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La Liga Week 38: Deportivo La Coruña Relegated, 2010/11 La Liga Season Ends

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Racing Santander 1 - 2 Athletic Bilbao
The Basques secured automatic qualification to the Europa League Play-off round with a hard fought win. The hosts were perhaps the better side, but a two minute double salvo ended their hopes of a positive result. David López drew first blood with a brilliant free-kick (21') and on the very next possession Fernando Llorente was sent through all alone down the right side and he beat Toño with a clever chip (22'). Racing pushed even more after that, but despite creating several good opportunities all they managed was a consolidation goal by Kennedy Bakircioglü (88').

Deportivo La Coruña 0 - 2 Valencia CF
Deportivo had destiny in their own hand, but they couldn't make any of their scoring chances count. Although they had nothing to play for, Valencia played with their best available squad and immediately they proved to be to strong for Depor. Aritz Aduriz put Valencia ahead with a well placed shot (4'). The hosts, in need of the win, had several clear-cut scoring chances, but in the end their wastefulness sent them to the Segunda. With nobody back defending Depor allowed one more, Roberto Soldado was the scorer (90').

RCD Mallorca 3 - 4 Atlético Madrid
Even through Atlético won the thrilling match they had to settle for seventh place, while Mallorca escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth. Sergio Agüero (12', 59', 81') and Francisco Juanfran (18') scored for the visitors, while Jonathan De Guzman (62') and Pierre Webo (71', 90') scored for the home side. Atlético dominated the first half as well as the first part of the second and managed to take a commanding three goal lead. The islanders started to play better after that and made a game out of it with two quick goals, but ultimately their comeback fell a goal short.

Levante UD 1 - 2 Real Zaragoza
In need of three points Real Zaragoza went into the game determined to avoid relegation and they delivered a strong performance. They dominated Levante and in the end the score shouldn't have been this close. The visitors had two early goals disallowed, both for offside, but Gabi Fernández managed to score from a free-kick to put them deservedly in front (39'). Gabi struck again in the 73rd minute on a quick counter. Levante made it interesting from one of their few chances, when Christian Stuani buried a header (80'), but Zaragoza managed to hold on to the lead.

RCD Espanyol 2 - 3 Sevilla FC
With the hard fought win Sevilla secured a top five finish for the sixth consecutive season. They got off to a brilliant start as Álvaro Negredo scored just two minutes in. Espanyol had more chances from that point on, but it were again the visitors who scored, this time Frederic Kanouté scored the tap-in (45'). Pablo Daniel Osvaldo pulled the Barcelona based side back with a nice volley (54'), but only eight minutes later Negredo restored the two goal lead. Joan Verdú brought back some hope when he scored in the 73rd minute, but the end of the game was reserved for Ivan de la Peña's farewell.

Real Sociedad 1 - 1 Getafe CF
Real Sociedad and Getafe each earned a point that keeps both clubs in the Primera División. Both teams featured in several scenarios as the third team that will be relegated, but mostly because Valencia beat Deportivo both survived. Daniel Cata Diaz opened the scoring, with his first goal of the season, when he turned in a free-kick from close range (9'). Sociedad dominated the game from that point on and they were rewarded when substitute Francisco Sutil headed home a free-kick. Knowing the result of the Valencia-Deportivo game, both teams seemed content with the result and ended up just passing the ball around for the last 20 minutes.

Osasuna 1 - 0 Villarreal CF
The awful second half of the season for Villarreal came to a sad end with yet another loss. The Yellow Submarine won only four of their last seventeen games and while they again dominated the ball, they again couldn't find a way to beat the goalkeeper. Osasuna, however, began the match in danger of relegation, but after adding three points to their total they finished the season in ninth place. The only goalscorer was Alvaro Cejudo, who scored with a stunning 25 yards volley (42').

Real Madrid 8 - 1 UD Almería
Real Madrid, simply put, destroyed the relegated Almeria. Los Blancos' strikers put eight shots past Suarez Esteban who received almost no help from his teammates. Emmanuel Adebayor (31', 52', 73'), Cristiano Ronaldo (4', 77'), Karim Benzema (48', 63'), and Joselu, who made his debut, (87') scored for the hosts while Kalu Uche scored the consolidation goal for the visitors (33'). With the opening goal of the match, Ronaldo set a new record for goals scored in a single La Liga season and he ended the season at 40, claiming the Pichichi trophy.

Hércules CF 0 - 0 Sporting Gijón
Hércules tried to bid adieu to the Primera División with a victory, but they were left frustrated by Raúl Dominguez Carral who made several brilliant stops. The hosts dominated every facet of the game except the goals scored section. David Trezeguet appeared to have put the Alicante side in front, but the goal was ruled out for (marginal) offside. Sporting wasn't without chances, but they were few and far between, however, Unai Alba had to be on his game to stop the two shots that went toward his goal.

Málaga CF 1 - 3 FC Barcelona
Barcelona's reserve players mixed with B players staged a comeback and in the end won in comfortable fashion. The inexperienced showed, especially on defense, as Málaga managed to create good chances and from one of them Sebastián Fernández fired the hosts in the lead (31'). Barça slowly got their feet going and just before halftime Bojan Krkić was brought down in the box for a penalty. Bojan took it himself and confidently fired it just inside the post (44'). Ibrahim Afellay scored the game-winner with a well placed 20 yard strike (76') and Marc Bartra added to the lead when he headed home Alves' corner (84').

Recap
La Liga has to say goodbye to three teams: Almería, Hércules and Deportivo La Coruña. While the first two have sealed their fate weeks ago, (Not so) Super Depor fell to the 18th spot on the final day.

Two teams that will join the top-flight have already been determined and they are Real Betis and Rayo Vallecano. The promotion of Rayo Vallecano means we will again have four team from Spain's capital playing in Primera División, as they join Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid and Getafe.

The third team that will win a promotion will be decided after a four team promotion play-off. Three of them are Grenada, Elche and Celta Vigo, the fourth team officially isn't yet written in stone, but it is all but certain it will be Valladolid. Sadly, because rules prohibit promotion of teams that have parent clubs in the higher league, Barcelona B have no chance of a promotion.

To bid farewell to the seasons, goalscorers produced a fine effort, scoring 36 goals, 13 more than on the previous weekend. Only two goals came from penalty kick as the refs only showed to the spot on two occasions while only one player was sent off.

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GP W D L +/- Pts
1 same FC Barcelona 37
30
6
2 74
96
2 same Real Madrid 37 29 5 4
69
92
3 same Valencia CF 37 21
8
9
20
71
4 same Villarreal CF 37 18 8
12
10
62
5 same Sevilla FC 37 17
7
14
1
58
6 same Athletic Bilbao 37 18 4
16 4
58
7 same Atlético Madrid 37 17 7
14
9
58
8 same RCD Espanyol
37 15 4
19
-9
49
9 up Osasuna 37 13
8
17
-1
47
10 same Sporting Gijón 37 11
14
13
-7
47
11 down Málaga CF
37 13
7
18
-14
46
12 down Racing Santander
37 12
10
16
-15
46
13 up Real Zaragoza 37 12
9
17
-13
45
14 down Levante UD
37 12
9
17
-11 45
15 down Real Sociedad
37 14
3
21
-17
45
16 same Getafe CF
37 12
8
18
-11 44
17 down RCD Mallorca
37 12
8
18
-15 44
18 down Deportivo La Coruña 37 10
13
15
-16 43
19 same Hércules CF 37 9
8
21
-24 35
20 same UD Almería 37 6
12
20 -34 30