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Sports

Luis Suarez hat-trick gives Barcelona La Liga title

Barcelona have won the Primera Division finishing one point ahead of arch-rivals Real Madrid. They can thank striker Luis Suarez, who scored a hat-trick on the final day, his third three-goal haul in his last five games.

The other title races in Europe's major football leagues may have lacked drama this year, but the La Liga crown came down to the last day. Real Madrid needed a win away to Deportivo La Coruna and had to hope that Barca dropped points on their visit to Granada.

Real were out of luck. Luis Suarez scored a pair of goals in the first half and added a third four minutes from time, as the Catalans racked up a decisive 3-0 win. Real Madrid won 2-0 on a pair of Cristiano Ronaldo goals within the first 25 minutes - but to no avail. Barcelona finished with 91 points, just one point ahead of their arch-rivals.

It was Barcelona's 24th Spanish league championship, their sixth in the past eighth seasons and their second on the trot. But Barca had to work harder than usual for this crown.

"We have suffered until the end but it is glorious to win six league titles in eight years with the same style," Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta told reporters after the Granada match.

The Catalans owe a big debt of gratitude to Suarez. The Uruguayan forward with the famous teeth won Spain's Golden Boot with 40 goals this season. It was the first time anyone other than Ronaldo or Lionel Messi had scored that many or taken that honor in seven years.

He was particularly influential in the home stretch, scoring for fun to take Barca out of a fallow period that threatened to derail their title drive. On April 20, Suarez scored four goals in an 8-0 thrashing of La Coruna that broke a three-game Barcelona losing streak. Suarez went on to score ten in the following four games.

Real Madrid can take consolation from the fact that they still have the chance to win an even bigger title. On May 28 in Milan, Ronaldo and company take on city rivals Atletico Madrid (who knocked out Barcelona in the quarterfinals) in the Champions League final.

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