Primera Division: Barcelona win title after 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid
Last Updated: 17/05/15 8:10pm
Lionel Messi's second-half winner sealed the Primera Division title for Barcelona, who claimed a narrow 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday.
The Catalan side dominated for the majority of the first half but took until the 65th minute to open the scoring and clinch the three points needed to seal their 23rd Spanish title with a game to go.
Barca had goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to thank for holding the hosts at bay as they held on in the second half, where efforts from Messi and Neymar could have doubled their margin of victory.
The home side tested Barca stopper Bravo early on but the Chile international managed to hold out Jose Gimenez's header from Koke's cross and it was almost all one-way traffic in the visitors' favour for the remainder of the opening 45 minutes.
Messi got a header on target after 11 minutes and again two minutes later, the second from just outside the six-yard box well saved by the diving Jan Oblak.
Barca came close again midway through the first half with Neymar sending his strike over and they continued to put the pressure on but Messi's free-kick after 24 minutes amounted to nothing.
Atletico mounted a serious attack on the Barca goal moments later, with coach Diego Simeone very animated in his technical box, but Gabi fired his effort from just outside the 18-yard box wide of the mark.
Barca appealed for a penalty after Dani Alves went to ground just inside the box, an action that earned him a yellow card as a free-kick was awarded instead. Messi's powerful effort skimmed the top of the crossbar.
After some great build-up work, Barca could have taken the lead seven minutes before the break but Sergio Busquets fired his long-range shot wide as the visitors continued in search of breaking the deadlock.
Barca continued to dominate with a goal looking likely as the first half wound down with the hosts equally as good in defence to hold their opponents out.
Dani Alves tested Oblak in his side's last chance of the half, forcing the Slovenia international into a brilliant save as he pushed the ball over his bar.
The away side began to dominate as the second half got under way, but - down at the other end - Atletico appealed for handball against Andres Iniesta after the ball was fired into the bridge of his nose by Antoine Griezmann just inside the box and the Spaniard went off the pitch for treatment.
Godin got his head onto the end of Koke's corner moments later, sending his effort over the bar as the hosts began to create some chances of their own.
Fernando Torrres came close to opening the scoring after 55 minutes for Atleti but his shot from 12 yards was safely collected by Bravo, who got his whole body behind the ball to deny him.
Tempers began to flare as the second half after Neymar was tripped by Gabi before limping back into action.
Messi finally broke the deadlock after 65 minutes in what ended up becoming a defining moment for his side as they sealed the title.
The Argentina striker played a lovely one-two with Pedro on the edge of the box before firing home from close range into the bottom corner for the opener - much to the delight of the travelling fans.
Moments later Neymar fired Iniesta's cross wide as Barca looked to double their score before the Brazilian sent Messi's pass flying into the stands.
Barca continued in search of a second but the pace of the match slowed considerably as the minutes ticked down.
The hosts did not give up though and Koke's powerful strike bounced off a Barca defender as their opponents held on for the remaining five minutes.
Simeone's men continued to press for an equaliser but Bravo did well to hold late efforts before Barca were awarded a free-kick just outside the box down at the other end as the seconds ticked down - Messi managed to curl his effort around the wall but it was kept out by a diving Oblak.
Atletico held on through the three minutes of stoppage time as Barca claimed a narrow win to seal the La Liga title.