Fresh off being crowned La Liga champions, Barcelona seemed to come out to the Vicente Calderon on a bit of a hangover. But despite using three substitutions and a slight injury to Lionel Messi, the Blaugrana were able to walk away with the win, after an own goal by Atletico late.
Radamel Falcao scored from 10 yards out in the 51st minute after a breakdown in Barca’s defense. Alexis Sanchez was able to respond in the 72nd, striking the ball into the net after a neat connection with teammate Cesc Fabregas. Gabi’s own goal came just 8 minutes later.
The win by Barca gives them 3 more points in the standings, putting them at 91 points to date. The Catalans will certainly be looking to tie Real Madrid’s record 100 points from last year with 3 wins to close the season.
Barcelona have won their 22nd La Liga title, wrestling back ownership of the championship they lost to Real Madrid last year. It was Los Blancos who went into into their match with Espanyol knowing they must win to postpone the celebration, but they were unable to do so in their 1-1 draw at Cornella El-Prat.
It’s the fourth league title in five years for the Blaugrana, and it’s the first time they’ve won it after losing the prior season. They currently sit atop La Liga table with 88 points, just 12 points shy of the league record 100 points scored by Real Madrid last year.
Manager Tito Vilanova led his club to an unbeaten record at home in the league, losing only two games to Real Sociedad and Real Madrid, while scoring 105 goals to date. Barcelona faces Atletico Madrid on Sunday.