Barcelona were crowned Spanish champions for the fourth time in five years after Real Madrid could only draw 1-1 with Espanyol on Sunday. The Catalans celebrated their success with a 2-1 win at third placed Atletico Madrid on Sunday.
Atletico threatened to spoil Barca’s party at the Vicente Calderon when they fell behind to Radamel Falcao’s 28th goal of the season early in the second half. Alexis Sanchez grabbed the equaliser and the turnaround was complete ten minutes from time when Gabi turned David Villa’s shot ball past his own goalkeeper.
Espanyol unexpectedly dominated the first half against Real Madrid and took a deserved lead when Christian Stuani fired home. Second half substitute Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Los Blancos after the break and Gonzalo Higuain headed in a Luka Modric free-kick for the equaliser.
Roberto Soldado scored twice as Valencia put four past Rayo Vallecano. The striker’s first came from the penalty spot after 28 minutes and he doubled Los Che’s advantage six minutes later. Andres Guardado made it three on the hour and Nelson Valdez completed the rout in injury time.
Real Sociedad remain fourth but are now level on points with Valencia after being held to a 2-2 draw by Granada at Anoeta. Imanol Agirretxe put the home side ahead after nine minutes, only for Youssef El-Arabi to equalise six minutes later. Agirretxe restored the lead for Sociedad on the stroke of half-time and the score remained 2-1 until former Malaga midfielder Recio netted in injury time to give Granada an important point in their fight to stave off relegation.
Celta Vigo remain three points from safety, after suffering a 1-0 defeat against seventh-placed Real Betis, thanks to Ruben Castro’s second-half effort. Betis now have fading Malaga and resurgent Sevilla either side of them after those two sides played out a lacklustre goalless draw at La Rosaleda. Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini may have been distracted by rumours lining him up to replace Roberto Mancini at Manchester City.
Levante and Real Zaragoza drew 0-0 at the Ciutat de Valencia, while Bottom side Real Mallorca’s chances of survival received another blow with a 2-1 defeat by Athletic Bilbao that leaves them four points from safety. Aritz Aduriz gave the Basques an early lead at San Mames and Fernando Llorente sealed the three points for them with ten minutes remaining. The islanders’ cause was not helped by the dismissals of Andreu Fontas and Joaquin Navarro Jimenez, and Giovani dos Santos’ late reply was barely a consolation.
Deportivo La Coruna also continue to flirt with danger and are two points adrift of safety after losing to Real Valladolid, for whom Javi Guerra hit the only goal of the game. Osasuna had better luck, moving four points clear of the drop zone as Alejandro Arribas’ 75th minute goal sunk Getafe.