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La Liga Week 36: Barcelona Win La Liga, Hércules Relegated

Let's celebrate!
Let's celebrate!

Deportivo La Coruña 2 - 1 Athletic Bilbao
Deportivo, in need of every possible point recorded an enormous victory against the Basque giants, but they had to work hard for the three points. Athletic started the match with a quick goal from Gaizka Toquero (3'), but after that they struggled to get anywhere near Daniel Aranzubía's net. They did, however, help Depor put two behind Gorka Iraizoz. In the 22nd minute Adrián fired a shot that would go wide, but the ball hit Carlos Gurpegui and went into his own net. In the even second half the hosts managed to snatch the win when Adrián tried to set up Riki, but Xabier Castillo intervened and sent the ball past his own keeper.

Málaga CF 2 - 0 Sporting Gijón
The hottest team in the league at the moment, Málaga, recorded their fifth win on the run, while Julio Baptista extended his scoring streak to six games. The Brazilian scored just nine minutes from kick-off with an impressive scissor-kick. Málaga continued to control the game, but they allowed Sporting a few good chances and Wilfredo Caballero did good to spot them. In the 68th minute Eliseu scored on a quick counter to bring the game to a calm ending.

 

Racing Santander 2 - 1 Atlético Madrid
Racing Santanter came back from an early deficit to earn three points and put themselves out of reach of the relegation zone. Mario Suárez scored early with a powerful shot from the edge of the box to put Los Colchoneros in the lead. The visitors would continue to hold the ball for prolonged periods of time, but they registered no more shots on goal. Racing, however, peppered David De Gea with shots and in the 38th minute Kennedy Bakircioglü equalized from a free kick. Markus Rosenberg scored the eventual game winner on a counterattack (48'). In the remaining 45 minute there were no noteworthy chances.

Real Madrid 4 - 0 Getafe CF
In the smaller Madrid derby, Real Madrid dominated their opponents. The hosts gave their opponents from the suburbs no chance as the controlled the whole 90 minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo recorded another hat-trick (24', 58', 90') and Karim Benzema added a goal of his own. Every Madrid player was looking to make that extra pass and set up Ronaldo, as he is hunting the all-time La Liga record. All three goals by the Portuguese striker came from close range while Benzema's goal came just seconds after he came on the pitch as a substitute.

UD Almería 0 - 0 Villarreal CF
Villarreal's miserable form continued, as they failed to win against the Segunda bound Almería. The Yellow Submarine had the opportunity to inch closer to Valencia, but the team lacked intensity and desire. It was not a very entertaining game as both teams looked slow and struggled to create chances. But even when the ball got into good scoring position, the attackers of both teams unsuccessfully tried to score.

Real Sociedad 2 - 1 Real Zaragoza
The hosts left it late, but with the win they have all but assured themselves a place in the Primera División. Raúl Tamudo struck twice in the early stages, but his first goal was, correctly, ruled out for offside. His official opener came when he showed fantastic touch to round the keeper and slot it into the open net (24'). On the other side Zaragoza also had a goal canceled out for offside, but replayed shoved the linesman made the wrong call.

The visitors pressed forward and they were rewarded when Gabi fired a curled a free kick just inside the post. From that point both teams had several clear cut chances to score the winner, but the game looked destined for a draw. But Mikel Aranburu pounces on a badly cleared corner, fired a volley that took a deflection and caught Leo France wrong footed.

Levante UD 1 - 1 FC Barcelona
Barcelona didn't waste any time and secured their third straight title at the first available opportunity . Seydou Keita put Barca in the lead when he headed home Xavi's floated pass (28'). The visitors dominated the ball for a season high 84%, but Levande did get their chances. Felipe Caicedo, who was a thorn in Barcelona side throughout the game, capitalized on a joint mistake by Gerard Pique and Víctor Valdés to tie the score (41'). Lionel Messi had a simply stunning run in the second half, but he was stopped by the post. Both sides seemed content with the score and Barcelona stepped on the ball and calmly brought the game to an end.

RCD Espanyol 2 - 2 Valencia CF
Espanyol fought back after being twice down by one, to keep hopes of playing in Europe next season alive. The hosts' defensive voes surfaced early as Raúl Rodríguez mishandled a pass and Roberto Soldado was left with an easy finish (9'). Ten minutes later it was all tied when Pablo Daniel Osvaldo fired a shot just under the bar. Juan Manuel Mata put Valencia back in front six minutes later with a simple redirection. Teams exchanged chances for the next hour, but neither scored until Ernesto Galán pounced on a rebound (76').

Hércules CF 2 - 2 RCD Mallorca
A second half fightback by the islanders resulted in destroying all hope Hércules had for another season in Primera División. The hosts got off to a fantastic start and took the lead just 12 minute in when Sendoa Aguirre Basterrechea fired one from close range. The same player scored again four minute before the break, from virtually the same position. Mallorca organized their ranks in the second half. Víctor Casadesús made it interesting when he scored from the edge of the area (76'). After four minutes it was all tied as Pierre Webo brilliantly chipped the ball over Piet Velthuizen.

Osasuna 3 - 2 Sevilla FC
An thrilling match saw Osasuna mount a sensational second half comeback over the uninspired Sevilla. The hosts played a very good game, but in the first half they allowed three half-chances to the visitors and Álvaro Negredo buried two of them with headers (26', 28'). Osasuna didn't deserve to be losing at halftime, let alone by two, so immediately after kickoff they started with the recovery. Kike Sola was first to Javier Camuñas' cross to cut the lead in half (46'). The comeback was completed in the final minutes of the match. Firstly Sola struck again with a well placed shot in 87th minute and only three minutes later substitute Dejan Lekic fired home the deserved game winner.

Recap
FC Barcelona only needed one put to secure another title and they got just that. With the title Guardiola became the first manager to hoist the league trophy three times in his first three years as a manager.

On the other end of the table Hércules, one of only two teams that beat Barcelona, was officially relegated after they let a two goal lead slide and ended the game with a draw. That means only one team that will be relegated is left to be determined. Nine teams will be battling it out to not "win" that 18th spot.

Goalscoring was again aplenty as teams again reached the 30 goal plateau, this week with exactly 30. Only one of the came from the spot as the referees kept games clean. Also they only sent only one player to an early shower.

Due to several close races in the league, every single game of Day 37 will be played on Sunday, 15 May at 21:00 CET.

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GP W D L +/- Pts
1 same FC Barcelona 36
29
5
2 72
92
2 same Real Madrid 36 27 5 4
60
86
3 same Valencia CF 36 20
7
9
18
67
4 same Villarreal CF 36 18 8
10
13
62
5 same Athletic Bilbao 36 17
3
16
3
54
6 same Sevilla FC
36 15 7
14 -2
52
7 same Atlético Madrid 36 15 7
14
7
52
8 same RCD Espanyol
36 15 4
17
-7
49
9 up Racing Santander 36 12
10
14
-13
46
10 up Málaga CF 36 13
6
17
-12
45
11 same RCD Mallorca 36 12
8
16
-12
44
12 down Levante UD
36 12
8
16
-10
44
13 up Osasuna
36 12
8
16
0 44
14 up Real Sociedad 36 14
2
20
-15 44
15 down Sporting Gijón
36 10
13
13
-8 43
16 up Deportivo La Coruña 36 10
12
14
-14 42
17 down Getafe CF
36 11
7
18 -13 40
18 down Real Zaragoza
36 10
9
17
-15 39
19 same Hércules CF 36 9
7
20
-23 34
20 same UD Almería 36 5
12
19 -29 27