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Atletico Madrid third while Eibar, Almeria go down

Atletico Madrid and Valencia secured Champions League football with a draw and a win respectively.

FEATURED WRITER
News 24 May 2015, 15:20 IST
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Madrid, May 24 (IANS): Spanish football club FC Barcelona were confirmed as La Liga champions a week ago and Cordoba long condemned to relegation to second division, the remaining issues were settled on the final day of the season.

Saturday's round of matches kicked-off with Atletico Madrid and Valencia contesting for third place in the standings with Sevilla also having options to finish ahead of Valencia and qualify for next season's Champions League, reports Xinhua.

Meanwhile, Athletic Club Bilbao and Malaga both had hopes of finishing seventh and qualifying for next season's Europa League while Eibar, Granada, Deportivo la Coruna and Almeria were all desperate to avoid the two relegation places still to be decided.

Ninety minutes later, Almeria and Eibar had been relegated while Atletico Madrid assured third place and Valencia qualified for the Champions League at the death.

Atletico Madrid and Granada produced 90 minutes in which there was just one shot on target but at the end, the 0-0 favoured both sides, given results on other grounds.

Almeria lost 2-3 at home to Valencia, who needed an 80th-minute goal from Paco Alcacer to assure their Champions League spot after they had twice trailed to their rivals.

Alcacer's goal meant that Sevilla's 3-1 win in Malaga was not enough to qualify Unai Emery's side for the Champions League. Jose Antonio Reyes, Ever Banega and Alex Vidal scored for Sevilla, who can still qualify for the Champions League if they win the Europa League final.

Athletic Club Bilbao very quickly assured seventh spot thanks to a thumping 4-0 win at home to Villarreal. Athletic warmed up for the Cup final with a brace of goals from Aritz Aduriz while Andoni Iraola celebrated his last league appearance for the club with a goal and Benat scored a free-kick.

Barcelona rested key players for their game at home to Deportivo la Coruna and gave debuts to Thomas Vermaelen and goalkeeper Felip Masip. Although Lionel Messi put Barcelona 2-0 up, they then relaxed and Lucas and Diogo gave Deportivo the point which keeps them in the elite.

Spain's system of head-to-head goal difference means that despite having 35 points, the same as Granada and Deportivo, Eibar are relegated despite ending the campaign with a superior goal average to their two rivals.

The draws in Camp Nou and in Granada means Eibar's 3-0 win at home to Cordoba was not enough to keep them in La Liga for a second season. Elsewhere, Levante and Elche drew 0-0 while Celta won an entertaining but meaningless game 3-2 at home to Espanyol.

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