Deportivo 2-4 Barcelona: Match report
Hosts Depor bravely made a fight of it, and came close to nicking a point, but finally succumbed to Barça and the brilliance of Leo Messi who wrapped up the game, and the league title, in a frenzied, final 10 minutes at Riazor. The cava corks will be popping now as fans descend on Canaletes - for Barcelona, it is their 25th league crown and the eighth time they have achieved the domestic double in club history. Depor on the other hand won't be in much of a mood to remember tonight's game, they drop down a division to LaLiga 1|2|3, joining Málaga and Las Palmas as the teams to be relegated. It was inevitable, but they gave it their best shot against Barça - when asked what he asked of his players, coach Clarence Seedorf said afterwards: "Only that they put in a great game, and when they play like that, there's nothing more for me to say. We're sad, but that's sport and only one team can win".
Philippe Coutinho put Barcelona on their way on six minutes, connecting with Dembélé's pass to curl a shot beyond Rubén. Leo Messi doubled the lead in style just after the half-hour after Luis Suárez picked him out with a sumptuous, lofted ball which the Argentine happily rammed home on the volley at the far post.
Two minutes later, Depor were back in it. Lucas Pérez with an equally well taken, first-time finish, to make it 1-2 going in at half-time. Seedorf's motivational speech during the interval inspired the team to move into another gear when play resumed. Barça started to look vulnerable and were punished for not spotting Emre Çolak, unmarked in the penalty area, who swept the ball past Ter Stegen to level the game.
Two flashes of magic from Messi when Depor were starting to tire decided the game. The first, on 81 minutes, demonstrated the understanding he enjoys with Luis Suárez, who laid the ball off to perfection after Messi had darted past two defenders with a drop of the shoulder and quick burst of pace. Another neat passing move led to Barça's fourth and Messi's hat trick.
Deportivo vs Barcelona: as it happened
Hugs and high fives out on the pitch at Riazor. Barcelona are 2017/18 LaLiga champions!!!
FULL-TIME: Deportivo 2-4 Barcelona. Barcelona are crowned champions for the 25th times. ¡Felicitats! And commiserations to Depor who drop down a division, hopefully we'll see you soon.
90' Two minutes of stoppage time to be added on. Barcelona are 120 seconds from winning the league.
89' Missed sitter!! How did Piqué miss that? Great recovery and save from Rubén tho'
88' Uff!! Depor very nearly pull one back. They're not giving in jut yet.
86' Massive roar from the stands, on comes Iniesta for Rakitic
85' Gooooaalll!! Messi that's his hat trick. 2-4
Messi is now level with Mo Salah, tied on 31 goals for the Golden Shoe.
84' Iniesta whips off his training bib. At last.
81' Sensational drop of the shoulder from Messi, pass to Suárez returned for him to finish at the back post. 2-3.
Gooooooaaal!!!! Messi What a move!!
80' Close!! Messi, to Suárez, back to Messi, the deftest through-ball to Suárez - saved Rubén.
80' Barça have a corner, 10 minutes away from being crowned champions.
78' Still waiting for Iniesta...
76' Barça lining up for the ball inside the Depor box but too much dithering and Messi is caught offside.
75' Krohn-Dehli has a go from just outside the box, curled well wide.
Paulinho bounds on for goal scorer Coutinho.
73' Luis Suárez smashes the ball into the side netting. Valverde preparing to make changes.
72' Long ball played for Lucas Pérez to run onto but Umtiti casually clears.
71' Now it's Barça who are being pegged back inside their own half. Tense stuff.
70' Barcelona up against the ropes here.
69' Uff!! Ter Stegen saves on the line from a header.
69' Guilherme has a crack from 30 yards out - takes a deflection, corner!
Dembélé comes off, Denis Suárez comes on in his place.
66' Depor going for the jugular, Barça' defence in chaos.
65' Is it Don Andrés time yet?
Goooooaaal!!!! Emre Çolak unmarked in the penalty area to sweep home a loose ball. Deportivo are back level - but Barça still only need a point.. 2-2
63' Depor hit Barça on the break with Borja Valle.
60' Uff!! Umititi goes close with a header. Depor are now fenced into their own half and defending for their lives.
59' Free-kick for a foul on Messi - that's Depor's eighth foul of the game. Ball's played into the area but quickly cleared.
57' Huge cheers from the stands - Iniesta starts warming up on the touchline.
57' Barcelona persisting with their passing tactics on the edge of the Depor area but just cannot finds a way through.
