Wednesday 14 November 2018

Messi hat-trick clinches title for Barca and relegates Depor

Lionel Messi completes his hat-trick for Barcelona against Deportivo La Coruna at the Estadio Riazor in La Coruna, Spain. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images
Lionel Messi completes his hat-trick for Barcelona against Deportivo La Coruna at the Estadio Riazor in La Coruna, Spain. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images

Jamie Holland

Lionel Messi put the icing on the cake as Barcelona clinched the La Liga title with a 4-2 victory over Deportivo La Coruna, who were relegated.

Barca did not have things all their own way against a spirited Depor, who fought back to level through Lucas Perez and Emre Colak after Philippe Coutinho and Messi had put Barca 2-0 up.

Depor were forced to push forward knowing only victory would be enough to keep their survival hopes alive and they paid the price as Messi added two late goals to complete the 46th hat-trick of his career.

Earlier, Gareth Bale sent a timely reminder to Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane by firing home the opening goal as his side overcame Leganes 2-1 at the Bernabeu.

Bale scored an acrobatic opener after just four minutes and Borja Mayoral added a second on the stroke of half-time before Leganes reduced the deficit through Darko Brasanac.

In Italy, Napoli's dreams of winning the Serie A title are in tatters after they were humbled 3-0 by a Giovanni Simeone-inspired Fiorentina.

Gareth Bale of Real Madrid CF celebrates scoring their opening goal against Deportivo Leganes. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Gareth Bale of Real Madrid CF celebrates scoring their opening goal against Deportivo Leganes. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

A famous victory at leaders Juventus last weekend had closed the gap to a point, but the Bianconeri won 3-2 at Inter Milan in dramatic fashion on Saturday to pull clear once again.

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was sent off for fouling Simeone - the son of Atletico manager Diego - who scored a hat-trick to lift La Viola to a first win in four.

AS Roma warmed up for their Champions League return against Liverpool by thumping Chievo 4-1 in Serie A on Saturday despite playing the last half-hour with 10 men after Juan Jesus was shown a straight red card.

Edin Dzeko scored twice and Patrik Schick and Stephan El Shaarawy one each as Roma ensured they would remain in third place.

Irish Independent

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