After a gruelling cup final, and with the league title secure from the day before, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola rested most of his key players for the trip to Mallorca. However despite going ahead early on they were eventually beaten 2-1. Eto'o opened the scoring in the tenth minute, heading in Bojan's cross for his 29th of the season. But the striker came up against Moyà two or three times after that, and midway through the second half Arango beat young keeper Oier with a free kick to equalise. Cléber headed a second from Jurado's cross soon afterwards, and Eto'o fired a last minute penalty against the post which would have saved a point for his side.
With the top two spots decided, the fight is on for the two remaining Champions League places. Atlético Madrid took a big step towards a return to the competition after beating Valencia 1-0 in the last match of the weekend, the result taking them two points above their rivals up to fourth place. Diego Forlán got the only goal from the penalty spot after César brought down Agüero on the half hour mark, and the visiting keeper prevented a bigger scoreline with a string of saves after that.
With two games to go some nine sides are still not mathematically safe, although Racing Santander are fairly sure of staying up after beating Valladolid 3-2. Oscar Serrano gave them an early lead, but two quick goals from Víctor and Goitom (the first they have netted in seven games) turned the scoreline around. Iñaki Bea was sent off soon after the restart though, and Jonathan Pereira equalised a few minutes later. And with five minutes to go Zigic headed the winner from a Munitis cross to take his side level with their opponents in the table.
Espanyol are also fairly safe after a 1-0 victory over losing cup finalists Athletic Bilbao, their fifth home win in a row. Luis García scored the winner from the penalty spot after Gurpegui fouled substitute Coro with twenty minutes to go, and Callejón and Luis García could both have added to the lead.
A good win too for Betis, their 2-0 victory over Almería taking them up to 40 points. Mark González headed them in front in the fifth minute, and Edu had a chance for a second when Chico was sent off after fouling the forward in the area a quarter of an hour later. Diego Alves saved Edu's spot kick, but Arzu wrapped things up with a shot from outside of the area midway through the second half.
All will have to suffer for another week or so though after Sporting Gijón beat Málaga 2-1 to move out of the relegation spots, above Osasuna on the head-to-head record. Gerard headed a corner against a post before finding the net on the second occasion a few minutes later. Weligton nodded in Duda's free kick to equalise, but eight minutes in to the second half Helder headed Diego Castro's centre past his own keeper to hand the three points to the Asturians.
The bottom two clubs Numancia and Recreativo played each other this weekend, with the locals running out 1-0 winners to move above the Andalusians in the table. The home side had by far the better chances, but they only won it thanks to a controversial late penalty which Barkero converted. Both still have a chance of salvation though. (17.05.09).
Second placed Real Madrid lost 3-2 at Villarreal on Saturday night, a result which means that Barcelona are mathematically confirmed as league champions. Pires headed the locals in to the lead early on, but Van der Vaart equalised just a minute in to the second half. Cani restored the lead though after Cannavaro could only clear a Javi Venta cross in to his path, and although Higuaín levelled the scores again with two minutes to go, a couple of minutes later Casillas dropped Nihat's corner at the feet of Capdevila allowing him to score the winner.
The victory takes Villarreal level with Valencia and five points behind third placed Sevilla, who drew 0-0 at Osasuna earlier in the evening. Pandiani missed a good chance and Javier Flaño hit the crossbar before the break from wide out, but the Andalusians could have won it when Konko headed against the bar after the restart. Both sides ended with ten men after Romaric and Sergio were sent off late on.
Osasuna are now three points above the drop zone pending Sunday's games, and Getafe stay a point ahead of them after drawing 1-1 at Deportivo. Soldado headed Michel's team in to the lead from a David Cortés cross just seconds after the interval, but substitute Riki equalised with four minutes to go to keep the Galicians within reach of the European spots. (16.05.09)