Having already sealed the runners-up spot in midweek, Villareal recorded a 2-0 home win over Espaynol.
The result leaves Villareal ten points ahead of third-place Barcelona with just one game left, and caps an excellent season for the side from Castellon. Barca, thrashed in midweek by arch-rivals Real Madrid, slumped to a 3-2 home defeat by Mallorca at the Nou Camp. The home side took a two-goal lead through Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o, before Mallorca came back with second-half goals from Borja, Webo and Guiza. For Barca, even third place is by no means guaranteed, with Atletico Madrid and Sevilla both hot on their heels.
Sevilla beat their local rivals Real Betis 2-0. Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano, linked in midweek with a move to English football, opened the scoring in the 33rd minute before Fazio struck a second six minutes into the second half. Atletico Madrid beat Deportivo 1-0, with former Villareal striker Diego Forlan getting the only goal after 45 minutes. With one game left to play, only goal difference separates Barcelona in third from Atletico Madrid in fourth, with Sevilla just one point behind. If results go against them next week, the Catalan giants may even fail to qualify for the Champions’ League altogether. By their own high standards, theirs has been a truly disastrous campaign.
At the wrong end of the table, Valencia routed Levante 5-1 to achieve mathematical safety. Spanish striker David Villa, a reported transfer target for both Arsenal and Tottenham, scored a hat-trick. Real Zaragoza earned a creditable point against champions Real Madrid in a 2-2 draw, with goals from Oliveira and Sergio cancelling out efforts from Robinho and Van Nistelrooy. With Osasuna beating Murcia at home, Zaragoza remain in the relegation places going into the final round of matches. Getafe’s safety is guaranteed after a goalless draw at Valladolid. One from Zaragoza, Osasuna, Recreativo and Valladolid will be relegated next week, joining Murcia and Levante.