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Madrid setback hands Barça Spanish laurels

Published: Sunday 17 May 2009
Having lifted the Copa del Rey in midweek, FC Barcelona won their 19th Spanish title without kicking a ball on Saturday as second-placed Real Madrid CF lost 3-2 at Villarreal CF, Joan Capdevila striking a late winner.
Madrid setback hands Barça Spanish laurels
Lassana Diarra (left) and Gonzalo Higuaín reflect on Madrid's defeat ©AFP
Published: Sunday 17 May 2009

Madrid setback hands Barça Spanish laurels

Having lifted the Copa del Rey in midweek, FC Barcelona won their 19th Spanish title without kicking a ball on Saturday as second-placed Real Madrid CF lost 3-2 at Villarreal CF, Joan Capdevila striking a late winner.

Having lifted the Copa del Rey in midweek, FC Barcelona won their 19th Spanish title without kicking a ball on Saturday as second-placed Real Madrid CF lost 3-2 at Villarreal CF.

Late winner
Victory for the capital outfit would have obliged their Catalan rivals to take at least a point at RCD Mallorca on Sunday to secure their second trophy of the week, but even that proved unnecessary. Robert Pirès headed the hosts in front from Ariel Ibagaza's cross after 17 minutes and although Los Merengues levelled through Rafael van der Vaart (47), Cani then restored the Yellow Submarine's lead just past the hour when he drilled past Iker Casillas at the near post. Madrid equalised for a second time when substitute Gonzalo Higuaín (88) struck his 20th league goal of the season, however there was still time for a mistake from Casillas to allow Joan Capdevila to capitalise dramatically.

Two dismissed
The win lifted Villarreal into fifth, level on points with fourth-placed Valencia CF and five behind Sevilla FC, who drew 0-0 at strugglers CA Osasuna. Both sides finished with ten men following red cards in the final seven minutes for Ndri Romaric and Sergio Fernández. Elsewhere, RC Deportivo La Coruña's bid for a place in the top four faltered with a 1-1 home draw with Getafe CF, Riki (86) salvaging a point for the hosts.

Last updated: 17/05/09 20.39CET

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