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La Liga Week 37: Barcelona Lift La Liga Trophy, One Relegation Spot Left

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Villarreal CF 1 - 3 Real Madrid
Real Madrid continued their fantastic end to the season with another comfortable win, over the sunken submarine. The hosts appeared to have taken the early lead, but Marco Ruben's goal was disallowed for offside. Real Madrid took the lead when on a quick break the ball got to Marcelo who chipped it over Diego Lopez (17'). Five minutes later Cristiano Ronaldo doubled the lead with a brilliant free kick. Cani made it interesting when he slotted home a low cross in the second half (51'). Villarreal were looking to score the equlizer, but they failed to do so, moreover, they allowed Ronaldo to tie the La Liga goalscoring record with another free kick (90+3').

Getafe CF 2 - 0 Osasuna
Getafe desperately needed the win to boost their chances of avoiding relegation. The Madrid based team was the more dangerous side throughout the game, but they couldn't find the back of the net. They got some help from Miguel Flaño who tucked the ball behind his own keeper (65'). Osasuna almost stole a point in the dying stages of the match, but Oscar Ustari denied Walter Pandiani with a brilliant save. Pedro Ríos added a goal for the hosts with a powerful shot to put any doubts about to winner to rest (90+2').

Sevilla FC 3 - 1 Real Sociedad
Sevilla outperformed their relegation threatened opponents and recorded a comfortable victory. The hosts threatened early and often, but they couldn't get one by Claudio Bravo. Bravo was on his game, but he only managed to keep a clean sheet until the 54th minute when Frederic Kanouté headed in Martín Caceres' cross. Six minutes later Kanouté struck again, again with a header. Imanol Agirretxe pulled one back when he fired a low shot just inside the post (72'), but anything more was not possible for the visitors. Sevilla made the game safe when Álvaro Negredo added one of his own (85').

Real Zaragoza 1 - 0 RCD Espanyol
Relegation threatened Real Zaragoza earned three big points in an attempt to avoid the drop, but with one game left they are still on the wrong side of the cut line. With the loss Espanyol lost all hope of playing in Europe next season. In the highly entertaining match the hosts held initiative throughout and they were rewarded for their strong performance. Leonardo Ponzio, who had several dangerous long range shots, scored the winner with a stunning drive from 25 yards out (55'). Espanyol had a couple chances to tie it, but their shots weren't good enough to beat Leo Franco.

Valencia CF 0 - 0 Levante UD
Los Che were held to a goalless draw by their city rivals, Levante UD, in the Valencia derby. Levante played better than the hosts in the opening minutes, but their chances of a win were diminished when Xisco Nadal was shown a red card (21'). From that point on Valencia dominated, but they failed to make their numerical advantage count. Levante goalkeeper Gustavo Munua was very busy, but he was up for the challenge and earned his team a much needed point.

FC Barcelona 0 - 0 Deportivo La Coruña
On the eve of receiving the league trophy Barcelona and Deportivo played out an uninspiring draw. With the league decided Guardiola sent out his second team, which in true Barcelona fashion dominated possession. However, getting the ball on net was a different story as the hosts ended two shots on goal. Depor wasn't having much luck with their shots either, but had it not been for Victor Valdés, Riki would have won it in the final minute.

Athletic Bilbao 1 - 1 Málaga CF
Athletic faced the much improved Málaga team and managed to stop two streaks. They ended Málaga's five game winning steak and held Julio Baptista off the scoresheet for the first time in six games. The Basques started the game strong, but it were actually the visitors who took the lead. Recio raced in all alone and he made no mistake as he beat Gorka Iraizoz to the far side (42').

Málaga appeared to be gaining momentum, but then Martín Demichelis received a second yellow card for a foul inside the penalty area (52'). David López stepped up and shot it off the bar, but he got another chance two minutes later when Eliseu conceded a penalty for a handball. This time López sent Wilfredo Caballero the wrong way. Caballero was forced to make a few good spots to ensure his team a point that assures them top flight football next season.

