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© AP, Jun 01, 2013

Barcelona equal league point record


BARCELONA, Spain(AP) Barcelona polished off its Spanish league title by equaling the record of 100 points with a 4-1 win over Malaga on Saturday, the final day of the season that saw several farewells led by Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho.

Barcelona stormed to an insurmountable lead at Camp Nou to match the century points milestone set by Madrid last season.

''We are happy, we have had a very good season,'' said Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova. ''The truth is that we were eliminated from the semifinals of the Champions League, but if we have to reach 100 points and score 115 goals to be happy, well then that's fine.''

David Villa, Cesc Fabregas, Martin Montoya and Andres Iniesta all scored for Barcelona before Pedro Morales pulled one back for Malaga.

Earlier, Madrid beat Osasuna 4-2 in Mourinho's last game before his expected return to the English Premier League. Mourinho said goodbye to Madrid's fans with a brief statement on the club website wishing them ''much happiness'' and ''good health.''

Madrid, which never recovered from a poor start to the league campaign, finished the season in a distant second place 15 points behind Barcelona and without a major title after coming up short in the Champions League and Copa del Rey.

It was also the last appearance for Barcelona defender Eric Abidal, Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini and Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain, all set to change clubs this summer.

The other eight games on the final day will determine remaining berths for European competition and the three relegated teams.

Barcelona got rolling when Villa batted in a generous backpass from Pedro Rodriguez three minutes in after Iniesta met Pedro's run with a long through ball.

With Lionel Messi still out with a right leg injury, Fabregas did his best imitation of the Argentina star by dribbling by several defenders, working a one-two passing combination, and looping the ball in from the edge of the box in the 14th.

Two minutes later, right back Montoya drove in a loose ball from outside the area for his first goal with Barcelona.

Barcelona kept weaving its mesmerizing web of passes and Iniesta curled in a fourth goal from long range six minutes after halftime, before Morales scored in the 56th.

Abidal, who fought back from a liver transplant to rejoin the team this season, went on to a standing ovation to play his final 14 minutes for Barcelona after the club didn't offer to prolong his six-year stint.

Barcelona honored Abidal after the match along with his wife, daughters, and cousin Gerard who donated a part of his liver for his transplant last year.

''My family and I want to thank you for all the support you have shown me during these years,'' Abidal told the Camp Nou crowd. ''I will always have you in my heart. Long live Barca! And long live Catalonia!''

Barcelona goalkeeper Jose Pinto, making a surprise start in place of Victor Valdes with speculation linking him to a move to Monaco this offseason, made several saves to deny Malaga a second goal down the stretch.

The Santiago Bernabeu fans greeted Mourinho with a mix of applause and jeers, but even with Cristiano Ronaldo out with a back problem, his players made sure the Portuguese manager went out on a win.

Rumored to be heading to Juventus, Higuain scored what he later said was his 121st and last goal for Madrid in the 35th.

After the match Higuain said he was leaving Madrid after seven seasons, without specifying his destination.

Michael Essien made it 2-0 three minutes later with a well-placed header while falling away from the goal to redirect a corner kick into the net. The Ghana midfielder is returning to Chelsea this summer with his loan deal ending, likely joining Mourinho back in the London-based side.

Madrid appeared to be in control until its defense relaxed after halftime and Roberto Torres struck with a long shot in the 52nd before Alvaro Cejudo made it 2-2 with a header in the 63rd.

Benzema, however, restored Madrid's lead for good after delicately controlling a pass from Mesut Ozil in the area.

Goalkeeper Ricardo Lopez went on for Osasuna late to play his final 15 minutes before retiring after 16 seasons. He conceded his final goal when Jose Callejon finished off a counterattack in the 87th.

Osasuna ensured its place in the top flight next season with a win in the previous round.


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