Barcelona sealed their 24th La Liga title as Luis Suarez took his tally for the season to 59 goals with a hat-trick in a 3-0 win at Granada to hold off Real Madrid’s late-season surge. Real registered their 12th consecutive La Liga win, 2-0 at Deportivo La Coruna thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s double, but finished a point behind their bitter rivals.
Suarez’s treble also sees him become the first player in seven years other than Ronaldo and Barca teammate Lionel Messi to win the Pichichi award for La Liga’s top goalscorer with 40.
“We are deserving champions,” said Suarez. “We had to suffer, the pressure was put on us in the final few games, but this team is built to win titles.”
Barca had seemed set to cruise to the title until a run of three consecutive defeats for the first time in 13 years last month.
However, they bounced back like champions as, inspired by Suarez’s 14 goals, they scored 24 times without reply in the last five games to win the title. “We played very well over the course of the season. We were top for many weeks and the most consistent team wins the title,” said Barca boss Luis Enrique.
“We have won six of the last eight titles, which shows the club has a winning mentality. We must value each title win because each one is very difficult.”
Barca were put under pressure early on as Ronaldo struck after just seven minutes to put Madrid in front in La Coruna.
However, their nerves were settled by a brilliant team move on 22 minutes as Neymar freed Jordi Alba down the left and his low cross was turned into an empty net by Suarez at the back post.
Suarez then doubled Barca’s advantage when he nipped in ahead of Andres Fernandez to head in Dani Alves’s cross at the near post. Suarez sealed a stunning season when he completed his hat-trick from Neymar’s unselfish square pass.
“Six leagues from the last eight speaks of the cycle of success we continue to maintain and have to try to extend as long as possible,” added Barca captain Andres Iniesta.
Higuain Sets New Serie A Goals Record
Gonzalo Higuain hit a hat-trick in Napoli’s final game of the season to beat a 66-year-old record for the number of goals scored in a single Serie A season. Argentina striker Higuain went into the final game against Frosinone two goals short of equalling Gunnar Nordahl’s 1950 record of 35 goals in a 20-team, three-points-for-a-win Serie A campaign. But after Napoli captain Marek Hamsik gave the hosts a 44th minute lead, Higuain hit the net three times to take the score to 4-0 in the 72nd minute and take his tally to 36.