55' Depor hit the visitors on the break and Lucas Pérez fires low, straight at Ter Stegen.
53' Uyy!! Jordi Alba cuts one back for Messi who does get a clean connection with the ball. Normally he would have buried that.
51' Messi released and with just the keeper to beat but Rubén races out to reduce the angle and blocks from the Argentinean.
50' Barcelona playing the ball wide, trying to find a way through but faced with a blue and white wall when trying to go through the middle.
48' Depor caught and Barça break but with only Dembélé, Suárez and Messi up front and the counter fizzles out.
47' Uyy!! Piqué is forced to clear a dangerous ball into the box. Don't know what Seedorf has to his players in the interval but Depor look very determined at the start of this second half.
46' Depor straight onto the attack. Juanfran puts a ball over from the right but it's overkicked, to no one.
46' The hosts gets us back underway in A Coruña. No changes on either side. No Iniesta yet.
Barça's second goal was something a bit special. Outside-of-the-boot, diagonal lob from Luis Suárez, caught wonderfully on the volley by Messi at the back-post.
Deportivo lined up to perform the Guard of Honour before the game.
45' That's half-time. No stoppage-time added. As it stands, Barcelona are league champions and Deportivo are relegated.
45' Jordi Alba appeals for a penalty after his cross strikes Juanfran's hand. The Depor defender tried to get his hand out of the way. Not today, says ref Mr. De Burgos Bengoetxa.
43' Luis Suáez tries to barge his way into the Depor box with Messi lurking in the 'D' - a bit too enthusiastically from the Uruguyan, who gives a way a free-kick.
42' Fine drizzle starting to fall down at Riazor now.
Goooooaal!! Depor pull one back. Krohn-Dehli with a low ball across the six-yard box, Lucas Pérez slots first time, inside the post. Nice finish. It's 1-2. Deserved, it has to be said. Phew!
That goal puts Messi on 30 league goals for the season - one behind Liverpool's Mo Salah.
Goooooaaal!!! Go-la-zoooo!!! Suárez with a beauty of a lofted ball, outside of the boot, to the back post and in comes Messi to volley home. 0-2!
36' Luis Suárez this time trying to prise a way through a congested Depor defence - too many bodies in the way - six to be precise. The hosts clear th ball and out of danger.
34' ¡Madre Mía! Barcelona fail to clear the corner and Schär gets in a header but just can't get over the ball and sends it over the bar.
33' Ball whipped in from the right, cleared by Barça. Corner to Depor.
32' Depor with the upper hand since that Coutinho effort. They could nick one the way it's going.
31' Now Çolak attempts to beat Ter Stegen down at the other end but his shot swings wide of the upright. Close.
30' Uyy!! Coutinho fires inches wide.
29' Paradón Rubén!!! Keeper dives at full stetch to tip Messi's free-kick behind. That was heading straight into the top corner.
29' Free-kick 25 yards out. Messi's over it.
28' Messi's first effort of the game, a header in a quick-passing move, sends it just wide.
27' Ter Stegen clears - straight to Borja Valle, whose shot whistles over.
25' Uff!! Coutonho tries to curl one, this effort takes a deflection, corner.
23' Uff!! Backheel from Luis Suárez on the edge of the area that would have left Messi with a clear sight of goal. Depor manage to scramble the ball clear.
High fives all-round
21' Rakitic tries his luck from jut outside the box but it's way off. Didn't get a good connection. Goal-kick.
20' Corner for Barcelona.
Schär goes into the book for tugging on Coutinho.
18' 16' Goal ruled out. Lucas Pérez taps in following a fingertip save from Ter Stegen from a corner but it won't stand. Flag was up. Offside.
16' Corner to Depor, right-hand side.
15' Here come Depor again, trying to find a way in down the left but Semedo, Piqué and Umtiti have been untroubled so far.
12' Depor keep insisting down the left, Semedo's flank but having no joy. Ball floated in from the right, easily headed cleared by Piqué.
11' Messi weaves his way into the box and tries to get on his trusty left foot but is just dispossessed.
10' Barça trying to break into the Depor box with their neat, triangular passing - too many bodies to get past. They win an a corner.
8' Depor hit back straight away but Ter Stegen comfortably collects a lofted ball into the box.
Gooooooaal!!!! Dembélé squares to Coutinho whose first time shot curls past Rubén and inside the post. 0-1!!
