Race for the Champions league qualification in La Liga took a new route this week as Valencia destroyed Malaga on Saturday and Real Sociedad drew their match with local rivals Osasuna yesterday. With just six games left in the season, Valencia gave themselves a real boost for the final run of games to have a shot at the Champions league next season.
However, Real Sociedad still looks strong to hold on to their slender lead to clinch the 4th place. Real Sociedad, who have been this season’s surprise package under Phillipe Montanier’s shrewd leadership. A failure to complete a great season without a playoff ticket to Champions League would be devastating for the fans of the Royal Society. Carlos Vela and Antoine Griezmann were the main main focus last night as they have spear headed Sociedad’s season, but neither of them managed to get on the score sheet resulting in a 0-0 draw, lending further hopes for the 5th placed Valencia.
Although Sociedad still rely on themselves to buy the most prestigious tickets in Europe, the box in Anoeta is aware that the ticket is not safe and that your best cake needs a cherry.
Else where, Falcao scored his 25th La Liga goal of the season to help his side maintain distance with Real Madrid in the race for the second place. It was a hard earned 3 points for the capital club against Sevilla who held their ground until after the 76 minute when the Colombian stretched his left leg to meet a low cross from Raul Garcia to net in the all important goal. With the win yesterday, Atletico still holds an outside chance of finishing second.
Talking after the game, Atletico’s manager said:
“There was a lot of tension on the pitch, but that is football, afterward players from both sides spoke to each other normally,” Simeone said. “My team worked extremely hard today. The important thing is always the team. I don’t give too much weight to details like yellow cards.”
The great escape of Deportivo from the drop zone had a minor halt this week as they drew their match 1-1 against Bilbao and stand two points clear of the relegation zone at 15th.
Elsewhere usual suspects Barcelona and Real Madrid picked up three points. Barcelona maintained its 13-point lead by edging out Levante 1-0 on Saturday, after Madrid beat Real Betis 3-1. Also, Granada who could have added three valuable points to their tally drew 1-1 with Valladolid failing to capitalize on Mallorca’s draw with Rayo Vallecano on Friday. Last-place Celta Vigo hosts second-to-last Real Zaragoza on Monday.