First division, day 36
Real Madrid beat struggling Racing Santander 2-3 on Thursday night to move ahead of Valencia in to second spot. López Caro's side took the lead with a Roberto Carlos penalty after Robinho was fouled, and Soldado got on the end of Raúl's off target shot to score a second after the restart. When Robinho made it three it appeared to be all over, but Moratón scrambled in two late goals to put the result in doubt right up to the final whistle. (04.05.06)
Barcelona tied up their second league title in a row and the eighteenth of their history after beating Celta 0-1 on Wednesday night. Frank Rijkaard's side knew by half time that the championship was theirs after their nearest rivals Valencia fell to a surprise defeat earlier in the evening. Samuel Eto'o got the only goal of the game for Barça in the second half, although the locals could have saved a point had Perera not hit the bar near the end.
Valencia's faint hopes of catching Barcelona ended after they were beaten 2-1 by a Mallorca side who are now virtually sure of staying up. The Chés were caught out when Arango finished off after a good run by Víctor in the tenth minute, and although Angulo levelled the scores after David Villa set him up soon afterwards, the locals restored the lead when Doni latched on a long ball by Cortés to volley a shot past Cañizares after the restart.
Osasuna closed up to within three points of Valencia after beating a poor Atlético Madrid 0-1 in the Calderón stadium. Although the first chance fell to Galletti, the visitors took the lead after Muñoz controlled a headed pass from Romeo to roll a shot wide of Leo Franco on the quarter hour mark. The home side's frustrations showed through near the end when Ibagaza was sent off for stepping on the back of Izquierdo.
Sevilla took advantage of Celta's defeat to close to within a point of them in the table and consolidate sixth spot after defeating Getafe 3-0. There was a festival atmosphere in the Sánchez Pizjuán stadium as the locals raced in to a three goal lead by the break, Pulido heading Martí's free kick back in to his own net and Saviola and Luis Fabiano adding two more later in the first half.
Deportivo kept ahead of their rivals for the Intertoto spot with a late 1-2 win at Espanyol, a result which leaves the home side just two points above the relegation places. The Catalans took the lead when Luis García beat Molina just before the interval, but substitute Iván Carril levelled the scores end Diego Tristán headed the winner in the last minute.
Villarreal remained just two points behind Deportivo after beating already relegated Málaga 2-1. Pellegrini's side took the lead early on when Guille Franco scored on the follow up after César Arzo back heel came back off the post, and Tacchinardi headed the second before Gerardo pulled one back from the penalty spot.
Alavés threw the relegation battle wide open again with a 2-0 win over Betis. The Vitoria based side were looking strong contenders for the drop, but the victory takes them within a point of Racing and two of their opponents and also Espanyol. The locals were on top right from the start, with Aloisi getting the first before the break and Nené volleying home the second after the restart.
Real Sociedad picked up an important point in a 2-2 draw at Cádiz, a result which leaves the Andalusians struggling in next to bottom spot. Xabi Prieto and Garitano put the visitors two up against the run of play, but Estoyanoff reduced the gap and Lobos saved a draw for the hosts with a last minute penalty.
A late goal from Yeste gave Athletic Bilbao a much needed 1-0 win over Zaragoza which takes them to the verge of safety. Diego Milito hit the post twice for the visitors, but the locals had two penalty appeals turned down before a great run by Llorente set up his team mate for the winner. (03.05.06)
Fixture news: The LFP have decided to defy FIFA's ruling that the match between Sevilla and Barcelona should take place on 20th May after the season finishes, switching that game to 13th May and postponing the last round of matches by a week. The situation could end up in the courts if FIFA decide to take action. (04.05.06)