My Catalan isn’t great but I believe the picture says “Players, Fans, Everyone United Makes Strength, Thanks To Everyone” Barcelona wrapped up its 19th La Liga title and all the European cup spots are pretty much sewn up. The final week of the La Liga season still has some drama left with 5 teams still fighting to avoid relegation.
Amazingly Sporting de Gijón will remain in La Liga after they defeated Recreativo Huelva 2-1 at home. Sporting trailed 1-0 at halftime but scored twice in the 2nd half including the relegation avoiding goal by Luis Morán in the 67th minute.
With Recreativo & Numancia already on the way down it came down to Getafe & Real Betis for the last relegation spot. Getafe drew 1-1 on the road against Racing Santander and Real Betis drew 1-1 at home against Valladolid. Both sides were even on 42 points but Getafe stayed up because of the head to head tiebreaker. The 2-2 aggregate of the 2 Getafe-Real Betis matches favored Getafe because of the road goals. It turns out that the 2 goals Getafe’s Ikechukwu Uche scored in their February 1 match in Sevilla would be what sent Betis down to Segunda División.
Other matches of note, Espanyol’s final game at the Montjuic witnessed a magical hat-trick by Espanyol icon Raúl Tamudo as they defeated Málaga 3-0. Espanyol looked relegated 2 months ago but a run of 8 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss in their last 10 matches to helped Espanyol fly into the Top 10.
Diego Forlan wrapped up the Pichichi with his 32nd goal in a 3-0 home win against Almería. The win clinched 4th place and the last Champions League spot as Los Colchoneros won 8 of their last 9 including 6 straight to end the season.
Here are the results & final standings:
SATURDAY, MAY 30th
Deportivo La Coruña 1 – 1 Barcelona
DLC: Rodolfo Diaz Bodipo (31′)
BAR: Samuel Eto’o (89′)
Mallorca 2 – 3 Villarreal
MAL: Aritz Aduriz (35′) & Pierre Webó (89′)
VIL: Cani (28′) & Joseba Llorente (40′& 52′)
Valencia 2 – 0 Athletic Bilbao
VAL: David Villa (7′ & 90′)
Atlético Madrid 3 – 0 Almería
ATM: Kun Agüero (19′), Raúl García (27′), Diego Forlán (49′)
SUNDAY, MAY 31st
Espanyol 3 – 0 Málaga
ESP: Raúl Tamudo (7′, 45′, pen 56′)
Numancia 0 – 2 Sevilla
SEV: Emiliano Armenteros (88′) & Juan Carlos Moreno (og 91′)
Osasuna 2 – 1 Real Madrid
OSA: Jaroslav Plasil (15′) & Juanfran (60′)
RMA: Gonzalo Higuaín (11′)
Racing Santander 1 – 1 Getafe
RAC: Toni Moral (34′)
GET: Granero (38′)
Real Betis 1 – 1 Valladolid
BET: Ricardo Oliveira (49′)
VLD: Marcos Aguirre (46′)
Sporting Gijon 2 – 1 Recreativo Huelva
SPO: David Barral (58′) & Luis Morán (67′)
REC: Ersen Martin (23′)
Barcelona, Real Madrid, & Sevilla qualify for 09-10 Champions League group stage
Atlético Madrid qualify for Champions League playoff round
Villarreal & Valencia qualify for 09-10 Europa League playoff
Athletic Bilbao qualify for Europa League 3rd qualifying round
Real Betis, Numancia, Recreativo Huelva are relegated to Segunda División