Mon 29 May 2023 9:43 am - Jerusalem Time
Spain Championship: Real Sociedad secures the Champions League seat, and Espanyol is relegated
Real Sociedad secured the final fourth place that qualifies for the Champions League next season, despite losing to its host Atletico Madrid 1-2, on Sunday, at the end of the penultimate 37th stage competitions, which saw Espanyol drop to the second division, with a 2-2 draw with Valencia.
Coach Emmanuel Alguasil's team qualified for the main continental competition for the first time since 2013, after Rayo Vallecano rendered a service to the Basque club by defeating Villarreal V 2-1, noting that the latter will play in the European League competition "Europa League" similar to Real Betis, the winner of Girona 2. -1, with two goals from Borja Iglesias (47 and 77).
Sociedad secured fourth place with 68 points, 5 points ahead of Villarreal, who could no longer catch up with him before the end.
Frenchman Antoine Griezmann imposed himself as a star in the match, opening the scoring (37) and passing the ball for the second goal to Argentine Nahuel Molina (73). Sociedad scored the only Norwegian goal, Alexander Sorloth, two minutes before the end of the regular time of the match (88).
Atletico ranks third with 76 points, one point behind its arch-neighbor in the capital, Real, who beat Seville 2-1 on Saturday in the opening competitions of this stage.
On the other hand, Espanyol fell to the second after the imposed wing of Valencia, Brazilian substitute Samuel Leno, equalized in the third minute of stoppage time.
The “bats” team opened the scoring through Diego Lopes (38), before Espanyol responded with goals from Cesar Montes (40) and Danish substitute Martin Braithwaite (50).
Espanyol occupies the penultimate nineteenth place with 36 points, while the bottom club Elche was relegated earlier (24 points), provided that the identity of the relegated third team is determined, as Valladolid hopes to avoid drinking the bitter cup after its goalless draw with Almeria.
Valladolid occupies the eighteenth place with 39 points, one point behind the seventeenth Celta Vigo, who lost to its host Cadiz 0-1.
Barcelona, the champion, won its last match at its historic stadium, “Camp Nou”, at home to the imperfect Real Mallorca, 3-0, scored by Ansu Fati (1 and 24) and Gavi (70).
Blaugrana fans bid farewell to captains Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, who will leave the club at the end of the season.
Barcelona played its last match at Camp Nou because its restoration and expansion works will prevent coach Xavi Hernandez's men from playing matches against him next season, as they will have to play their home matches at the Louis Companes Olympic Stadium.
However, the injury of young left-back Alejando Balde in the 14th minute, after a strong intervention from Senegalese Mallorca striker Amath Ndiaye, who was sent off, spoiled the joy of the Catalans.
And Barcelona reported during the evening that the 19-year-old Spanish international was suffering from a “partial tear in the external ligament of the right ankle,” and that he would be out for between six and seven weeks. He will not be able to join La Roja's squad for the semi-finals of the European Nations League competition in mid-June in the Netherlands.