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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Barca seal first part of treble with league title

Barcelona beat Real Madrid to the Primera Division title as Lionel Messi fired the Catalans to a 1-0 victory over previous champions Atletico Madrid in the capital as they seek the treble in Luis Enrique's first season as manager.

Four points behind before kick-off, Carlo Ancelotti's men breathed life into the title race by taking the lead at Espanyol through Cristiano Ronaldo while Barca were still struggling to break through at the Vicente Calderon.

Messi then scored to render Real's result irrelevant, and Los Blancos had to restore their lead through a Marcelo strike and two more Ronaldo goals after Christian Stuani managed to level for Espanyol.

It finished 4-1 at El Prat, but Real's challenge was over with one match of the season remaining.

Barca are in the Spanish Cup final and also in the Champions League decider. Atletico's defeat means they can be removed from third place by Valencia on the last day, given Los Che are only three points behind and trail Los Rojiblancos by a single strike in the goal-difference charts.

But a 1-1 draw with Celta Vigo, which saw Nicolas Otamendi rescue a point after Pablo Hernandez's early opener, leaves Valencia vulnerable to Sevilla, who are one point shy in fifth following a 2-1 victory over Almeria.

Vicente Iborra scored twice for the Andalusians to cancel out Thievy's first-half strike.

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