Barcelona needed just a point to retain the title and they duly obliged to become the first side to win three consecutive league titles since 1993 when Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona ’Dream Team’ won the third of their four straight league crowns.
Mali midfielder Seydo Keita headed in a 27th minute opener for Barcelona only for Ecuadorian striker Felipe Caicedo to equalise on 40 minutes, but it didn’t matter as a draw gave the Catalan side the title.
“It’s always a nice feeling to win the title and the fans really deserve this,” said midfielder Xavi.
“I imagine we’re going to celebrate this title win with them tonight in the streets of Barcelona.” Barcelona stand six points ahead of second-placed Real Madrid and they lift the title courtesy of their superior head to head record over their rivals.
Real Madrid were dumped out of the Champions League by their bitter rivals Barcelona last night after an aggregate score of 3 – 1, but both games were overshadowed by the behaviour of fans, players and club officials.
Boss Mourinho was sent off in the first leg for disputing a red card and is also in trouble for later comments.
“To talk like that has been harmful for Real Madrid,” Calderon told BBC Sport.
A bad-tempered first-leg match erupted at half-time when there was a fracas on the touchline as the players were leaving the field, which resulted in Real reserve-keeper Pinto being shown a red card.
There are games you watch with excitement for the sake of the league position your favourite team is fighting for. There are games you watch with a heavy basket of planned banter when you and your mates see your favourite clubs go head to head. Then there are games that, due to their sheer magnitude, hype and near guarantee of fireworks almost force your attention, whether you watch them as a bleeding, die-hard supporter or just simply as a pure football fan. 27th April 2011. The Bernabéu. UEFA Champions League Semi-Final first leg. El Clásico. No exception.
Last night saw the 3rd installment to the four part mini-series that began on the 16th April this year and it more than held up it’s promise of entertainment.
The first crowd lifting chance came from the Catalans in the 10th minute when a regaining of possession in the visitors half saw some pace changing pass and run play by Lionel Messi and Xavi to David Villa on the far right of who proceeded with a strong run along the big box to end with an immensely close, but off target shot just past the far post. (more…)
The first 90 minutes at the Mestalla had ended goalless, with Madrid on top in the opening period and Barca better after the break.
But despite the Catalans’ superior possession in extra-time, Mourinho’s men looked dangerous on the break and after Ronaldo had angled a low shot just wide, the Portuguese beat Jose Manuel Pinto with a brilliant header following Angel di Maria’s pinpoint cross.
Pinto started in goal instead of Victor Valdes, as he had done all the way through the competition.
Barcelona dominated the match with their slick passing game which stunted anything Arsenal tried to create, and two goals from Lionel Messi and one from Xavi won the game for the Catalans with Sergio Busquets scoring an own goal for Arsenal’s consolation. However it was the controversial sending off of Robin van Persie that helped swing the game in Barcelona’s favour after the Gunners’ fortuitous equaliser.
Arsenal were given a huge boost before kick off as both Van Persie and Cesc Fabregas were declared fit and named in the starting line-up. The Dutchman had been substituted in the League Cup final with a knee problem and Fabregas injured his hamstring against Stoke City a month ago, but both men recovered quicker than expected.
Two goals in the final 12 minutes from Robin van Persie and substitute Andrey Arshavin clinched a dramatic victory for the English Premier League side after Barcelona had taken the lead through a first-half David Villa strike.
The result means Arsenal — thrashed 6-3 on aggregate by Barcelona in last year’s quarterfinals — will carry a narrow lead into Camp Nou when the two sides meet in the second leg on March 8.
“It was one of the special nights because I feel we needed to be a special team,” said Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
“It’s open. We will go (to Camp Nou) and play our game again because you cannot just defend against this team. Our confidence will grow.”
Bitter Spanish rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid clashed in Jose Mourinho’s first Clasico last night at Camp Nou, but it was Barca that came out on top in spectacular fasion as they drubbed Real 5 – 0.
Spanish World Cup winners Xavi and Pedro Rodriguez put Barcelona into a two-goal lead after just 17 minutes and David Villa marked his first Clasico with a brace inside two minutes (54 min, 56) before Jeffren added a late fifth as Mourinho stomached an unforgettable first defeat in charge of Real.
“It was an important win by a big margin and it puts us top two points above Real in the table which is what we wanted,” said Villa. “However, it is only November and there are lots of games left and we have to keep on winning.”
For Barcelona it was a fifth successive Clasico win over their arch rivals as coach Pep Guardiola maintained his 100 percent record in the fixture and exacted revenge over Mourinho, whose Inter Milan side defeated Barcelona in last season’s Champions League semifinals.