Barcelona beat Espanyol to win first La Liga since Messi’s exit | Football News


Lewandowski helps Barcelona choose nineteenth La Liga title, however celebrations are minimize quick as Espanyol followers storm the pitch.

Barcelona are celebrating their first Spanish league title since Lionel Messi left the soccer membership two years in the past amid the membership’s monetary struggles.

The Spanish membership registered a 4-2 victory over Espanyol on Sunday in a match marred by Espanyol followers storming the pitch on the finish of the sport and forcing Barcelona gamers to go for his or her dressing room.

Robert Lewandowski scored twice to guide the Catalan membership to its first league title since 2019. The title was secured with 4 rounds remaining.

The final time Barcelona celebrated a league title with out Messi in its squad was again in 1998-99. He got here into the primary group in 2004-05 and received the title that season.

Celebrations on the sphere have been short-lived as gamers needed to rush to the dressing room after a big group of Espanyol followers from the extremely part behind one of many objectives began working in the direction of Barcelona gamers singing and celebrating within the centre.

Safety guards shortly intervened however riot police needed to stand in entrance of the tunnel’s entrance to stop the followers from moving into. The supporters threw chairs and different objects.

Alejandro Balde and Jules Koundé additionally scored for Barcelona, who now have 27 league titles, eight fewer than Actual Madrid. Third-place Atletico Madrid are 16 factors behind after shedding 1-0 at last-place Elche earlier within the day.

Followers have fun on the street after Barcelona received the Spanish La Liga championship, in Barcelona, Spain, Could 14, 2023 [Joan Mateu Parra/AP Photo]

‘Magnificent feeling’

The victory over metropolis rivals Espanyol gave Barcelona an insurmountable 85 factors from 34 matches, 14 factors greater than Madrid, which received 1-0 at Getafe on Saturday.

Barcelona have led because the thirteenth spherical and have the league’s greatest defence with 13 objectives conceded – 14 higher than some other membership. Additionally they have 25 clear sheets.

“It’s an impressive feeling, a sense of job nicely performed,” Barcelona coach Xavi mentioned. “That is necessary to offer the membership’s venture some stability. The league title reveals that issues have been performed the fitting means and that we’ve got to remain on this path.”

Barcelona received eight league titles in 11 seasons by 2019. They completed second to Madrid in 2020, then third – behind Madrid and champions Atletico – in 2021. They have been second to Madrid final season.

Barcelona’s first title with out Messi got here within the Spanish Tremendous Cup in January.

The membership have been but to win a serious trophy since President Joan Laporta took motion to restructure their debt and revamp the squad with gamers like Lewandowski, Jules Koundé and Raphinha. Laporta celebrated with the gamers within the dressing room.

Lewandowski opened the scoring on Sunday from shut vary within the eleventh minute after a cross by Alejandro Balde. The 19-year-old left again added to the lead 9 minutes later off a go by Pedri, scoring his first league aim with the membership.

Lewandowski, the league’s main scorer with 21 objectives, added his second within the fortieth after a low cross by Raphinha in a breakaway. Koundé scored the fourth within the 53rd with a header after an extended go by Frenkie de Jong. It was additionally his first league aim with the membership.

Busquets’s candy goodbye

The win might be an emotional event for captain Sergio Busquets, who final week introduced that he might be leaving Barca after 15 years on the finish of the season.

It was the midfielder’s ninth LaLiga title and thirty second general with the membership, along with his trophy cupboard additionally together with three Champions Leagues, seven Copa del Rey and three FIFA Membership World Cups, in addition to his 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship success with Spain.

“I’m delighted, I feel we had a spectacular marketing campaign and clinched it right this moment with a fantastic win,” Busquets advised Movistar Plus.

“We’re a stable group, a well-oiled squad with an impressive defence and that’s how champions are constructed.

“I’m happy with what we did your entire season, being stable and common, profitable the video games we should always and never dropping factors. It was a exceptional season and I’m so blissful to finish my historical past right here this fashion.”

Espanyol’s survival hopes dashed

The loss dealt an enormous blow to Espanyol of their struggle in opposition to relegation. They stayed second-to-last, 4 factors from security.

Espanyol had received solely as soon as of their final 10 league matches, with a draw and eight losses. They have been relegated in 2020 for the primary time in practically three many years, returning to the highest flight of their first try as second-division champions.

Javi Puado scored Espanyol’s first aim within the 73rd and Joselu added the second in stoppage time as Barcelona gamers have been on the brink of have fun.

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