FC Barcelona clinch La Liga title in Catalan derby

Espanyol fans chase Barça players off pitch after full time as 2-4 result leaves pericos four points from safety

FC Barcelona fans celebrate the La Liga 2022/23 title victory at Canaletes on La Rambla boulevard
FC Barcelona fans celebrate the La Liga 2022/23 title victory at Canaletes on La Rambla boulevard / Cillian Shields
Cillian Shields

Cillian Shields | @pile_of_eggs | Barcelona

May 14, 2023 11:07 PM

May 15, 2023 12:50 AM

The sound of fireworks were heard across the Catalan capital, echoing each of FC Barcelona's four goals in the home of their local rivals, Espanyol, as Xavi Hernández's men marched to their first La Liga title in four years. 

All of La Liga were keenly watching events unfold in Catalonia, as one side ended the title race, and another were unable to help themselves in the dire situation they find themselves in. 

A result that was equally as sweet as it was traumatic, depending on which side of the city divide you fall on, left Barcelona celebrating their 27th league title and Espanyol staring into the abyss, second bottom in the table and four points from safety

Around 2,000 Barça fans gathered at the Canaletes fountain on La Rambla boulevard to celebrate the La Liga title on Sunday night. There were fireworks, flares, and many chants sung as supporters prepared for a night of partying. 

There were unsavoury scenes after the full time whistle as the Barcelona players and squad were chased off the pitch by Espanyol ultras who had entered the pitch to confront them as they were celebrating.

The Barça squad then appeared to reach the dressing room without any major incidents occurring. 

During the game, a slick Barcelona didn't delay in putting clear daylight between the teams on the scoreboard, leaving little doubt about the result from the outset. Robert Lewandowski and Alejandro Balde each finished well-worked moves to put the blaugrana two goals to the good within twenty minutes. 

The Polish striker netted again shortly before the break, turning the atmosphere even more sour among the home fans. Jules Koundé added a fourth which effectively sealed the game, before Javi Puado netted a beautifully-taken consolation goal for the pericos, and Joselu netted his 15th of the season with the last kick of the game.  

With that, FC Barcelona are champions of La Liga, sealing a remarkable turnaround from the position they had been in Xavi Hernández's first full season as manager. Speaking to Movistar after the game, Xavi revelled in the "euphoria" of not only winning La Liga, but clinching it with a derby victory. 

After the full time whistle, the Barcelona squad danced and sang together on the pitch to a chorus of whistles and boos from the home supporters, which eventually led to up to a hundred home fans entering the field of play to aggressively confront the celebrating Barça team. 

Espanyol face Rayo Vallecano, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, and Almería in their remaining games. If they are to avoid relegation, they will need to overhaul at least two sides above them.