Barcelona came from a goal down to celebrate their regaining of the Liga title with a 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid on Sunday at the Vicente Calderon.
The Catalans had already been assured of claiming the championship after Real Madrid could only draw 1-1 with Espanyol on Saturday. The fact that Barcelona, like Atletico Madrid, had little to play for doubtless played a big part in a less than enthralling contest. It would also be understandable were the home side to have had one eye on the final of the Copa del Rey next Friday when they will take on Real Madrid.
Radamel Falcao’s goal early in the second half looked like it would see Atletico warm up for the final with a win, but two goals in the final 20 minutes from Alexis Sanchez and an own goal from Gabi gave the visitors victory.
The three points means that, with three matches remaining, Barcelona stay on course to reach 100 points and equal the record set by Real Madrid last season.
There was little action of note in the first half with Cristian Tello going close with a shot that went just wide of the Atletico goal.
But within six minutes of the restart Diego Simeone’s side went in front. Some poor Barcelona defending allowed Gabi to help the ball into the path of Falcao, despite being prone on the turf, and the Colombian made no mistake with a clinical finish past Jose Pinto.
After going behind, Barcelona suffered a further blow when Lionel Messi went off the field injured and the Blaugrana were reduced to 10 men having already used all three substitutes.
Yet, Barcelona would equalize in the 72nd minute after a crisp move. Sanchez exchanged passes impressively with Cesc Fabregas before the forward poked a shot at goal that wrong-footed Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
And with 10 minutes remaining Barcelona grabbed a winner. David Villa struck first time at goal from Tello’s low cross but the effort appeared to be heading wide before deflecting in off the leg of Gabi.