the league season with 2-0 wins over Real Betis and Deportivo Alaves, but confidence was still low in the wake of the 5-1 Supercopa de Espana thrashing by Madrid and the pang of losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi was particularly lethal from set pieces this season, scoring seven times from free kicks, including in a decisive 1-0 win against Atletico Madrid that halted their run for the lead in a crucial moment of the season.

The result gave Atletico a four-point gap to third-place Real Madrid, which has a game in hand.

"We know how complicated it is to win the league, which is why we have to cherish this and celebrate it as we should with all our fans", the Argentine told Barcelona's television channel.

"He added: "[The double] has only been done eight times in Barcelona's history and we have to be very happy.

Gerard Deulofeu, Javier Mascherano and Arda Turan have been left off Barcelona's title winning t-shirt.

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The only disappointment will be that Valverde's side failed to make a major impact on the Champions League this season.

Ultimately, though, Depor failed to complete the comeback and the brilliant Messi stuck the nail in their Liga coffin with two further late strikes to leave Barca celebrating another title triumph.

They had been eight minutes from beating Barca in the reverse fixture in October and, with nine goals scored in their last two games, Diego Simeone's men fancied their chances.

"It's terribly hard to think of all the tests we have to go through, to do it with four games going is a great achievement".

Once Iniesta plays his remaining five matches with Barcelona, Iniesta will head to Russian Federation for this summer's World Cup in what could be the end of his glorious career with Spain.

"This feels good. The championship is a competition that lasts all year, it is about consistency and the team deserved this title", said Iniesta.

It also completed a domestic double after the Copa del Rey success last weekend but the impact of Barca's shock Champions League loss to Roma continues to linger.

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