Cornellà de Llobregat: Barcelona received L. a. Liga for the primary time since 2019 through thrashing Espanyol 4-2 on Sunday, wrestling the identify again from opponents Actual Madrid.
The Catalan giants clinched their twenty seventh Spanish championship on the house in their neighbours, with scenes turning unsightly at complete time as celebrating Barcelona avid gamers have been chased from the sector through pitch invaders.
Robert Lewandowski struck two times for Barcelona, in conjunction with targets for Alejandro Balde and Jules Kounde.
Barcelona have continued a duration off and on the pitch lately however their triumph alerts vital development, with trainer Xavi Hernandez successful his first main trophy since taking up in November 2021.
President Joan Laporta’s rebuild was once broadly criticised ultimate summer season in gentle of the membership’s perilous monetary scenario.
Early Champions League removing was once a blow, however the membership received the Spanish Tremendous Cup in January, prior to sealing L. a. Liga glory with 4 video games to spare.
Xavi didn’t spring any surprises together with his line-up and Barcelona’s first workforce took to the pitch with one function firmly in thoughts, the top after all in sight.
They conjured an electrical show, one among their greatest this season, to seal their triumph and go away their town opponents nineteenth, 4 issues from protection with 4 suits ultimate.
Barcelona broke the impasse after 11 mins with a well-worked function, completed off through Lewandowski for his twentieth of the season in L. a. Liga.
Ronald Araujo performed an inch easiest lengthy cross for left-back Balde, who blazed previous Espanyol defender Oscar Gil and crossed for Lewandowski to package deal house from shut vary.
Gil was once crushed through Balde once more for the second one function, this time scored through the younger left-back after Pedri darted to the byline and scooped an inviting go to the again put up.
It was once Balde’s first function for Barcelona, capping a excellent step forward season for the teenager, who has phased veteran defender Jordi Alba out of the facet.
Espanyol goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco tipped away a Lewandowski effort as Barcelona poured ahead, with the hosts struggling with to not be blown away.
It labored for some time, however guests grabbed the 3rd prior to half-time when Raphinha put the ball on a plate for Lewandowski to roll house.
The Polish striker’s arrival from Bayern Munich was once a key a part of ultimate summer season’s rebuild and in spite of a dip in the second one 1/2 of the season, has paid the Catalans again in targets.
Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a chic save to disclaim former team-mate Martin Braithwaite from shut vary in stoppage time on the finish of the primary duration.
Kounde headed house the fourth early in the second one 1/2 from Frenkie de Jong’s easiest chipped cross as Espanyol’s defence crumbled another time.
Some Espanyol enthusiasts headed for the exits early whilst others demanded the board renounce, together with aiming one unsavoury chant on the membership’s Chinese language homeowners.
Ter Stegen denied Javi Puado when thru on function, decided to earn a L. a. Liga record-equalling twenty sixth blank sheet of the season within the most sensible flight.
On the other hand moments later the Espanyol ahead discovered himself thru on function another time and this time scored with a chic lob — small comfort within the face of Espanyol’s defeat and Barcelona’s glory.
Joselu pulled any other function again in stoppage time, but it surely was once too little, too overdue.
Xavi’s facet celebrated at full-time, to the anger of Espanyol enthusiasts, who invaded the pitch, with Barcelona avid gamers sprinting down the tunnel to flee.