Barcelona win La Liga: Lionel Messi strike sees Barca clinch 23rd title at home of reigning champions Atletico Madrid

Luis Enrique wins title for first time with game to spare despite Real Madrid win at Espanyol

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The Independent Football

Barcelona have clinched the Spanish league title thanks to a 1-0 victory at the home of reigning champions Atletico Madrid.

Fittingly, Lionel Messi scored the winning goal of the match, with the Argentinian's return to his best form coinciding with the excellent run of results that has taken Barca to the title.

It was Messi's 41st league goal of the season, Barcelona's 13th win in 14 La Liga matches and sees the club win their 23rd Spanish title.

Heading into the match, Barcelona needed to match Real Madrid's result to secure the title with a game to spare. Real Madrid ensured they kept the pressure on with a 4-1 win over Espanyol that included a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against Espanyol


However, it was to prove meaningless for Carlo Ancelotti's side in terms of the title as Barcelona were wrapping it up at the home of Atletico Madrid.

The title being secured with victory over Diego Simeone's side will have made it all the sweeter considering Atletico Madrid denied Barcelona the title on the final day of last season.

Lionel Messi scores with a fine left-footed effort


The one grey cloud for Barcelona was that Ronaldo rather than Messi looks set to win the Golden Boot award with his hat-trick taking him to 45 goals for the seaon.

Barcelona can still win the treble this season.  They have a Champions League final on June 6 against Juventus and will play Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final on May 30.