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Messi scores to secure his 10th La Liga title with Barcelona

[img]https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/480/cpsprodpb/FDFE/production/_106622056_gettyimages-1139685597.jpg" srcset="https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/240/cpsprodpb/FDFE/production/_106622056_gettyimages-1139685597.jpg 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/320/cpsprodpb/FDFE/production/_106622056_gettyimages-1139685597.jpg 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/480/cpsprodpb/FDFE/production/_106622056_gettyimages-1139685597.jpg 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/624/cpsprodpb/FDFE/production/_106622056_gettyimages-1139685597.jpg 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/800/cpsprodpb/FDFE/production/_106622056_gettyimages-1139685597.jpg 800w" sizes="(min-width: 900px) 50vw, (min-width: 600px) 70vw, 100vw" alt="Barcelona" class="">
Lionel Messi became the first player to win 10 La Liga titles with Barcelona as he clinched his 34th trophy in club football - more than anyone else in the Catalans' history.Barcelona wrapped up their 26th La Liga title with a sluggish victory over Levante thanks to a goal from second-half substitute Lionel Messi.Ahead of Wednesday's Champions League semi-final first leg with Liverpool, Messi began the game on the bench.The Argentina forward came on at the interval following a goalless first half and scored just after the hour.
He latched on to Arturo Vidal's header and beat two defenders before stroking the ball past Aitor Fernandez.Barcelona did not have everything their own way and Levante almost spoiled the party when they twice went close to equalising in the second half.Jose Luis Morales broke clear on the left edge on the edge of the box only to fire into the stands. Then at the death Enis Bardhi's shot hit the woodwork and it bounced into the hands of Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen on the line.
First part for treble-chasing Barca
Such has been Barcelona's recent La Liga dominance - this is their fourth Spanish title in five years and Messi's 10th overall - that determining whether this season will be heralded as a glorious one, or simply a good one, will depend on their performance in other competitions.The defending champions will doubtless have taken satisfaction from delivering the title in front of their home fans for the first time since 2010; their last four titles have been won away or without playing.They did so with three games to spare and in doing so closed the gap on Real Madrid's record of 33 La Liga titles to seven.However, it is the prospect of a treble, featuring the Champions League and Copa del Rey, which will now command their serious attention.Their performance against Levante was far from a vintage one and the celebrations of Barcelona's players when they lifted the trophy after full-time were relatively conservative.The Catalans have not reached a Champions League final since 2015, when they last won the treble, and the focus will now switch to the first leg against Liverpool at the Nou Camp.They also face Valencia in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday, 25 May.
Stop Messi, and do Liverpool stop Barca[/img]

[img]http://www.bbc.co.uk/data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP//yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7[/img]

