First Division - Day 38

Valladolid 3 - Villarreal 0

Valladolid: Bizzarri; Jonathan, Peña, Julio César, Oscar Sánchez; Figueredo, Zapata; Fernando Sales (Javi Moré 78'), Sousa (Chema 84'), Oscar González (Caminero 85'); Losada. 4-2-3-1.
Villarreal: Reina; Belletti, Quique Alvarez, Coloccini, Arruabarrena; Battaglia (Víctor 79'), Josico; José Marí, Riquelme, Roger (Marcos Senna 58'); Sonny Anderson. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Valladolid: Peña, Figueredo, Sousa for Torres Gómez, Marcos, Caminero / Villarreal: No change.

1-0. 32. Losada. Beat Reina from left of goal after running past defence.
2-0. 81. Losada. Header down past Reina from Javi Moré's centre.
3-0. 86. Caminero. Got on the end of Javi Moré's cross to head past keeper.

Valladolid's run of ten years in the top flight came to an end despite a valiant effort, The "Pucelanos" beating Villarreal 3-0 but unable to get ahead of Espanyol, who eventually beat Murcia in their match. It was always going to be difficult, Antonio Santos's side needing to win and hope that Espanyol and Celta both didn't, but for a while they were out of the relegation zone after Losada picked up a pass from Oscar to beat Reina on the half hour mark.

Villarreal were also desperate for a win to hold off Sevilla and Atlético for the last UEFA cup spot, and the game had got off to a lively start, with both sides testing the opposing keeper a number of times. Bizzarri kept out efforts from Sonny Anderson and Riquelme near the break which would have levelled the scores, and Reina did well to stop Losada from scoring a second after the restart.

The local fans were relieved when their opponents were reduced to ten men after José Marí was sent off for an off-the-ball incident with Zapata, but almost immediately news came through that Tamudo had scored for Espanyol. The ground went silent, and when Losada got a second goal and then veteran Caminero came on to score a third in what was probably his last game, they didn't have the heart to cheer.

When the final whistle blew the tears started to flow, not helped by the disappointment of the visitors who had missed out on a place in Europe thanks to wins by Sevilla and Atlético. The Zorrilla stadium was a cold place to be, and for once it wasn't the fault of the wind.