Barcelona secure La Liga Spanish title hat-trick

Seydou Keita
Barcelona celebrate Keita's opener

Barcelona clinched their third Spanish La Liga title in a row with a 1-1 draw at Levante.

Barca moved six points clear with two games to go, but their favourable head-to-head record over second-place Real Madrid sealed their triumph.

The visitors took the lead when Seydou Keita headed home Xavi's cross.

But Levante equalised just before the break when on-loan Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo took advantage of Gerard Pique's mistake to level.

It was only the 20th goal that the Catalan giants have conceded in the league this season but it could not prevent them winning their 21st league title and their fifth in seven seasons.

Barcelona, who play Manchester United in the Champions League final on 28 May, pushed for the winner but despite going close settled for a point against mid-table Levante.

Real Madrid will finish as runners-up for the third season in a row, although Barca's bitter rivals did win the Copa del Rey in April.

Real are 19 points ahead of third-place Valencia.

Barca coach Pep Guardiola, who has won three titles since replacing Frank Rijkaard in 2008, said: "Winning the league has been extremely tough and we are very pleased.

"We have been tremendous for three-quarters of the season but in the last quarter we have struggled to score goals.

"If we have experienced a dip in form towards the end of the season, it is because of the inhuman schedule over the last two years. We have barely stopped."

Barcelona been prolific in attack and have scored 92 league goals so far this season.

Much of Barcelona's success has been built on the phenomenal abilities of reigning world player of the year Lionel Messi, who has weighed in with 31 league goals, on his way to becoming the first player to score 50 goals in a Spanish season.

"I'm delighted because it has been a very difficult title to win," said Messi.

"We've had to work very hard to be champions and more so against a great rival like Real Madrid. Now we have to enjoy it."

Barcelona, who thrashed Real Madrid 5-0 in the league earlier in the season, won 16 consecutive league matches to set a new Spanish record.

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