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Barcelona fightback against Eibar not enough to deny Madrid

Barcelona came back from two goals down to beat Eibar in a thrilling match, but Real Madrid’s win at Malaga means they must relinquish their La Liga title to their bitter rivals.

Perhaps hearing that Madrid had taken the lead early, Barca did not get play properly in the opening period and were behind after seven minutes, thanks to Takeshi Inui’s thumping finish. They did, though, still manage to construct some excellent scoring opportunities, the best of which was put wide by Luis Suarez, though Ruben Pena missed an even better chance on the stroke of half-time; the feeling was always that Barca would need more than two goals.

And so it proved. Another belter from Inui doubled Eibar’s advantage, but shortly afterwards an own-goal from David Junca ushered Barca back into the game. As the pressure mounted, the referee awarded a penalty for a non-existent foul on Jordi Alba – Yoel Rodriguez saved brilliantly from Lionel Messi – but then Suarez pulled one back on 74 minutes, Messi scored a penalty on 76, and with Ander Capa shown a second yellow card for his involvement, that was that – save Messi’s obligatory wonder goal just before time.

So Madrid are champions, Eibar finish a hugely creditable 14th, and Barca meet Alaves next Saturday in the final of the Copa del Rey.