A grueling and exciting season of the Spanish La Liga finally comes to an end. With Barca already declared champions for the third consecutive time and Real Madrid chasing them till the end, the last week was all about the relegation battle and places for Europe. Six teams were staring at a possible end to their first division football for the next season. There were European places still up for grabs.
Finally Deportivo La Coruña joined Hercules and Almeria in relegation. It was a sad end to a team which was once was the ‘Super Depo’. Deportivo had their destiny in their own hands which was to win their match against Valencia, but they missed a whole lot of chances en route to ending up the losing side.
Malaga 1 – 3 Barcelona
Hercules 0 – 0 Sporting Gijon
Real Madrid 8 – 1 Almeria
Deportivo La Coruna 0 – 2 Valencia
Espanyol 2 – 3 Sevilla
Levante 1 – 2 Zaragoza
Mallorca 3 – 4 Atletico Madrid
Osasuna 1 – 0 Villarreal
Racing Santander 1 – 2 Athletic Bilbao
Real Sociedad 1 – 1 Getafe
The last round of matches saw some exciting games all around Spain. Real Madrid were on a rampage decimating Almeria who were already out of the top division. FC Barcelona were completely concentrating on their UCL Finals. They left home most of their stars but the second string side was good enough to come away with a victory. Aguero continued his impressive form to net a hatrick to give Athletico Madrid a deserved the victory. An exhausted Villarreal went down to Osasuna. Sevilla finished the season strong and clinched the European places. Valencia and Villarreal joined Barcelona and Real Madrid for the UCL places. Sevilla and Bilbao finished in the Europa places.
Victor Valdes has won the Zamora award for the fourth time in his career with the second best record in the league’s history.
Game of the week:
Deportivo La Coruna 0 – 2 Valencia
It was a game of life or death for Deportivo. Valencia had nothing to gain except to further strength their third place in the table. But Deportivo had to get a favorable result to stay up. This presented a perfect scenario for an interesting match up. Deportivo who throughout this season has been so negative in their attacking play suddenly had to attack from the onset. Having a player of Valeron’s quality always helps. But it was the visitors who opened the scoring immediately with Joaquin picking out Aduriz with a nice cross who finished it neatly. Deportivo had chances of their own as they came close and even hit the bar. But as they kept pushing men forward, Valencia found space behind the defense time and again. Mata and Soldado came close on numerous occasions.
Deportivo were still behind at half time and the other results were going against them. With Zaragoza, Getafe, Sociedad and Osasuna on course for points in their respective games, Deportivo simply had to score to stay alive. Valeron was still giving hopes with his vision and passing. But the chances were not taken. Finally Valencia buried one of their own chances in the injury time to bring down the curtains on Deportivo’s season and first division football.
Player of the week
Real Zaragoza were one of the teams who were facing a real possibility of an exit from La Liga next season. Gabi their captain stepped up and produced a dominating performance for Zaragoza that saw them surviving the relegation battle. He scored twice on either side of the break to give them a deserved win that keep them in the first league for the next season. His first goal was a free kick and the second was a right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner.
Goal of the week:
Ibrahim Afellay (FC Barcelona)
It was essentially a dead rubber of a match with FC Barcelona already crowned the champions of Spain. But there were a lot of rumors about Ibrahim Afellay moving away from the Camp Nou after the end of this season. But he proved his quality with a very well taken goal. A very versatile player who can play a number of positions, Afellay received the ball out wide on the left side of the field. He then cut inside unleashing a perfect shot from outside of the box curling in to the far corner of the post that gave the lead for Barcelona against Malaga.
Team of the week:
César (GK)(Valencia), Javier Paredes (Zaragoza), Vadim Demidov (Real Sociedad), David Navarro (Valencia), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Marcos Senna (Villarreal), Mesut Özil (Real Madrid), Ibrahim Afellay (FC Barcelona), Gabi (Zaragoza), Álvaro Negredo (Sevilla), Benzema (Real Madrid)
Primera División table
1. Barcelona – 96 points (Champions)
2. Real Madrid – 92 points
3. Valencia – 71 points
4. Villarreal – 62 points
5. Sevilla – 58 points
Race for the Pichichi
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – 40
2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 31
3. Sergio Agüero (Atletico Madrid) / Álvaro Negredo (Sevilla) – 20
4. David Villa (FC Barcelona) / Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal) / Roberto Soldado (Valencia) / Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao) – 18
5. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) – 15