Barcelona, May 20 (IANS) FC Barcelona celebrated their conquest of the La Liga season with a 2-1 win at home to Valladolid.
Although they were without the injured Lionel Messi Sunday night, Barcelona were never in trouble against a Valladolid side who had little to play for and the fact there were just 10 fouls in the entire match showed the lack of tension in the match, reports Xinhua.
Barcelona opened the scoring through Pedro Rodriguez after 21 minutes and doubled their lead just before halftime when Marc Valiente put past his own goalkeeper.
The second half was played at a comfortable pace and Barca never looked in trouble, although they must have regretted a handful of misses when Martin Montoya committed a penalty against Manucho in the last minute to allow Jesus Vazquez to pull a late goal back.
With Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid not in action after their dramatic Spanish Cup final Friday, the main focus of the week was on the battle for fourth place and Real Sociedad showed a lot of grit in clinging onto fourth spot with a 2-1 win away to Sevilla.
Igor Rakitic had put Sevilla ahead after 11 minutes before scoring an own goal barely five minutes later and Imanol Agirretxe continued his excellent form with a 24th minute strike. The rest of the game was a thrilling affair with both goalkeepers making fine saves but there were no more goals and Real Sociedad remained fourth.
Valencia had temporarily moved above the Basque side earlier in the day with a 1-0 win away to Getafe thanks to a 44th minute goal from Jeremy Matthieu but Real Sociedad’s win means they remained there for just two hours.
Rayo Vallecano remain in the fight for a place in next season’s Europa League with a 3-2 win away to Levante. Piti scored twice for Rayo along with Mudo Vazquez while Roberto Aguafresca and Iborra netted for the home side.
In the battle to avoid relegation Granada more or less assured their La Liga future with a 3-0 win at home to Osasuna. El Arabi, Siqueira and Diego Buonanotte scored for Granada whose win leaves Osasuna in serious danger of relegation.
Meanwhile, Deportivo la Coruna kept their hopes of avoiding relegation alive with a battling 2-0 win at home to Espanyol. The visitors missed chances through Christian Stuani and Sergio Garcia but Deportivo’s faith and goals from Bruna Gama and substitute Nelson Oliveira gave them a vital three points.
The win was even more valuable when Athletic Bilbao scored two late goals to defeat Zaragoza 2-1 in the La Romareda Stadium.
Helder Postiga had put Zaragoza ahead and the fans were starting to think about taking another step closer to safety when Fernando Llorente equalised from close range with 10 minutes left.
A draw would have kept Zaragoza out of the bottom three but Oscar de Marcos and Ibai Gomez combined in the 93rd minute to give Athletic a win which had looked unlikely 10 minutes earlier. Athletic are now safe from the drop while Zaragoza have got a lot of work to do in order to avoid relegation.
Betis have a chance to strengthen their European credentials at home to bottom of the table.