Suarez fires Barcelona to La Liga title
15 May 2016, 10:26
Madrid - 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.
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.
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
"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.
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.
Fernandez made excellent
saves from a Messi free-kick that was arrowing towards the top corner
and Neymar to keep Granada in the game after the break.
Andalusians had the chance to set up a nervy finish but former Barca
winger Isaac Cuenca's shot was beaten away by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
However, fittingly Suarez sealed a stunning season when he completed his hat-trick from Neymar's unselfish square pass.
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.
record 12-game winning streak to end the season wasn't enough to
overcome the 12-point deficit they faced to Barca back in March.
"I am very proud of the players and what we have done," said Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.
"We never gave up and we fought until the end."
victory secured second place ahead of Champions League final opponents
Atletico Madrid, whilst Ronaldo moved past the 50 goal mark for the
sixth consecutive season.
The three-time World Player of the Year opened the scoring as he swept home Karim Benzema's mishit effort at the back post.
Ronaldo's second was slightly fortuitous as his header was deflected past the helpless Stipe Pletikosa by Pedro Mosquera.
the Portuguese could have had four before he was replaced at half-time
with one eye on the Champions League final on May 28 as he also hit the
post and the crossbar before the break.
Zidane also withdrew
Gareth Bale 15 minutes from time to keep the Welshman fresh as the
visitors played out the second-half in the knowledge Barca were in
command in Granada.