First division - day 38
It's all over! Real Madrid are La Liga champions for the first time in four years after coming back from a goal down to beat Mallorca 3-1! Capello's side only needed to match Barcelona's result to hold on to top spot, but Varela put the visitors ahead in the first half, and by the break their rivals were three up in Tarragona. However substitute Reyes levelled the scores midway through the second half, and two more in the last ten minutes from Diarra and Reyes gave them the trophy that had eluded them for so long.
Disappointment then for Barcelona, despite a 1-5 win at neighbours Gimnàstic. Goals from Puyol, Messi and Ronaldinho had virtually wrapped things up by half time, and Messi got a fourth before news came in of Madrid's turnaround. Grahn took advantage to pull one back, but Zambrotta made it five in the last minute. Barça at least finished ahead of Sevilla, who were beaten 0-1 by Villarreal in their last match before the cup final. Fuentes got the only goal to make it eight wins in a row for Pellegrini's side.
Villarreal's win took them up to fifth, ahead of Zaragoza, who drew 1-1 at Recreativo. Víctor Fernández's team were out of the UEFA cup spots for a long time though after Javi Guerrero got an early goal for the hosts, and only a strike from Diego Milito a quarter of an hour from the end took them back up to sixth. Atlético Madrid were the side who missed out in the end despite a 1-2 win at Osasuna, and they have to settle for a place in this summer's Intertoto cup.
Drama earlier in the evening in the battle to avoid the two remaining relegation spots, with Real Sociedad and Celta the ones to go down. Real Sociedad needed to win at Valencia to have any hope of staying up, and although Garitano gave them the lead in the second minute it was soon cancelled out, and they ended up drawing 3-3. Celta meanwhile were safe for a few minutes after goals from Bamogo and Lequi overturned Redondo's early strike and put them 2-1 up against Getafe, but then results went against them.
Celta's goals took them momentarily above Betis, who were drawing at the time at Racing Santander. But Edu scored twice in the last ten minutes to give the Andalusians a 0-2 victory which kept them up. Athletic Bilbao were also not safe at the start of the day, but they beat Levante 2-0 with an own goal from Serrano and a Gabilondo header in the second half to maintain their ever present record in the top flight. There was only one match with nothing at stake, Deportivo running out 1-3 winners against Espanyol to spoil the celebrations for Tamudo's club goalscoring record. (17.06.07)