Barcelona win derby and first La Liga title since 2019
Barcelona have won their first Spanish league title after the departure of Lionel Messi with a 4-2 victory against city rivals Espanyol.
Robert Lewandowski scored twice on Sunday to lead the Catalan club to their first La Liga crown since 2019.
The title was secured with four rounds remaining and two years after Messi left amid the club's financial struggles.
The celebrations were short-lived, though, as players had to rush into the locker rooms after a large group of Espanyol fans invaded the field from behind one of the goals and started running towards the Barcelona players who were singing and celebrating. Security guards quickly intervened but riot police had to stand in front of the tunnel's entrance to prevent the fans from going in.
"It's a magnificent feeling, a feeling of job well done," Barcelona coach Xavi said.
"This is important to give the club's project some stability. The league title shows that things have been done the right way and that we have to stay on this path."
Lewandowski, the league's leading marksman with 21 goals, opened the scoring from close range in the 11th minute and added his second in the 40th after a low cross by Raphinha in a breakaway.
Alejandro Balde and Jules Kounde also scored for Barcelona, who now have 27 league titles, eight fewer than Real Madrid.
The victory over Espanyol gave Barcelona an insurmountable 85 points from 34 matches, 14 points more than Madrid, who won 1-0 at Getafe on Saturday.
The loss dealt a big blow to Espanyol in their fight against relegation. They stayed second-to-last, four points from safety.
Javi Puado scored Espanyol's first goal in the 73rd and Joselu added the second in added time as Barcelona players were getting ready to celebrate.
It is the 32nd title with Barcelona for midfielder Sergio Busquets, who is leaving the club at the end of the season.
"I wanted to leave by winning an important title like the Spanish league and I'm happy that I was able to do it," he said.
Elsewhere, Atletico failed to regain second place after a 1-0 loss to already-relegated Elche.
That defeat also prevented Atletico from mathematically securing a spot in next season's Champions League, though they can still do so by earning a point from their last four matches.
Valladolid lost 3-0 at home to Sevilla to stay in 17th place, one point above the relegation zone, while Alberto Mari scored with a header in the 88th minute as Valencia beat Celta Vigo 2-1 to boost their chances of avoiding the drop.
The result moved Valencia to 14th, three points from the relegation zone.