Hat-trick hero Suarez leads Barca to La Liga title

Hat-trick hero Suarez leads Barca to La Liga title

Granada - Barca finished with 91 points, one point ahead of their nearest title rivals Real Madrid.

By Reuters

Published: Sat 14 May 2016, 8:56 PM

Last updated: Sun 15 May 2016, 3:47 PM

A ravenous Luis Suarez bagged a third hat-trick in five games as defending champions Barcelona won 3-0 at Granada to clinch their 24th La Liga title on Saturday.
The Uruguayan converted Jordi Alba’s low pass in the 22nd minute to give Luis Enrique’s side the lead. He then headed in Dani Alves’ cross in the 38th before tapping Neymar’s pass into an empty net in the 86th.
Suarez finished the season as La Liga’s top scorer with 40 goals, breaking Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s grip on the honour since 2009.
Barca ended with 91 points, one ahead of Real Madrid who won 2-0 at Deportivo La Coruna.
Ronaldo scored twice for Real before being substituted at halftime, finishing the campaign with 35 goals.
Gerard Pique came close to giving Barca an early lead when his header was tipped away by goalkeeper Andres Fernandez who also saved well from Messi.
Fernandez was powerless to stop Suarez’s opener, however, the Uruguayan tapping the ball home at the far post.
The second goal was delightful. Javier Mascherano launched a long diagonal pass towards the byline and Alves raced to meet it before hooking a cross for Suarez to nod in from close range.
Suarez nearly laid on a third for Neymar but the Brazilian was denied by Fernandez.
Neymar then generously played in Suarez to complete his hat-trick before the end.
“This title tastes great after so much hard work throughout the year and suffering right until the end,” said Barca captain Andres Iniesta.
“The league is the tournament that tests your consistency throughout the year and it’s the one we want to win every year.”
Real got off to an ideal start at Deportivo when Gareth Bale manoeuvred his way past a defender on the left and cut the ball back to Karim Benzema who squared it for Ronaldo to score in the seventh minute.
The Portugal striker’s second in the 25th minute had an element of good fortune, his header from a corner bouncing off Deportivo’s Pedro Mosquera on its way into the net.
Ronaldo also hit the post and the crossbar before being replaced by James Rodriguez although there was no suggestion he had an injury two weeks before the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid. (Editing by Tony Jimenez)
Last 15 La Liga title winners after Barcelona were confirmed Spanish champions for the 24th time on Saturday:
2016: Barcelona
2015: Barcelona
2014: Atletico Madrid
2013: Barcelona
2012: Real Madrid
2011: Barcelona
2010: Barcelona
2009: Barcelona
2008: Real Madrid
2007: Real Madrid
2006: Barcelona
2005: Barcelona
2004: Valencia
2003: Real Madrid
2002: Valencia

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