The title may be all but decided, but there is still plenty to play for at the bottom and in the fight for a Europa Cup place and this weekend saw significant results in both areas.
Deportivo dropped into the bottom three after this weekend’s round of games, with Osasuna and Getafe both recording important wins. Hercules’ defeat seems to have sentenced them to the drop, whilst Bilbao were the winners in the chase for the UEFA spots, as Seville, Atletico Madrid and Espanyol all lost.
Lotina’s Deportivo could only draw 2-2 at Sporting on Saturday after Adrian had twice put them ahead only for two dubious penalties, the last on 90 minutes, to cruelly rob them of what could prove to be two more vital points.
Deportivo are now third from bottom on 39 points, six ahead of Hercules, whose 2-3 defeat to Racing leaves them virtually relegated along with Almeria. Dos Santos and Henrique scored the killer goals for Racing whilst Hercules played the last half hour with 10 men following Valdez’s straight red.
Zaragoza are level on points with Deportivo after they were beaten 1-3 at home by fellow strugglers Osasuna on Sunday, despite going one up in the first half. The Pamplona team fought back after the break and are now up in 14th on 31 points, level with Real Sociedad who crashed 3-0 to Valencia, for whom Soldado got his 15th and 16th goals of the campaign. Getafe’s 2-0 win over Almeria leaves them on 40 points, but by no means out of trouble.
Malaga’s impressive 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid (with another goal from Baptista) has probably ensured safety – Pellegrini’s team are thirteenth, a point ahead of Osasuna – and might have also shaken Atletico’s European hopes had Espanyol and Seville not lost this weekend. As it is, Bilbao, 3-2 winners over Llevant are two points ahead of Seville and Atletico in fifth place, with Espanyol a further four points adrift. Bilbao’s chances of catching Villarreal, who are seven points clear, were virtually finished when The Yellow Submarine” took a point from a goalless draw in Mallorca.
Real Madrid’s 6-2 destruction of Seville on Saturday, means they’ve scored six goals in both their last two away games –with 15 in their last three games on the road. Unfortunately for Mourinho’s team, their last three home games have ended in draws against Sporting and Barça and defeat to Zaragoza.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s four goals at the Sanchez Pijuan means he now has 32 goals to Messi’s 31 in La Liga.