Our La Liga game of the week saw a Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona run out 4-2 winners at the Estadio Riazor as they overcame a robust Deportivo La Coruna side to claim a 25th title.
With Barcelona knowing that victory would be enough to reclaim the highest domestic honour from bitter rivals Real Madrid, the visitors came into the tie focused solely on the goal of sealing a title that has been months in the making.
And it appeared that the game was set to go according to the script early on, when Philippe Coutinho met a Dembele pass first time to swing the ball inside the far post on six minutes – netting his 11th goal across the Premier League and La Liga in 2017/18.
The visitors then doubled their lead a little over half an hour later when Messi took down a looped Luis Suarez ball before driving it past Deportivo keeper Martinez.
However, if Barcelona had expected that they might walk to the title then they were gravely mistaken.
Just two minutes after Messi had put Barcelona two goals ahead, Lucas Perez then halved the deficit when he rounded off a counter attack to score his sixth goal of the season and put himself on 29 points.
Emre Colak then put the hosts level, capitalising on some slack Barcelona defending to put his side level on the 64 minute mark and earn himself a place in our team of the week.
This proved to be the wake-up call that Barcelona had needed, with the league leaders having been guilty of coasting after the break.
Despite their renewed vigour, it wasn’t until the 82nd minute that Barcelona finally made the break-through – Leo Messi again the creator in chief as he turned several Deportivo defenders before stroking home after an audacious one-two with Luis Suarez in the box.
Suarez then set up Messi for a third time just three minutes later, as his team mate ensured he would be taking home the match ball to add to his La Liga winner’s medal.
The hat-trick goal caused scenes of delirium among the Barcelona players and topped off a scintillating solo performance from the Argentine who now has 154 points and 32 goals for the campaign.
The Catalan side must now host arch rivals Real Madrid as they keep their collective thoughts on the prospect of finishing the campaign with an unbeaten run in tact – something that would in itself be a tremendous accolade to the successes of their campaign.
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