The Week In Barcelona: Catalans defend their crown to easily evade crisis
The week in five words
Barça win the title. Again.
What went well
Aside from a 14-minute spell when Real Madrid were winning and Granada hadn't been scored past – a spell that would have seen some furrowed brows among the more anxious members of the Barcelona brother and sisterhood – the league title was won in some comfort for Barcelona down in Andalusia with a 3-0 victory.
Indeed, for the entirety of the second half when it was quite clear that there was to be no dramatic fightback from the home side, it was more of a case of finding creative ways to pass the time for Barcelona fans. The 90 minutes were in stark contrast to a rather traumatic week for Spanish football, where most headlines were dominated by X paying off Y to beat/lose to Z.
However, the celebrations on the pitch in Los Cármenes demonstrated that there was still a fair amount of tension in the Barcelona camp to be released, and that nothing could be taken for granted after what will now forever be known by Barça fans with long memories as The Wobble.
Still, the record books will reflect another league title for the Catalans, one point above Real Madrid, and the team’s sixth Primera victory in the past eight years.
Straying away from the week to Barcelona's entire season, and the statistic published on Sunday in the Spanish press that the much-derided Douglas contributed 13 minutes to the league title win, in one game. That clash was against Rayo, when the Brazilian full-back trotted onto the pitch with Barcelona 5-1 up. Good work, all round.
Quote of the week
“We had to win this league title, twice.” – Gerard Piqué reveals why some on-pitch celebrations were more than deserved by Barcelona after The Wobble, when just one point was picked up from 12 in a run beginning at the end of March.
The need-to-know facts
- No other Barcelona player reached double figures for goals outside of the MSN. The next-best performer was Ivan Rakitic with seven, four more than Munir.
- Luis Enrique has become the sixth Barcelona manager to win La Liga in his first two seasons in charge at the Camp Nou.
- Suarez has scored 14 goals in his last five La Liga appearances.
- Barcelona have won their last five league games without conceding, netting an average of 4.8 goals per match.
- The Catalans claimed the title with just 91 points, fewer than in the last four seasons in which they won the title.
Video of the week
Want to see all 40 of the goals from Luis Suárez this season? Thought so. Clickies!
Winner of the week
It’s a toss-up between a plural pair of ‘Luisi’ – Suárez and Enrique. There will be plenty of time to praise the Uruguayan striker to the hilt after his Pichichi-winning exploits and contributing 14 goals in the final five league games, so a little love for the Barça boss is deserved.
When many in the Barcelona camp may have been losing their heads during The Wobble, Luis Enrique stayed strong and steadfast, albeit with the glazed look of detachment used when being asked about the tax-filing issues of his various players or their beloved use of social media (Dani Alves, here's looking at you).
The league title win was just as much for Enrique, who managed to lead his team through what he calls the ‘circus’ without completely losing his mind, something that even Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho struggled to cope with.
Loser of the week
Joan Gaspart has had quite a few of ‘not exactly his finest hour’ moments over the years, but a good ‘un came this week when the former Barcelona president for some reason decided to declare that all Real Madrid did was “harm” football.