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Jun 1, 2013

Barcelona finishes with 100 points

Barcelona capped its La Liga title-winning season with a comfortable 4-1 win over Malaga at the Nou Camp on Saturday and equaled Real Madrid's record of 100 points for the season.

David Villa put Barca ahead in the third minute before Cesc Fabregas added the second 10 minutes later, with Martin Montoya firing home a stunning volley as Barcelona went 3-0 up inside 16 minutes.

Andres Iniesta added the fourth following a quick counter-attacking move early in the second half before Malaga substitute Pedro Morales pulled one back for the visitors.

The result means Barcelona finishes the season as champion with 100 points, matching Real Madrid's title-winning record of 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."

Malaga ends its campaign in a Europa League qualifying spot, although the club has been banned from European competition for not meeting its financial fair-play regulations.

Villa opened the scoring early on when Iniesta played the ball into the box and Pedro laid the ball square to the striker, who slotted it home with ease.

Fabregas added the second in the 14th minute when he picked the ball up on the left wing, dinked it back inside and played a one-two with Iniesta, before firing the ball past Malaga goalkeeper Caballero Willy from the edge of the area.

Montoya then fired a stunning 20-yard strike into the bottom corner from the right of the area from Xavi's inswinging corner as Barcelona well and truly stamped its authority on the game.

Gerard Pique missed the chance to add a fourth when he put a free header wide with just over five minutes of the first half still to play.

Malaga came close to pulling a goal back early in the second half when Julio Baptista forced Barca keeper Jose Pinto to parry the ball, with Morales pouncing on the rebound and forcing Jordi Alba to clear off the line.

However, the visitors were left to rue what might have been when Barca counter-attacked from the clearance which resulted in Iniesta launching the home side's fourth from outside the area.

Malaga did pull one back four minutes later, though, when defender Jesus Gamez curled a perfectly-weighted ball in from the right wing and it dropped perfectly for Morales, who volleyed it home from close range.

Both sides squandered further chances in a high-tempo second half as Barcelona ran out comfortable winners.

Saturday was also the last appearance for Barcelona defender Eric Abidal, who fought back from a liver transplant to rejoin the team this season. He came 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!"

Information from Press Association and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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