An exciting night of football in La Liga, with many issues only decided on the last day. The match with most at stake was at the Riazor stadium in La Coruña, with hosts Deportivo just needing a win to be sure of staying up, but visitors Real Sociedad also needing the three points to have a chance of making it in to the last Champions League spot. In the end though the Basque side ran out 0-1 winners thanks to a strike midway through the first half by Griezmann, and with erstwhile fourth placed Valencia losing 4-3 at Sevilla (all four of the local goals coming from Spain reject Negredo), Real will be playing in Europe's top competition next year.
Deportivo's defeat was a devastating blow though, and for the second time in three years they will be going down after losing at home when a victory on the final day would have kept them up. More galling as well was the fact that the team who saved themselves this time were their regional rivals Celta, who beat Espanyol 1-0 with an early strike from Natxo Insa to move above their Galician nighbours in the table.
Mallorca and Zaragoza were also relegated, the former starting the day at the bottom of the table, but almost saving the day after a 4-2 win over Valladolid. Had Espanyol equalised at Balaidos they would have been the ones to stay up, but alas it was not to be, and they go down for the first time in sixteen years. Zaragoza themselves fell to a 1-3 defeat against Atlético Madrid, with all four goals coming in the final five minutes or so, and they ended the season in last place in the table.
Valencia will have to make do with the Europa League after losing at Sevilla, and they will be joined by Betis, who got the point they needed after a 1-1 draw at Levante. Whether Pepe Mel's team enter at the preliminary stage or later on though will depend upon Málaga's appeal against their European ban next Tuesday, Pellegrini's side finishing a point above their fellow Andalusians in sixth spot despite losing 4-1 at Barcelona (who matched Real Madrid's record haul of 100 points with the win). Rayo Vallecano are eighth after a 2-2 draw against Athletic Bilbao, but they too have to try and overturn a ban, and if they fail as well then ninth placed Sevilla may take that third and final E-League spot.
Two other matches on Saturday, with Getafe seeing their slim hopes of making it in to Europe disappear after a 2-0 defeat at Granada, and Real Madrid ending their season with a 4-2 win over Osasuna. Mourinho got a mixed reception from supporters on his last match in charge, although he was at least given an award after the game ended by the more radical fans. (01.06.13)