Deportivo La Coruna 2 Barcelona 4: Magic Messi hat-trick secures LaLiga title

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as Barcelona regained the title in LaLiga with a pulsating 4-2 win against Deportivo La Coruna, who were relegated.

The runaway leaders headed into Sunday’s fixture at the Riazor knowing a point would be enough to win a seventh title in the past 10 seasons and the 25th in their history.

A routine victory looked on the cards from the moment Philippe Coutinho finished Ousmane Dembele’s pass, and Messi scored a 30th league goal of the campaign from Luis Suarez’s sensational assist to double the lead.

But Depor, who had to win to avoid relegation, made a real contest of it and Lucas Perez deservedly cut the deficit before the break and Emre Colak finished a fine team move to level in the 64th minute.

Ultimately, though, Depor failed to complete the comeback and the brilliant Messi stuck the nail in their Liga coffin with two further late strikes to leave Barca celebrating another title triumph.

It caps a stunning turnaround for a Barca side that saw Real Madrid conquer LaLiga and the Champions League last season, while a 5-1 aggregate Supercopa de Espana defeat to their Clasico rivals in August coupled with the sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain led to suggestions the Catalan giants were in crisis.

But Barca have quashed those concerns in some style, with Ernesto Valverde able to celebrate a LaLiga and Copa del Rey double in his first season as head coach.

Some frailties remain, as exposed by the quarter-final Champions League collapse to Roma, but the possibility of an unprecedented unbeaten LaLiga season is realistic with four matches to go, albeit they must negotiate next weekend’s Clasico to keep that dream alive.

Andres Iniesta, who made a late cameo, will also depart Camp Nou with a ninth LaLiga crown, the Spain great announcing this week he will leave the club after a 22-year association.


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