MADRID - FC Barcelona beat Valladolid 4-0 in the Camp Nou Stadium to be crowned Champions of Spain's La Liga.
Barcelona's players celebrate after winning their Spanish first division at the Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona May 16, 2010. Barcelona retained their La Liga title with a 4-0 win. [Agencies]
The win against a Valladolid side that was relegated as a result of its defeat, means the side coached by Pepe Guardiola retains the title it won last year and it has done so with a record 99 points.
Guardiola opted to replace suspended midfielder Xavi Hernandez with Toure Yaya instead of striker Zlatan Ibrahimovich.
Meanwhile Valladolid's Javier Clemente opted to pack his side's defense in the hope that a draw would be sufficient to save his side from relegation.
With the title at stake Barca got of to a nervy start and should have fallen behind after just four minutes. Goalkeeper Victor Valdes failed to control a backpass and the ball fell to Valladolid striker Manucho, whose goal-bound shot was blocked by a flying Carles Puyol.
Barca finally began to settle down after 15 minutes and the Valladolid defense was pushed further back as the chances began to arrive. Jacoba saved well from Toure Yaya and Messi, before Messi fired wide after 22 minutes.
It was turning into a frustrating evening, but Barca had a huge stroke of luck after 27 minutes. Pedro Rodriguez had no support and opted to drill a low cross through the Valladolid area, Luis Prieto stuck out a foot and sent the ball past his own keeper.
Three minutes later Messi and Pedro combined for Pedro to add a second with a low shot and the title began to look assured for Barcelona.
The second half saw the Catalans content to control the ball and make Valladolid work. The visitors knew that defeat would condemn them to relegation, but they were simply unable to get possession.
Toure Yaya produced an exhibition of strength after 62 minutes to surge through and set Leo Messi up for the third goal after 62 minutes. It was Messi's 33rd goal of the season and the Argentinean scored his 34th with 15 minutes remaining.
The result and the title was beyond doubt and all that was left for the 98,000 fans in the Camp Nou to do was to start celebrating the title.