FC Barcelona is Spanish football champion for the 27th time. The Catalans secured the title on Sunday (May 14th, 2023) by beating city rivals Espanyol 4-2 (3-0) four games before the end.
Robert Lewandowski (11th) put Barca on course early. Alex Balde (20th) and Lewandowski again with his 21st goal of the season (40th) ensured clear conditions before the break. In the second half, Jules Koundé (53′) made it 4-0 before Javier Puado (73′) and Joselu (90′ + 2′) scored Germany’s international goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen, the 26th clean sheet in La Liga this season and tainted a record: In the 1993/94 season, Spain keeper Francisco Liano had saved 26 times from Deportivo La Coruna.
At the final whistle, FC Barcelona celebrated their first championship since 2019. After 34 games, the record of 85 points and 64:13 goals means a clear lead over arch-rivals Real Madrid (71 points, 70:32 goals).
Premiere for Xavi as a coach
For Barca coach Xavi, it was the first championship as a coach after eight previous titles as a player. “It all started last July. It’s been ten months of hard work and sacrifice. The fans and the club deserve it,” said Xavi.
A scandal was caused by some Espanyol fans who stormed the pitch and ran towards the Barca pros as they celebrated success in the center circle. However, the visiting team quickly got to safety.
Real Madrid with little shine
Real Madrid’s “Royal” had previously struggled to a 1-0 (0-0) win over Getafe FC on Saturday, four days before the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals at Manchester City. Marco Asensio redeemed the defending champion with his goal in the 70th minute.
While Toni Kroos came on as a substitute at Real in the second half, international Antonio Rüdiger, who had put in a strong performance in the 1-1 draw in the Champions League first leg in Manchester, stayed on the bench to rest.
Atletico Madrid are embarrassed
Atletico Madrid missed the leap to second place with a surprising 0:1 (0:1) defeat at bottom and relegated FC Elche. With a twelve-point lead in fifth place, the renewed Champions League qualification is only a matter of form.
Fourth place is held by Rea Sociedad San Sebastian, who had to settle for a 2-2 win against FC Girona. Traditional club FC Valencia achieved an important victory in the relegation battle. Alberto Mari made the decision with his goal to make it 2-1 (1-0) at Celta Vigo. Gabriel Paulista saw yellow-red in stoppage time.
Betis wins in Monday’s game
In the fight for Europa League participation, Betis Sevilla landed an important success on Monday evening. In the 3-1 (2-0) win over Rayo Vallecano, Youssouf Sabaly (5′) and Ayoze Pérez (44′) scored to make it 2-0 before Santi Comesana made the connection in the 52nd minute. As the visitors pressed for an equaliser, Borja Iglesias put the lid on Betis 3-1 in added time.