Here, AFP Sport picks five games that were key to the Catalans being crowned champions for the 26th time in their history.– Sets the tone –Barcelona 5-1 Real Madrid, October 28Luis Suarez celebrates scoring against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou — he netted a hat-trick as Barca won 5-1 in October’s Clasico © AFP/File / Josep LAGOThe first Clasico in 11 years without Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo marked the end of an era while also bringing to a close Julen Lopetegui’s turbulent three months as Real Madrid coach.Lopetegui was sacked the following day after Luis Suarez had ran riot in the injured Messi’s absence, scoring a hat-trick at the Camp Nou that set the tone for the rest of the season. Madrid’s inferiority was laid bare and Barcelona would never look back.– Rhythm restored –Sevilla 2-4 Barcelona, February 23Lionel Messi scored his 50th career hat-trick in Barcelona’s 4-2 win at Sevilla in February © AFP/File / JORGE GUERREROA rare wobble in February had given hope to the chasing pack while prompting concerns about the team’s form and Messi’s fitness. The Argentinian, after suffering a thigh strain, had scored only one goal in four games, with Barca managing just a single win in five.But both silenced the doubters at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, where Messi scored his 50th career hat-trick in a mesmeric 4-2 victory that put Barca back on track, just in time for a double-header against Real Madrid.– In sight of the title –Real Madrid 0-1 Barcelona, March 2Ivan Rakitic scored the only goal as Ernesto Valverde’s team beat Real Madrid 1-0 at the Bernabeu in early March © AFP/File / CURTO DE LA TORREA quirk of the calendar ensured that Spain’s greatest rivals would do battle twice in four days, once in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final and then again in the league.After knocking Madrid out of the Cup, Barca effectively eliminated them as challengers in La Liga too, Ivan Rakitic’s delightful chip widening the gap to 12 points.Santiago Solari lasted only 10 more days as Madrid coach while the Catalans had overcome one of the larger hurdles in their run-in. A six-game winning run put Barca in sight of the title.– Last hopes dashed –Villarreal 4-4 Barcelona, April 2Luis Suarez scored a last-gasp equaliser for Barcelona in a 4-4 draw at Villarreal © AFP/File / JOSE JORDANSome believed, optimistically, the title race could have life after Barcelona dropped two points away to Villarreal, allowing Atletico the chance to reduce the deficit to five if they could win at the Camp Nou four days later.But the feeling was not one of disappointment. Instead, Messi and Suarez had scored in the 91st and 93rd minutes at the Estadio de la Ceramica to complete a dramatic comeback, making the draw feel like a victory and sending Barca into their top-of-the-table clash with a spring in their step.– Only a matter of time –Barcelona 2-0 Atletico Madrid, April 6Suarez got a late breakthrogh against 10-man Atletico to kill the title hopes of Diego Simeone’s side © AFP/File / PAU BARRENADiego Simeone said his Atletico side had to win to have any hope but instead they were dealt a knock-out blow as Diego Costa was sent off early before Suarez and Messi, again, scored late.Costa’s dissent to referee Gil Manzano cost him an eight-match ban and his team dear, as Atleti were reduced to an hour of defending when they needed to attack. Victory sent Barca 11 points clear with seven games left, deeming their 26th La Liga triumph only a matter of time.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Lionel Messi and his Barcelona teammates celebrate. They have won La Liga for the fourth time in five seasons © AFP/File / PAU BARRENAMADRID, Spain, Apr 24 – Barcelona were confirmed as La Liga champions for the fourth time in five years on Saturday after defeating Levante 1-0.Barca have wrapped up the title with three games to play as they sit nine points ahead of Atletico Madrid, against whom they also own a superior head-to-head.
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CANYON COUNTRY – Residents of a Canyon Country neighborhood in the throes of choosing whether to annex to Santa Clarita will hear from Los Angeles County officials Tuesday about the services the county currently provides. The meeting follows an April session in which city officials gave their pitch to residents of the Stonecrest tract about cost savings and better municipal services if the unincorporated county area chooses to join Santa Clarita. In contrast to city officials, who called the Stonecrest tract a needed land bridge to the 56.1-million-ton gravel mine they are spending millions to fight, a county official said the tenor of its meeting, called at the behest of constituents, will be neutral. “We have no agenda,” said Bob Haueter, a senior deputy for Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. “The supervisor supports the residents being free to choose … to remain in the unincorporated area or choose to annex.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsThe county Board of Supervisors has approved the mine, which is about a mile from the Stonecrest tract. The city is battling the mine on several fronts, citing the added traffic, noise and air pollution it would bring. In March, the supervisor intervened on behalf of a group of Stonecrest residents who protested the annexation but failed to follow protocols of the Local Agency Formation Commission, which rules on municipal boundary changes, asking they be given a second chance. Following a procedural error by LAFCO, a new public hearing was needed; the protest hearing is set for June 28. The Office of Public Safety, Department of Public Works, Department of Parks and Recreation, Chief Administrative Office, county counsel, Sheriff’s Department and Highway Patrol will be represented Tuesday. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at Sulphur Springs Elementary School, 16628 Lost Canyon Road, in Canyon Country.
CALGARY – A lawsuit by NHL linesman Don Henderson against former Calgary Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman has been set aside by a judge to be handled by an arbitrator within the league.The $10.25 million lawsuit was filed by Henderson after he was hit from behind during a game against the Nashville Predators.In his statement of claim, Henderson says he suffered a concussion and injuries to his neck, back, shoulder and knee, with the neck injury requiring surgery.Henderson also claims he suffered shock, anxiety, depression, headaches and permanent and partial disability.The statement of claim contains allegations that have not been proven in court.The lawsuit was set aside by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Willie DeWit, a former Olympic boxer.Henderson was hurt during the second period of Calgary’s 2-1 loss to Nashville on Jan. 27, 2016.Wideman was checked hard into the boards by Predators winger Miikka Salomak. He banged his stick on the ice en route to the players’ benches and is alleged to have shoved his stick into Henderson’s back in front of the Predators’ bench.Henderson went down, but got to his feet and finished the game.“I would never intentionally try to hit a linesman or a ref or anything like that,” Wideman said following the game.But the statement of claim says “Wideman intentionally and deliberately struck Don Henderson.”As the result of his injuries, Henderson said he’s been unable to work any NHL games since then.The NHL suspended Wideman for 20 games, which was later reduced to 10 games by an arbitrator, although Wideman had already served 19.Wideman’s contract expired last season. (CTV Calgary)