Barca crowned champions
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Barcelona were crowned champions of Spain thanks to a 1-1 draw at Levante.Barcelona were crowned champions of Spain on Saturday night thanks to a 1-1 draw at Levante.
Real Madrid's 2-2 draw at Sevilla earlier on Saturday meant that a point would be enough for Frank Rijkaard's men to bring the Primera Liga title back to Camp Nou for the first time in six years.
The game did not go to plan early on as Alberto Rivera put Levante ahead, but Samuel Eto'o struck on the hour mark to earn a draw that sparked wild celebrations at the final whistle - with Barca crowned champions of La Liga.
Barcelona started slowly, but Levante are fighting for their lives at the foot of the table and they were visibly hungrier for the ball.
With Levante snapping into every tackle, Barca were struggling to get into their stride and looked anything but prospective champions.
Struggling Levante duly got the breakthrough after 34 minutes, when former Real Madrid man Rivera helped out his old side with a goal against their title rivals.
A long ball was intelligently headed down by Edwin Congo and Rivera ran on to the ball and skilfully fired in first time to send the home fans wild.
The goal sparked Ronaldinho into life, and he nearly drew Barca level just a couple of minutes later with a trademark mazy dribble and shot just wide of the post.
The Brazilian was unhappy with the challenges coming in from the Levante defence, and was luckily to escape with a yellow card when aiming a head-butt at Pablo Pinillos.
Eto'o hit the bar Oleguer's cross on the stroke of half time in a rare chance for the visitors, but they still went in at the break 1-0 behind.
Rijkaard's men could have been 2-0 down just a minute after the restart when Congo charged down the left and into the box, only for his finish to be swatted away by Victor Valdes.
Valdes nearly threw the game away, literally, when he dished the ball straight to Jofre from a throw-out, but he luckily escaped when the Levante man's good effort came off the post.
Rijkaard's men started to press, and they drew level on the hour mark with the prolific Eto'o again the man to find a vital goal.
Xavi's corner was flicked on by Rafael Marquez and Eto'o was loitering at the far post to nod home from close range for 1-1.
Both sides would have settled for a point before the game, and following Eto'o's goal the pace dropped and the match was reduced to nothing more than a kick around.
The clock ticked down with the players at walking pace and Barca duly celebrated their title win with the draw they needed to ensure Real Madrid could not catch them.