5' The guests attack again - Messi playing in a central position, jut behind Luis Suárez. Barça trying but still looking for a breakthrough.
4' Depor break but Piqué has it covered. Goal-kick.
2' Uyy!! Coutinho with a dainty dink into the Depor box but the ball is cleared.
1' Barça straight onto the attack, looking like they want to put this game to bed as soon as they can. Coutinho strides forward and feeds Jordi Alba out wide on the left but Depor win the ball back.
Peep!!! Off we go! Barça get us underway at Riazor!
Messi with the captain's armband for Barcelona today.
Out come Barcelona. Deportivo perform the Guard of Honour for the Copa del Rey champions.
Barça XI: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba, Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho, Dembélé, Messi, Luis Suárez
Depor XI: Rubén, Juanfran, Albentosa, Schar, Luisinho, Guilherme, Borges, Çolak, Krohn-Dehli, Lucas, Borja Valle
Leo Messi goes into tonight's game on 29 goals in LaLiga, two behind the leader in this year's Golden Shoe rankings, Liverpool's Mohamed Salah. Ciro Immobile is also on 29 goals, one more than Bayern's Robert Lewandowski who was rested in yesterday's 4-1 win over Frankfurt.
Iniesta starts on the bench after feeling a few sharps after last weekend's Copa triumph and still with twinges in training yesterday.
They only require a point at Riazor, and should Barcelona be crowned champions tonight, Real Madrid will be expected to perform the Guard of Honour before next weekend's Clásico at Camp Nou. Depor coach Clarence Seedorf think that would be the right thing to do: "I'm a madridista - but I'm also a UEFA ambassador and there are sporting values which are very important and need to be resepcted. Whether it's Madrid or Barça, the Guard of Honour is entrenched in Spanish football history. It would be a nice gesture - and it would show children the right message. We have to all work together to educate the younger generations and it would only be right and a good thing for sport for Madrid to applaud the champions".
A few more numbers and stats for you: Ernesto Valverde could become the sixth coach to do the double with Barcelona - a feat the club have achieved eight times in history. The other managers who have won the domestic double with Barcelona are: Fernando Daucik, Helenio Herrera, Louis van Gaal, Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique, the latter winning the club's most recent league-Cup double in 2015-16.
Whatever happens tonight, at least will be be another chance for us to enjoy Andrés Iniesta who will sadly be playing one of his final games in LaLiga. It's been an absolute joy watching Iniesta both for Barça and Spain. Here's how he announced his adiós at the Ciutat Esportiva on Friday afternoon. #GraciesIniesta #Infinit8Iniesta:
Traditionally Riazor has not been a particularly favourale ground for Barcelona in LaLiga - the Catalans have made 45 visits in total, winning 17, drawing 10 and losing the other 18 although their figures have improved over the past decade: P10 W5 D3 L2.
The Barça team bus arrived at the stadium just over half an hour ago. Valverde has taken the whole squad for the trip - including injured players Digne, André Gomes, Yerry Mina - as well as Sergi Roberto who is suspended and will sit this one out.
Barça bench: Cillessen, Denis, Iniesta, Paulinho, Paco Alcácer, Aleix Vidal, Vermaelen
Follow us for team news and updates before the game along with minute-by-minute commentary once the game kicks off!
Hello and welcome to our live online coverage of the LaLiga clash between Deportivo and Barcelona from Riazor, A Coruña. Kick-off is at 20:45 CEST.
Deportivo - Barcelona: Preview
While some people might claim that it has been a second-rate season by their high standards, later this evening Barcelona do have the chance to claim their seond piece of silverware in one week and complete a league and Cup double for the eighth time in club history. It would be a fitting way to crown a weekend when loyal servant and iconic player Andrés Iniesta announced that he will be moving on at the end of the season. Iniesta of course has celebrated three domestic doubles with the Blaugranas already - in 2008-9, 2014-15 and 2015-16 but this will be the first for coach Ernesto Valverde in his first season with the club.
There will be something equally as important at stake for hosts Deportivo, who are mired third from bottom on 28 points and needing to win all of their remaining games (and hope Levante, Leganés or Espanyol lose) to avoid joining the already-relegated Las Palmas and Málaga in the second division next season.
Barcelona will have other things on their mind - aside from clinching the league with three games to go, it would also mean that Real Madrid will be obliged to perform the Guard of Honour for the champions in next week's Clásico at Camp Nou... Kick-off tonight is at 20:45 hours CEST.