Soccer: La Liga champions on course for 100 points

First-half goals from Pedro Rodriguez and an own goal by Marc Valiente were enough to keep the champions on track. Photo / AP
First-half goals from Pedro Rodriguez and an own goal by Marc Valiente were enough to keep the champions on track. Photo / AP

Barcelona celebrated lifting the La Liga trophy for a 22nd time with a 2-1 win over Valladolid yesterday at a rain-lashed Camp Nou.

The wet conditions resulted in the lowest attendance for a Barca home league match this season as 56,055 filled the 99,354-capacity ground.

First-half goals from Pedro Rodriguez and an own goal by Marc Valiente were enough to keep the champions on track to match Real Madrid's league record of 100 points before Victor Perez's penalty halved the deficit a minute from time.

Club captain Carles Puyol left it to manager Tito Vilanova and Eric Abidal, who have missed large parts of the season because of a cancerous saliva gland and a liver transplant respectively, to lift the trophy as a reward for all the health problems they have had to overcome off the field this season.

"It has been a difficult year, but we have won the league and the best thing is that Tito and Abidal are with us," said Puyol.

At the bottom there was a huge win for Deportivo La Coruna as goals from Bruno Gama and Nelson Oliveira saw them beat Espanyol 2-0 to move out of the relegation zone. Real Zaragoza now occupy the third relegation place after they lost 2-1 to Athletic Bilbao.

•In Italy, AC Milan secured third spot and a place in the Champions League after coming from behind to win 2-1 at Siena in the final Serie A round of the season.

Fiorentina crushed Pescara 5-1 but remained in fourth spot and will play in the Europa League next season.

Mario Balotelli levelled for Milan from the penalty spot six minutes from time, and Philippe Mexes scored the winner three minutes later.

Udinese took the second Europa League berth after winning 5-2 at Inter Milan for their eighth successive win.

Milan's achievement is impressive considering numerous top players, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, left the club in the last off season.

-AP

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