Lionel Messi scored his 598th career goal for Barcelona to help them seal the La Lia titleLiverpool's scouting dossier on their opponents in the last four of Europe's elite competition will, of course, have been compiled well in advance of Levante's visit.So the absence of Messi from Barcelona's starting line-up will not have impacted upon their plans for Wednesday's first leg at the Nou Camp.If he was watching from his home in Formby on Merseyside, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will surely have been encouraged by what he saw 24 hours after his side thrashed Huddersfield 5-0 at Anfield.In particular, how Levante, despite being embroiled in a relegation battle, were able to frustrate Barcelona with a stoic first-half defensive display will have caught his eye.Levante goalkeeper Fernandez made a number of important saves before the break, although they were routine rather than spectacular.At 1-0 down Levante also squandered chances to equalise.In Messi's absence, attacking trio Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele carried the threat but without Messi's talismanic presence they drew a blank.It was not until Messi - La Liga's top scorer with 34 goals this season - came on as a second-half substitute that the home side sparked into life.Stop Messi, and stop Barcelona might be too simplistic a formula. It will nevertheless be the one which will vex Klopp the most between now and Wednesday.
Line-ups
Match Stats
Live Text
Line-ups
Barcelona
1ter Stegen
2Nelson SemedoBooked at 77mins[/i]
3PiqueBooked at 70mins[/i]
15Lenglet
18Alba
22Vidal
4RakiticBooked at 14mins[/i]
8ArthurSubstituted forBusquetsat 73'minutesBooked at 90mins[/i]
11DembeleSubstituted forRobertoat 84'minutes
9Suarez
7CoutinhoSubstituted forMessiat 45'minutes
Substitutes
5Busquets
10Messi
13Cillessen
14Malcom
20Roberto
21Alena
23Umtiti
Levante
25Fernandez
12Andujar MorenoBooked at 83mins[/i]
14Nunes VezoBooked at 58mins[/i]
4Suarez Pier
22Luna
17VukcevicSubstituted forBardhiat 65'minutes
23Remeseiro Salgueiro
16RochinaBooked at 56mins[/i]Substituted forMartiat 84'minutes
24Campana
7SimonSubstituted forMoralesat 45'minutes
2Mayoral
Substitutes
9Marti
10Bardhi
11Morales
13Olazabal
18Cabaco
19Lopez
20Dwamena
Referee:Ricardo de Burgos BengoetxeaAttendance:91,917
Match Stats
Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamLevantePossessionHome62%Away38%ShotsHome23Away7Shots on TargetHome12Away2CornersHome6Away3FoulsHome17Away12
Live Text
Posted at
Match ends, Barcelona 1, Levante 0.
Full Time
Posted at 90'+3' Second Half ends, Barcelona 1, Levante 0.Posted at 90'+2' Corner, Levante. Conceded by Jordi Alba.
Booking
Posted at 90'+1' Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.Posted at 90' Attempt saved. Coke (Levante) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner.Posted at 89' Enis Bardhi (Levante) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Jose Campana.Posted at 87' Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Rober Pier.Posted at 87' Attempt blocked. Luis Suarez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lionel Messi.Posted at 84' Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Luis Suarez.
Substitution
Posted at 84' Substitution, Barcelona. Sergi Roberto replaces Ousmane Dembele.
Substitution
Posted at 84' Substitution, Levante. Roger Marti replaces Ruben Rochina.
Booking
Posted at 83' Coke (Levante) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.Posted at 83' Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 83' Foul by Coke (Levante).Posted at 81' Hand ball by Arturo Vidal (Barcelona).Posted at 80' Hand ball by Arturo Vidal (Barcelona).Posted at 79' Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sergio Busquets.Posted at 77' Foul by Arturo Vidal (Barcelona).Posted at 77' Enis Bardhi (Levante) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Booking
Posted at 77' Nelson Semedo (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.Posted at 77' Foul by Nelson Semedo (Barcelona).Posted at 77' Ruben Rochina (Levante) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 76' Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Aitor Fernandez.Posted at 76' Attempt saved. Arturo Vidal (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Gerard Pique.Posted at 75' Arturo Vidal (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 75' Foul by Enis Bardhi (Levante).
Substitution
Posted at 73' Substitution, Barcelona. Sergio Busquets replaces Arthur.Posted at 71' Attempt blocked. Jason (Levante) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Booking
Posted at 70' Gerard Pique (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.Posted at 70' Foul by Gerard Pique (Barcelona).Posted at 70' Borja Mayoral (Levante) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 69' Attempt missed. Ruben Rochina (Levante) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jose Campana following a set piece situation.Posted at 69' Attempt blocked. Enis Bardhi (Levante) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.Posted at 68' Foul by Nelson Semedo (Barcelona).Posted at 68' Jose Luis Morales (Levante) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 68' Attempt missed. Jose Luis Morales (Levante) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Aitor Fernandez.Posted at 66' Attempt saved. Arturo Vidal (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lionel Messi.Posted at 66' Hand ball by Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona).
Substitution
Posted at 65' Substitution, Levante. Enis Bardhi replaces Nikola Vukcevic.Posted at 64' Corner, Levante. Conceded by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
goal
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