Barca equal point record, Jose exits with win, boos
Barcelona polished off its Spanish league title by equaling the record of 100 points with a 4-1 win over Malaga on Saturday, the final day of the season that featured several farewells led by Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho.sports Updated: Jun 03, 2013 00:40 IST
Barcelona polished off its Spanish league title by equaling the record of 100 points with a 4-1 win over Malaga on Saturday, the final day of the season that featured several farewells led by Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho.
A drama-filled late slate of matches also saw Real Sociedad edge out Valencia for fourth place and the last Champions League berth, while Mallorca, Deportivo La Coruna, and Real Zaragoza were all relegated.
Barcelona stormed to an insurmountable lead at Camp Nou to match the century points milestone set by Madrid last season. “We are happy, we have had a very good season,” said coach Tito Vilanova. “The truth is that we were eliminated from the semifinals of the Champions League, but if we have to reach 100 points and score 115 goals to be happy, well then that’s fine.”
Earlier, Madrid beat Osasuna 4-2 in Mourinho’s last game before his expected return to the EPL. Mourinho said goodbye to Madrid’s fans with a brief statement on the club website wishing them “much happiness” and “good health.”
Madrid, which never recovered from a poor start to the league campaign, finished the season in a distant second place 15 points behind Barcelona and without a major title after coming up short in the Champions League and Copa del Rey.
It was also the last appearance for Barcelona defender Eric Abidal, Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain, and Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini among others, with all set to change clubs this summer.
Eric Abidal, who fought back from a liver transplant to rejoin Barcelona this season, went on at Camp Nou to a standing ovation to play his final 14 minutes for the club after it didn’t offer to prolong his six-year stint.
Barcelona honoured Abidal after the match along with his wife, daughters, and cousin Gerard who donated a part of his liver for his transplant last year.
“My family and I want to thank you for all the support you have shown me during these years,” Abidal told the Camp Nou crowd. “I will always have you in my heart. Long live Barca! And long live Catalonia!”
The Bernabeu fans greeted Mourinho with a mix of applause and jeers, but even with Cristiano Ronaldo out with a back problem, his players made sure he went out on a win. Rumored to be heading to Juventus, Higuain scored what he later said was his 121st and last goal for Madrid in the 35th. After the match Higuain said he was leaving Madrid after seven seasons, without specifying his destination.
First Published: Jun 03, 2013 00:36 IST