Barcelona sealed a sixth Liga title in eight years in Los Cármenes with a 3-0 victory over a battling Granada side, seeing off the late challenge of Real Madrid who beat Deportivo 2-0 in Riazor but could not overhaul the leaders on the final day. Luis Suárez bagged a hat-trick, his sixth of the season, to ensure the Azulgrana could not be caught and in doing so also wrapped up both the Pichichi award and the European Golden Boot prize as the top league scorer across the continent's divisions with 40 in total.
Granada did not roll out the red carpet for the champions-elect and carved out plenty of chances to get on the score sheet, the most notable when substitute David Barral hit a post late on. Fran Rico also tested Marc-André ter Stegen when put through by the mercurial Youssef El Arabi and for spells in the second half Barça's back line were made to sweat in the Andalusian sun as the home side, with safety already assured, attacked with purpose.
However, it fell to Suárez to round off his remarkable season with a treble that will remain long in the collective Camp Nou memory. The Uruguayan opened the scoring on 22 minutes with a tap-in after the Granada defence allowed their concentration to drift for a moment to tropical climes and essentially finished off the contest, and the 2015-16 Liga title race, with a well-taken near-post header after some dogged work on the right by the evergreen Dani Alves. Suárez completed the job with another simple strike late in the second half after Neymar's act of generosity. The Brazilian could easily have written his own name into the story of the afternoon but squared to Suárez to stroke in his third instead: Barcelona's success this season has been built on the chemistry of their front three and in Los Cármenes it was no different.
As it happened
Min 1 | We're off! Both games are underway.
The teams are out and doing the customary handshakes. Glorious sunshine on Granada, a bit of gloom hovering above Riazor. Omens? We're about to get underway in both games...
There will be a minute's silence in Riazor and Los Cármenes for the victims of the terror attack against a Real Madrid fan club in Iraq overnight on Thursday.
Welcome to our build up to and then live coverage of the two key games that will decide the winner of LaLiga 2015/16. This is Matchday 38, the final games of the season for Real Madrid as they go to Deportivo de la Coruña and Barcelona as they visit Granada and the whistles will be blown at 17:00 with around 1,000 kilometers separating the stadia. You'll not miss a minute of the action with us.
Although Zidanewill not be wanting any further injuries ahead of the Champions League final in two weeks' time (most agree a much more likely title) he will not want to risk losing the game in case Barça do slip up. Bale is likely to get a place in the side and the Welshman will be expected to deliver along with Cristiano. Supporting roles in an attacking sense will be created by Modric in midfield. Keylor Navas returns between the sticks after missing the last game through injury. The dream situation for the French coach is that his team get a comfortable foothold in the game - a la Barça's rout there last month - and then can replace some of the key cup final legs.
Deportivo de la Coruña are now safe from the drop, have five players out injured as well as sanctioned absences of Luishino and Lopo.
The odds favour Madrid somewhat in La Coruña but what about Barcelona? Again the odds are stakced in their favour. Like Depor, Granada are already safe from relagation thanks to an unlikely 4-1 victory away to Europa League finalists Sevilla last time out. Pride is at stake for the Andalusian side but not much else (unless of course the rumours of 'incentives' are to be believed).
Although Barça have the Copa del Rey final next weekend to look forward to (again Sevilla are in that one) their complete focus will be on getting the league title sown up - something they, and their now more nervous fans, thought was a formality just a few weeks ago. Luis Enrique has an almost full squad to choose from but even injured Bravo and Sandro have travelled to be part of the very probable celebrations.