Heading into the final day of the La Liga season, Barcelona needed a miracle.
The title was out of the Blaugrana’s hands. Real Madrid needed just a point at Malaga to become champions - and Malaga had nothing to play for.
Yet there would have been a small part of Luis Enrique that, prior to kick-off, believed. That thought it possible that Zinedine Zidane’s side would slip up under the pressure and allow Barca to snatch the title.
It took Cristiano Ronaldo just two minutes to crush those dreams, however.
The Portuguese star gave Los Blancos the lead when he rounded Carlos Kameni and slotted home. Karim Benzema doubled Real’s lead shortly after half-time and Zidane’s side saw out the the rest of the match untroubled.
At the Camp Nou, Barca battled back from a 2-0 deficit against Eibar to win 4-2. Their resilience counted for nothing in the end, though.
Enrique blamed results at the Camp Nou
Unless Barcelona can overcome Alaves in the final of the Copa del Rey on Saturday, the season will be classed as a major disappointment. It was Barca’s results at home that ultimately cost them the title, according to Enrique.
"[The comeback] was a clear sign of what this team is and what it is capable of, of never giving up ever," the outgoing manager said, per ESPN FC.
"But we haven't ended the season as we wanted. La Liga is 38 games long and it rewards consistency. We were not consistent enough -- especially earlier in the season at home -- to win the league and we have paid for that.
"We didn't depend on ourselves [going into the final day]. We fought until the very end and now we congratulate a worthy champion."
Gracious in defeat. Fair play, Luis.
Enrique was given updates from Malaga vs Madrid
The 47-year-old wasn’t so calm during Barca’s match. He cut an agitated figure on the bench as he received updates from Madrid’s game against Malaga.
Enrique couldn’t get too caught on in what was happening at La Rosaleda Stadium, however. He was too busy on the touchline trying to change this as his team fell 2-0 behind.
Check out the footage below.
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