Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Sports

Suarez soars again to lead Barcelona to Spanish title

BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona left it late — very late — but finally rescued its season by pulling off five straight victories to clinch its second straight Spanish league title Saturday.

There was as much relief as joy when Barcelona defeated Granada 3-0 in the last round thanks to a hat trick by Luis Suarez, the league's top scorer with 40 goals.

Barcelona finished one point ahead of Real Madrid, which fell short despite winning its last 12 league games.

Barcelona led fierce rival Real Madrid by 12 points with nine rounds to go.

"We had to work really hard and suffered until the end," said Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta, who has eight Spanish league titles along with Lionel Messi and former player Xavi Hernandez. "We struggled a bit after we opened a very good advantage, but in the end it's the most regular team that wins the league."

Real Madrid defeated Deportivo La Coruna 2-0 with two goals by Cristiano Ronaldo.

After the final whistle in Granada, Barcelona players formed a circle and jumped up and down while chanting "Campeones, Campeones." Several hundred fans from both teams streamed onto the field as players struggled to find their way off.

FIFA ethics official quits: In a challenge to the integrity of Gianni Infantino, FIFA's compliance chairman resigned in protest over what he sees as a power grab by the new president. Domenico Scala called his resignation a "wakeup call" for those working to reform soccer's scandal-battered ruling body. Scala's walkout — on the issue of taking hiring and firing power over himself and independent panels that monitor FIFA officials and money — comes amid claims of tension between the men.

Italy: Gonzalo Higuain had a hat trick to break a 66-year-old record and help host Napoli secure second in Serie A with a 4-0 win over 10-man Frosinone. Napoli gained entry to next season's UEFA Champions League group stage by finishing two points above Roma. Higuain's third goal, a bicycle kick, gave him 36 league goals in 35 matches, beating Milan forward Gunnar Nordahl, who scored 35 in 37 matches in 1949-50.

Germany: Pep Guardiola was showered with beer and praise during Bundesliga title celebrations after his last home game as Bayern Munich coach. "It was cold, so cold," Guardiola said. "And it stinks." Bayern Munich clinched its fourth straight title two weeks ago. Guardiola has agreed to take over at Manchester City in the English Premier League starting next season.

MLS: Didier Drogba scored for host Montreal in the third minute as the host Impact remained atop the Eastern Conference with a 1-1 tie against Philadelphia.

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