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Five games that won Blaugrana the crown

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MESSI-LEVANTEMADRID, May 17- Barcelona sealed their 23rd La Liga title on Sunday thanks to Lionel Messi’s winner in a 1-0 victory at Atletico Madrid.

Here, AFP sports looks at five key games that delivered the Catalans the title:

November 8, 2014

Almeria 1 Barcelona 2

Fresh from back-to-back league defeats against Real Madrid and Celta Vigo, Barca were facing an embarrassing reverse to relegation-threatened Almeria as they trailed 1-0 with 17 minutes remaining.

However, Luis Suarez made his first significant contribution in a Barca shirt as he came off the bench to set up goals for Neymar and Jordi Alba to get Luis Enrique’s men back on track.

November 30, 2014

Valencia 0 Barcelona 1

The Mestalla has been one of the toughest places to go in European football this season with Valencia losing just once at home in the whole campaign.

Real Madrid, Atletico and Sevilla all lost away there, but after riding their luck throughout the 90 minutes, Sergio Busquets sealed a vital three points with virtually the last kick of the game deep into stoppage time.

January 11, 2015

Barcelona 3 Atletico Madrid 1

The champions visited the Camp Nou with Barca in full blown institutional crisis. Defeat at Real Sociedad a week earlier had provoked the sacking of sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, club legend Carles Puyol followed him and Luis Enrique was said to be one game away from the sack as his relationship with Messi was in tatters.

The 90 minutes that followed turned Barca’s season around as Messi, Suarez and Neymar all scored for the first time in a league game with Messi and Suarez switching positions to what has proved to be devastating effect over the last five months.

March 22, 2015

Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 1

Barca went into the final Clasico of the season in pole position and in much better form. However, they had to withstand an onslaught from Madrid for the first hour as Cristiano Ronaldo cancelled out Jeremy Mathieu’s early opener.

Suarez once again proved decisive with a stunning finish that moved Barca four points clear at the top, a lead which they never surrendered.

May 17, 2015

Atletico Madrid 0 Barcelona 1

A year to the day since Atletico won a title decider at the Camp Nou, Barca exacted revenge and fittingly it was Messi who scored the title winning goal to seal the first trophy of a potential treble this season.

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