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Page last updated at 18:49 GMT, Sunday, 16 May 2010 19:49 UK

Barca clinch La Liga league title

Bojan Krkic, Pedro Rodriguez and Lionel Messi
Barcelona lost just once in 38 league games

Barcelona clinched a second successive Spanish league title as Pep Guardiola's side ended the season with 99 points.

Barca looked nervous in the opening stages of their 4-0 win over Real Vallodolid, but once Luis Prieto put through his own net they relaxed.

Four minutes later Pedro Rodriguez slotted home a second, with Lionel Messi adding two second-half goals.

Key to Barca's title success were their two victories over rivals Real Madrid who finished second by three points.

Madrid drew 1-1 away with Malaga, a result that is likely to fuel speculation that Real's coach Manuel Pellegrini will be sacked after just a season in charge at the Bernabeu.

During last summer Real went on spending spree investing nearly £200m on four players - Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso.

Without Real we would have not been able to get 99 points, they have pushed us all the way

Barca coach Pep Guardiola

In the current Madrid team just one of their players - goalkeeper Iker Casillas - came through the club's youth ranks, while the Barca side that beat Madrid at the Bernabeu last month included seven former youth team players.

"The club will sit down and discuss what course we are going to take for next season," Real director general Jorge Valdano told Spanish television after he was asked about Pellegrini's future.

"Today isn't the right moment to be taking decisions. We have a lot of time in front of us and we'll see what course we take."

Playing some scintillating football during the season, Barca lost just once in 38 league outings, scoring 96 times, with Fifa World Player of the Year Messi, netting an astonishing 34 goals.

Messi has scored 47 goals in all competitions, equalling the club's goalscoring record that was set by Ronaldo in the 1996-1997 season.

Guardiola suggested that Barca's exceptional form had much to do with the challenge that Real had offered.

Blue Yahooze

"I have to congratulate the coach and players of Real Madrid for an extraordinary campaign.

"Without them we would have not been able to get 99 points, they have pushed us all the way. They have dignified their profession and their club."

Malaga's draw saved them from relegation as they finished a point above Valladolid, who dropped down to the second division along with Tenerife who lost 1-0 at Valencia, and Xerez who drew 1-1 at Osasuna.

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see also
Treble-chasing Inter win Serie A
16 May 10 |  Europe
Mourinho revels in 'greatest' win
29 Apr 10 |  Europe
Barcelona 1-0 Inter (agg 2-3)
28 Apr 10 |  Europe

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