MADRID - Barcelona drew 1-1 draw at
Levante on Wednesday to seal their third consecutive La Liga
title and the 21st in the club's history.
Barca have 92 points with two matches left, six ahead of
second-placed Real Madrid who beat Getafe 4-0 on Tuesday, and
Pep Guardiola's side hold the advantage in games between the two
Seydou Keita headed the visitors in front after 28 minutes
but a terrible mix-up between defender Gerard Pique and keeper
Victor Valdes led to Felipe Caicedo equalising just before
A far from comfortable Barca held on for a point and can now
focus on the Champions League final against Manchester United at
Wembley on May 28.
"This isn't about today, it is about nine months of hard
work, emotions and suffering. We deserved it today," striker
David Villa told Spanish radio as he basked in his first league
"You can see how pleased we all are, above all because of
all the work we have done."
Winning the title at the Ciutat de Valencia was particularly
significant as it was where former coach Frank Rijkaard landed
his first crown with Barca in 2005.
A 1-1 draw at Levante ended six trophyless years for the
club that season and set in motion a cycle of success which
Guardiola built on when he replaced the Dutchman in 2008.
Barca have now won five of the last seven Spanish
The 40-year-old Guardiola, in his first top-flight coaching
role, has picked up nine trophies in three years including three
league titles, one European Cup and one King's Cup.
There was also high drama at the bottom of the standings,
where 19th-placed Hercules (34 points) let slip a two-goal lead
to draw 2-2 at home Real Mallorca and were relegated.
Real Zaragoza occupy the last relegation slot in 18th with
39 points, one behind Getafe and safety, after conceding a
last-minute goal to lose 2-1 at Real Sociedad.
Osasuna pulled off a thrilling comeback to beat Sevilla 3-2
with breakaway goals from Kike Sola and Dejan Lekic in the last
five minutes and they climbed to 14th on 44 points.
Valencia's 2-2 draw with Espanyol and Villarreal's 0-0 draw
with Almeria meant there was no change in the race for the
Valencia are third with 67 points and Villarreal fourth with
62 in the Champions League qualification spots, while Athletic
Bilbao, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid occupy the three Europa
League slots after all three lost.
HEAD IN HANDS
Barca dominated a cagey opening quarter until Xavi saw
Keita's run from deep and flighted a long pass into his path.
The Malian midfielder brushed off two defenders to power a
header into the net.
Guardiola was not happy with his side and could be seen
gesticulating on the touchline. He held his head in his hands
when the defence gifted Levante the equaliser.
Pique tried to shield a ball back to Valdes under pressure
from Caicedo and misjudged an attempted clearance as the Levante
striker surged past him to score into the empty net.
After the restart Lionel Messi conjured one of his seemingly
impossible runs as he twisted and turned through a crowd of
Levante defenders but with only the keeper to beat his shot hit
As the minutes ticked down Barca's substitutes lined up arm
in arm on the touchline while their colleagues kept possession
and when the referee blew for time they all raced on to the
pitch to celebrate in a huddle.
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