Barcelona football players have triumphed as the champions of Spain for the 2022/23 season, clinching an insurmountable lead over their closest pursuers, Real Madrid, with their decisive victory of 4-2 against their city rivals, Espanyol, four rounds before the championship's conclusion.
This remarkable achievement marks Barcelona's 27th Spanish championship title, leaving them eight titles behind Real Madrid, who hold the record with an impressive 35 Spanish league titles. Simultaneously, the Catalan giants have reclaimed the title for their city after a four-year hiatus.
Barcelona's last championship victory was in 2019, and in the subsequent three seasons, Real Madrid emerged as the dominant force in Spain twice, while Atletico Madrid shocked both giants by securing the title in 2021.
Barcelona's Dominant Performance
Entering tonight's momentous clash with great enthusiasm, Barcelona was widely regarded as the overwhelming favorite, and they promptly justified this status within the 11th minute.
Balde made a breakthrough on the left flank, providing an exquisite assist to Lewandowski, who clinically netted his 30th goal of the season. Merely nine minutes later, Barcelona orchestrated yet another splendid play, this time on the right side.
Pedri delivered an immaculate cross, which Balde impeccably anticipated and capitalized on, doubling Barca's advantage. Five minutes before halftime, Lewandowski capitalized on Raphinha's precise pass, comfortably securing the third goal for the visitors, resulting in an emphatic 3-0 lead at the break.
As the second half commenced, Barcelona continued their dominance unabated. In the eighth minute of the half, De Jong expertly supplied Kounde, who executed a brilliant finish, extending Barcelona's lead to a commanding 4-0.
It was only then that Barcelona eased their foot off the pedal, allowing Espanyol to salvage some pride by scoring two goals through Puado and Joselu, albeit towards the end of the match. Barcelona currently sits atop La Liga with 85 points, a staggering 14 points ahead of second-placed Real Madrid.
With only four rounds remaining until the end of the championship, amounting to a potential 12 points, it is evident that Real Madrid no longer possesses even a mathematical chance of catching up with their fierce rivals.
On the other hand, Espanyol finds themselves on the brink of relegation, languishing in the penultimate position and four points adrift of the safety zone. In the upcoming round, Barcelona will warmly welcome Real Sociedad, while Espanyol is set to host Rayo Vallecano.
Match Result and Scorers:
Espanyol 2 - 4 Barcelona
Scorers: Puado 74', Joselu 90+2' (Espanyol); Lewandowski 11', 40', Balde 20', Kounde 53' (Barcelona)