Real Sociedad are back up to fourth in the table after a 2-2 draw with Granada in the Monday night game, although they will be disappointed with the result as the Andalusians equalised with virtually the last kick of the match. Agirretxe headed the locals in to the lead early on from a Chory Castro free kick, and although El-Arabi levelled the scores soon afterwards, Agirretxe got on the end of Vela's cross to put his team back in front on the stroke of half time. Agirretxe and Vela both rattled the upright in the second half, but the visitors came back strongly in the last twenty minutes, and in the third minute of injury time Recio beat Bravo at the second attempt to earn a vital point which takes Lucas Alcaraz's side four points above the drop zone. (13.05.13)
Barcelona celebrated their 22nd league title with a 1-2 victory at Atlético Madrid on Sunday evening, and they could go on to the 100 point mark if they can win their three remaining matches. Tito Vilanova's side were confirmed as champions 24 hours earlier when Real Madrid failed to beat Barça's city neighbours Espanyol, and the Atlético Madrid players applauded them on to the park according to tradition. With Atletico themselves already assured of third spot, and with the Spanish cup final coming up next Friday, neither side exerted themselves too much in the first half, the best chances an early shot by Falcao which Pinto dealt with comfortably, and a shot just wide of the post by Tello shortly before the break. Tello also had a penalty appeal turned down when Godín tripped him in the area, but six minutes after the restart the locals took the lead when Falcao finished off after Gabi passed through to him whilst lying on the ground. Barcelona were left with ten men when Messi limped off with another injury after all three substitutions had been made, but soon afterwards Alexis made it all square after picking up a return pass from Fàbregas, and seven minutes later Tello laid the ball back for Villa, whose shot hit Gabi and deflected back in to the net.
The top three spots are now confirmed, but fourth place is still open, Valencia moving a point ahead of Real Sociedad pending their game on Monday after beating Rayo Vallecano 0-4 in this week's mid-day kick off. Soldado got the ball in the net midway through the first half only for play to be pulled up for a previous foul in the area on Dani Parejo, but the striker stepped up to convert the resulting penalty kick. And six minutes later Soldado got on the end of Guardado's deflected cross to turn the ball in on the far post for his second of the day. Delibasic had a goal disallowed and Figueras volleyed a shot over the top either side of half time, but Rubén had to be on his toes to save from Piatti, and with just over an hour gone Guardado scored his team's third, rounding Rubén to score after the keeper blocked his first shot. Guaita did well to keep out Piti a couple of times after that, and Feghouli hit the post from Cissokho's cross, and with the game coming to an end substitute Nelson Valdez ran through to wrap things up. Not the result Rayo were looking for in their push for a place in Europe, and they ended the day down in tenth place.
Betis are still in with a mathematical chance of making it in to the top four as well after a 1-0 victory over Celta later in the evening. The Andalusians had the better of the first half, with Rubén Castro and Nosa Igiebor both having strikes ruled out for borderline offsides, and Javi Varas having to save from Beñat and Castro. Iago Aspas almost caught out Adrián with a long shot before the break, but midway through the second half Castro got on the end of Chica's cross to volley the opener past the visiting keeper. The striker could have scored a second soon afterwards when through on goal, Varas pushing out his first shot and a follow up header coming back off the post, but Adrián had to keep out Oubiña a few minutes later, and the Galicians felt themselves unlucky not to have come away with a point when referee Fernando Teixeira Vitienes ruled out a late Túñez strike for a non-existent offside. The defeat though leaves Abel Resino's side three points away from safety having played a game more than their nearest rivals, and they must now be one of the favourites to go down after just one year back in the top flight.
Betis will in any case almost certainly be playing in Europe next season after their city rivals Sevilla were held to a 0-0 draw at Málaga, Pepe Mel's side now five points ahead of their neighbours in the table. The European places will also depend on whether Málaga's appeal against their ban is upheld or not, but after three defeats in their last four games they are starting to slip down the rankings, ending the weekend just two points above Betis in sixth spot. Despite the result it was a lively game, Negredo going close a couple of times early on, and Rakitic heading wide. Camacho replied for the locals with a couple of efforts off target, and Beto had to save from Pedro Morales before the break. After the restart Kameni had to keep out a header from Cala, and Rakitic headed probably the best chance of the match wide a few minutes later. Duda and Baptista also tried their luck for the locals, but in the end both coaches settled for a point. (12.05.13)
Barcelona are this year's league champions, second placed Real Madrid unable to catch them in the table after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Espanyol on Saturday night! With little to play for Mourinho rested several key players for next Friday's Copa del Rey final, and he also lost Varane to an injury early on. Kiko Casilla still had to save from Morata and Di María in the opening minutes, but midway through the first half the locals went ahead, Stuani turning a shot past Diego López after Forlín headed on Verdú's corner, and Sergio García turned the ball back from the far post. Five minutes later Stuani shot straight at the keeper when free on goal, and a minute after that Héctor Moreno headed another corner in to the net only for referee Iglesias Villanueva to rule it out for what he considered to be a previous foul. Mourinho brought on Benzema at the break though and Ronaldo a few minutes later, and Ronaldo won a wide free kick almost immediately which Modric floated in for Higuaín to head the equaliser. But Casilla saved from Ronaldo and Benzema after that, and although Víctor Sánchez was sent off for a hrad tackle on Higuaín near the end, the visitors were unable to get the goal they needed to keep the championship alive for a little longer at least.
