With the Champions League looming around the corner, Barcelona did just enough to secure their 21st La Liga title and their third consecutive one, all last three under head coach Josep Guardiola. Seydou Keita put Barcelona infront away against Levante. Felipe Caicedo equalized, but the 1 point is enough to keep Barcelona six points away from Real Madrid with two games left before the end of the season.
Somewhat forgotten in many minds, Barcelona actually had the league title to win. I think that ever since that 5-0 win over Real Madrid back in November made it clear that this isn’t going to be Real Madrid’s year once again, despite Jose Mourinho, despite Cristiano Ronaldo, despite everything else. The focus in the past month, the ‘Clasico Month’ was mainly on the Champions League matches. The title race, whatever was left of it, was put on the afterburner.
The 2-0 win over Espanyol on Sunday set things up while Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo’s amazing scoring run, against Getafe and Sevilla, en route to break the 38 mark (currently 2 goals shy) took the spotlight. Still, it may take a while to comprehend, but this team, one of the most popular sides ever to play soccer on a global level, doesn’t even look like its the end of its run. Most of the key players are still in their 20’s. If this squad, the core of it, stays together, who knows what numbers they’ll reach when it’s all over.
Barcelona’s third straight title make them the first team since Johan Cruyff’s 90’s Barca side to win three consecutive La Liga’s. Cruyff won four in a row between 1991 to 1994.
The spotlight now moves to the May 28, Wembley. Barcelona will face Manchester United in the Champions League Final, a replay of the 2009 Final in Rome. If you forgot, Barcelona beat United 2-0, with Lionel Messi, that guy people say never shows up for big matches, scoring one of the goals. They’ll be no Ronaldo on the Red Devils side, but there will be Alex Ferguson on the sidelines and probably the best defensive line in European football today.
For Barcelona it will be their 7th final appearance, with 3 wins and 3 runner up finishes. Its their 3rd final in six years. For quite a few Barcelona players it might be their third Champions League title. I wonder if Ferguson will choose to learn from the Mourinho method of trying to attack the referees before the match with Los Cules or will he show a bit more class than the Special one who has seemed to lose a lot of credibility in the eyes of many during the last month.