Barcelona were able to celebrate winning the La Liga title with a 4-2 win over their local rivals Espanyol. Xavi’s men sealed their first league title in four years with Barca captain Sergio Basquets ending his time with the club with yet another trophy.
The defensive midfielder announced last week that, after 18 years with the club, he would be leaving Barcelona and he has now done so in style. However, celebrations soon turned ugly when infuriated Espanyol fans ran on to the pitch as Barcelona were celebrating and chased them off.
Barca raced to a 3-0 lead at half time thanks to two goals from Poland’s Robert Lewandowski and Alejandro Balde and Jules Kounde soon made it 4-0 before Javi Puado and Joselu scored a consolation goal each for the home side.
With four matches left of the season, Xavi’s side now have an unassailable 14-point lead over second-placed Real Madrid at the top of the table.
What happened at Espanyol?
Barcelona’s win over Espanyol mirrored Arsenal’s last Premier League title win where they were confirmed as champions following a draw against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in 2003.
As the visiting side started celebrating, dancing in a circle in the middle of the pitch, some angry Espanyol fans stormed the grass in an attempt to confront them. Barcelona quickly sprinted off down the tunnel, while the fans were eventually apprehended by stewards and riot police. There have even been reports that a chair was thrown on the pitch of the RCDE Stadium.
Speaking to Movistar about the post-match chaos, Xavi said: “In the end the celebration is normal, but there comes a point when we are not at home. It was respectful to leave.”
What’s next for Barcelona?
Barcelona will now enjoy their home parade which takes place later today. This is now the 27th league title in the club’s history and has come after a period of significant financial turmoil.
Head coach Xavi said: “I have the feeling that it is a job well done. We started in July and we have put in an extraordinary league campaign. It’s really important for the stability of the project and it confirms that we are going about things the right way.”
Following the win over Espanyol, the Spanish coach said it was “the moment to show that we could be brilliant. It’s not Xavi’s league, it’s Barca’s league title, a Barca that is growing and developing. I am delighted for the players, for the staff and for the board. I feel really proud to coach these players.”
Here are Barcelona’s remaining fixtures of the 2022/23 La Liga campaign:
- Saturday 20 May: FC Barcelona vs Real Sociedad, 8pm BST
- Tuesday 23 May: Real Valladolid vs FC Barcelona - 9pm BST
- Sunday 28 May: FC Barcelona vs Mallorca - 6pm BST
- Sunday 4 June: Celta de Vigo vs FC Barcelona - 6pm BST