The other three games on Saturday all involved teams further down in the table, with Deportivo staying in the bottom three after they fell to a 1-0 defeat at Valladolid. The Galicians had gone seven games in a row without defeat, and a big contingent of fans made the trip from La Coruña to urge them on. However they were lucky not to go behind early on, Javi Guerra having a strike ruled out for a borderline offside, and Oscar volleying a shot over the bar. Bergantiños headed a Pizzi free kick against the post in reply, only for that too to be pulled up for offside, but three minutes after the restart the locals did take the lead, Guerra turning the ball past Aranzubia with his heel after Ebert's corner bounced across to him in front of goal. Fernando Vázquez eventually turned to Nelson Oliveira, the young Portuguese striker testing Jaime with a long shot which the keeper fumbled before eventually recovering as Riki charged in. Bruno Gama and Pizzi also brought good saves out of Jaime later on, and with eight minutes to go Oliveira got the ball in the net after Aythami played on Gama's corner, only for referee Mateu Lahoz to rule it out for a more than questionable offside. Depor's fate now lies in the hands of others, but Valladolid are now mathematically safe after moving eleven points clear of their opponents in the table.
Mallorca are close to relegation after a 2-1 defeat at Athletic Bilbao earlier in the day, and they remain in bottom spot, still four points away from safety with three tricky games to go. The locals also needed points though to be sure of staying up, and they took the lead in the seventh minute when Aurtenetxe intercepted Tissone's pass and crossed in for Aduríz to head wide of Aouate. A quarter of an hour later the Basque side should have gone further in front when they were awarded a penalty after Fontàs handled in the area, but Aouate saved Aduríz's spot kick, and although Muniain got the ball in the net on the follow up, the strike was ruled out for a foul on the keeper. Fontàs picked up a second booking in the incident though, and although Víctor brought a good save out of Iraizoz soon afterwards, it was always going to be an uphill battle for the visitors after that. Llorente came on to score a second for Athletic after Susaeta lifted the ball over the head of Aouate with ten minutes to go, and a Giovani goal from a well struck free kick came too late for the islanders, who ended with nine men after Ximo Navarro was also sent off in injury time.
Osasuna move four points clear of the drop zone though after a 1-0 victory over Getafe. The Pamplona based side really needed a win after only picking up two points from their last five games, and they took the control right from the start, Nino heading over the bar with the goal gaping in front of him following a corner, and Armenteros also heading wide a cross from De las Cuevas a few minutes later. Lafita replied for the visitors with a header wide of the post shortly before the break, but soon after the restart Kike Sola headed against the upright, Moyà pushing away the rebound with Nino closing in. Arribas finally got the goal that Osasuna wanted however a quarter of an hour from the end with a header from an Armenteros corner, and Mendilibar closed ranks after that to ensure a win which takes them close to another season in the top flight. (11.05.13)
A 0-0 draw between Levante and Zaragoza to kick off the weekend, a result which virtually ensures another season in the top flight for the locals, but leaves Manolo Jiménez's side just two points above the drop zone. With the league investigating match fixing allegations following the recent game against Deportivo, the Valencia based team were looking for a committed performance to prove their innocence. And they were unlucky not to go ahead in the opening minutes, referee Gil Manzano turning down a penalty appeal when José Fernández handled in the area, and then disallowing a strike by Acquafresca for a borderline offside. Visiting keeper Roberto did well to save a Pedro Ríos header, and Acquafresca and Ríos went close again, and although the Maños did start to push forward later on in the first half, Keylor Navas was hardly troubled in the local goal. Seven minutes after the restart however Diop got himself sent off for a hard tackle on Víctor Rodríguez, and soon afterwards Navas had to be on his toes to keep out a deflection from David Navarro. Postiga and Apoño fired shots over the top and Navas had to save from José Marí, but Roberto was also called upon to keep out an Iborra header later on. With the game in injury time Levante were left with nine men when Pedro López picked up a second booking, but the game ended a minute or so later, a draw probably a fair result all things considered. (10.05.13)