Sporting Gijón 2 - 1 Racing Santander
Sporting Gijón came back from being down by one and deservedly won three points that guarantee them survival. Teams exchanged chances in the first 30 minutes, but fans had to wait a little longer for the opener. Racings Christian Fernández beat the offside trap and beat the goalkeeper with a low shot (32'). Sporting pushed forward and they equalized through Miguel de las Cuevas who sent a shot by Mario Fernandez (44'). Six minutes after the interval the hosts took the lead. Nacho Novo stayed calm despite mishandling the ball and put Sporting in front. Los Rojiblancos pushed for more, but the stunning Mario, who amassed fourteen (14!) saves wouldn't allow anything.

Atlético Madrid 2 - 1 Hércules CF
Los Colchoneros struggled against the relegated Hércules, but in the end they scraped a victory that puts them in the Europa League in the following season. Atlético got off to a perfect start as Alvaro Dominguez scored inside the opening minute. The visitors then pushed for the equalizer and they had a perfect chance to do so when Jorge Pulido committed a foul in the area, but David Trezeguet saw his attempt superbly saved by David De Gea (30'). Hércules continued to press and they finally tied it through Trezeguet (67'). Atlético responded almost immediately and they took the lead when José Antonio Reyes sent a first-time shot to the back of the net (71').

UD Almería 3 - 1 RCD Mallorca
Mallorca missed out on a fantastic opportunity to secure a place in the Primera División against the bottom Almería team. The hosts struck early and often to win just their sixth game of the season. After a bad defensive mistake, Pablo Piatti sent in a low cross and left Kalu Uche with a simple tap-in to put Almería in front (5'). Nine minutes later Juan Manuel Ortiz found himself in the right place at the right time and sent the ball down the middle. Piatti added to the lead after another defensive breakdown by the islanders (32'). Pierre Webo put some life back into the Mallorca squad when he sent the ball into the empty net (42'), but Laudrup's men couldn't score more.

Recap
As it stands almost everything is decided in this years Spanish league. Two things have yet to be determined though. That is who is the third club that will be relegated and which club will advance straight to the play-off round of the Europa League and who will have to go through the qualifying stages.

Seven teams will be trying to avoid the drop, but as luck would have it two games will be played between relegation threatened teams so those should be very exciting match-ups. For the Europa League Sevilla, Atlético Madrid and Athletic Bilbao are currently tied at 55 points, but only two of them automatically get to the play-off round.

The forwards of some clubs appear to be already thinking about the summer break as there were only 23 goals scored, seven less than on Day 36. Referees, though, had a busy Sunday. They showed quite a lot yellow card, two red cards and awarded three penalties, of which only one was converted.

Only one day, Day 38, of La Liga football is left. All matches will be played on Saturday May 21, but because some games won't decide anything, not all will be played at the same time.

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GP W D L +/- Pts
1 same FC Barcelona 37
29
6
2 72
93
2 same Real Madrid 37 28 5 4
62
89
3 same Valencia CF 37 20
8
9
18
68
4 same Villarreal CF 37 18 8
11
11
62
5 up Sevilla FC 37 16
7
14
0
55
6 down Athletic Bilbao 37 17 4
16 3
55
7 same Atlético Madrid 37 16 7
14
8
55
8 same RCD Espanyol
37 15 4
18
-8
49
9 up Málaga CF 37 13
7
17
-12
46
10 up Sporting Gijón 37 11
13
13
-17
46
11 down Racing Santander
37 12
10
15
-14
46
12 same Levante UD
37 12
9
16
-10
45
13 down RCD Mallorca
37 12
8
17
-14
44
14 same Real Sociedad 37 14
2
21
-17 44
15 down Osasuna
37 12
8
17
-2 44
16 up Getafe CF
37 12
7
18
-11 43
17 down Deportivo La Coruña 37 10
13
14
-14 43
18 same Real Zaragoza
37 11
9
17
-14 42
19 same Hércules CF 37 9
7
21
-24 34
20 same UD Almería 37 6
12
19 -27 30