By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Barcelona celebrated their title success with a 2-0 win over Espanyol in the Catalan derby.
Barcelona celebrated their title success with a 2-0 victory over Espanyol in the Catalan derby.
After clinching back-to-back Primera Liga crowns in midweek, Barcelona celebrated in style with a win over their local rivals at Camp Nou.
There was a touch of good fortune to Barca's first goal, however, as Daniel Jarque turned a cross past his own keeper on 20 minutes.
From there, chances were traded with Espanyol's Pablo Zabaleta testing Barca's stand-in keeper Albert Jorquera, while Samuel Eto'o screwed a good opportunity wide.
Luis Garcia then drove a volley at Jorquera's legs before a piece of individual brilliance from Ronaldinho released Henrik Larsson, only for the Swede to fire wide.
In the second half, Espanyol provided the champions with a scare when Walter Pandiani's shot was cleared from underneath his own crossbar by Silvinho.
But Espanyol were dealt a sucker punch on 51 minutes when Ronaldinho put the game beyond the visitors' reach.
Larsson eluded the offside trap, but disappointingly shot at the Espanyol keeper. Ronaldinho was on hand to pick up the pieces and he finished in nonchalant fashion.
Jorquera then saved with his legs from Didier Domi before Pandiani was again thwarted by the Barca shot-stopper.
In the closing moments, Pandiani found space for another opportunity, but again saw Jorquera prove equal to the shot.
Valencia moved back up to second, but will be disappointed at having to settle for a 1-1 draw at home to Atletico Madrid.
The Che took the lead just 10 minutes into the game when top scorer David Villa converted a penalty after he was tripped by Atletico keeper Leo Franco.
But Atletico were level less than 10 minutes later when slack defending allowed Maxi Rodriguez to latch on to a free kick at the far post, and though his first attempt was saved, he reacted quickly to tuck away the rebound.
In the second half, Mario Regueiro struck the post for Valencia, while Spain international Vicente made his comeback from injury.
Sevilla warmed up for their Uefa Cup final date with Middlesbrough on Wednesday with a 2-0 success at bottom club Malaga.
Renato put Sevilla ahead on 18 minutes and a last minute goal from Fernando Sales will send the club to Eindhoven in good heart.