Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona won their 25th La Liga title on Sunday after a 4-2 win against Deportivo La Coruna.
Here AFP Sport picks out the key matches of the season that propelled the Catalans to be crowned champions:
– October 1: Barcelona 3 Las Palmas 0
Already four points ahead of their closest rivals, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona hosted Las Palmas on a day when political tensions were at their highest following an illegal independence referendum in Catalonia.
Barca staged the fixture behind closed doors in protest as a 3-0 thrashing of their Canarian opponents in an empty stadium maintained the leadership, while striking an early chord for team unity.
– October 14: Atletico Madrid 1 Barcelona 1
On a strong winning run after seven victories in seven games, Barca suffered their first stumble away to Atletico Madrid.
But Luis Suarez equalised in the 82nd minute to avoid what would have been Barcelona’s first defeat, and a potentially momentum-swinging win for Diego Simeone’s men.
– December 23: Real Madrid 0 Barcelona 3
Still unbeaten heading into Christmas, Barca visited the Santiago Bernabeu for the first ‘clasico’ of the season, where Real Madrid were desperate to kickstart their stuttering campaign. Instead, Barca inflicted a knock-out blow as Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Aleix Vidal ran riot and stretched their lead over Los Blancos to a commanding 14 points.
– February 4: Espanyol 1 Barcelona 1
After suffering their first defeat of the season against Espanyol in the Copa del Rey, Barca returned to face their local rivals a few days later in the league, looking to ensure their blip was not extended. Under heavy rain at the Cornella Stadium, it very nearly was, as Gerard Moreno put the home side in front only for a late header from Gerard Pique to secure a draw, in what felt like a victory.
– March 4: Barcelona 1 Atletico Madrid 0
Unexpected slips from Barca against Getafe and Las Palmas had given hope to Atletico Madrid, who arrived on the back of an eight-match winning run and with genuine hopes of reducing the gap at the top to five points. But instead, Ernesto Valverde’s side moved 11 points clear as a bending Messi free-kick took the wind out of Atletico’s sails and all-but sealed the Catalans the title.