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Osasuna and Valladolid follow Betis out of La Liga

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Understandably the focus of the weekend's La Liga ties was on the Camp Nou, where a 1-1 draw saw Atlético deservedly crowned La Liga champions. However, down at the bottom of La Liga, five clubs faced the possibility of joining Real Betis, bottom since week thirteen, in dropping down to the Segunda Divisíon.

The key relegation decider took place at the José Zorilla, where nineteenth place Real Valladolid entertained seventeenth place Granada. The match was ultimately decided two minutes before the first half ended, when a clever set piece released Piti, who in turn pulled the ball across the six-yard box. Real Valladolid centre-back Stefan Mitrovic reacted first, but in attempting to steer the ball away from goal, he agonisingly bobbled a finish past Jaime in the Valladolid goal. Valladolid pushed hard for an equaliser, but the impressive centre-back pairing of Diego Mainz, and Tiago Ilori, on loan from Liverpool, stood strong, condemning Valladolid to relegation for the first time since 2012.

Osasuna knew a win at home against Real Betis would not be enough to secure survival, and were left relying on other results, having come into the game in eighteenth place, with thirty-six points. Oriol Riera put Osasuna ahead on twelve minutes, but jubilation soon turned to despair, as a section of fencing collapsed in the ensuing celebrations. The match was halted for over thirty minutes, allowing medical staff to help the injured. Both Betis and Osasuna players immediately rushed to extract some of the injured supporters, and should be widely praised for their decisiveness and bravery. The decision was taken to continue the game, although other matches around La Liga were delayed, with so much riding on the outcome of the various games. When the match eventually got underway again, Javier Acuña wasted little time in doubling Osasuna's lead. Javier Chica pulled a goal back for Betis, but Osasuna held out for the win. Unfortunately for Los Rojillos supporters, Granada's win had already resigned Osasuna to relegation. The little solace the club could take from the game is that none of their supporters were seriously injured.

With results elsewhere, the score in Almería's game against Athletic Bilbao was futile. The match ended in deadlock, which saw the Andalusian's drop down from fifteenth to seventeenth, a single point clear of the relegation zone. 

Getafe were the biggest climbers of the day. Before kick-off the Madrid side were sixteenth, on thirty-nine points. Romanian international Ciprian Marica put Getafe a goal ahead, before Rayo midfielder Roberto Trashorras levelled the scores. Getafe were reasonably comfortable, knowing a draw would keep them up, but Marica's late penalty ensured that they stayed well clear of trouble, ending the season in thirteenth place. 

The curtain has fallen on one of the best La Liga seasons to date, and with Sevilla crowned Europa League champions, and either Real or Atlético to be crowned Champions League winners, Spanish club football is in a very healthy place.  

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Topics:
Spain Football
La Liga
Football

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