Osasuna, Valladolid relegated from Spanish league
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Osasuna and Valladolid were relegated on the final day of the Spanish league season on Sunday and will join the already doomed Real Betis in the second division next season.
Osasuna’s 2-1 win at home over Betis was overshadowed by a railing collapse that left dozens of fans injured, and counted for little when Granada won 1-0 at Valladolid, Getafe beat Rayo Vallecano 2-1 and Almeria drew 0-0 with visiting Athletic Bilbao.
Play was delayed for more than half an hour at Osasuna’s Sadar Stadium when a railing collapsed following Oriol Riera’s 12th-minute goal, sending fans tumbling forward. The club said that a total of 68 people were hurt and that one man suffered a broken leg.
The other three matches with relegation implications were then delayed an extra 35 minutes during halftime to synchronize their estimated finishing times.
Before the games to determine relegation were over, the party in the Spanish capital had already begun with Atletico Madrid celebrating its league title with thousands of fans.
Osasuna hasn’t played in the second division since 2000. Valladolid has spent the last two seasons in the top flight.
“In football, when you think you have wrapped it up, you are put in your place,” Riera said. “We reacted, but it was too late. We ask our fans for forgiveness and tell them we will do our best to come back up.”
Osasuna and Valladolid entered the final round in the drop zone, both needing to win their matches and hope the other three teams in danger slipped up.
Osasuna did its part by beating Betis from Riera’s opener and Carlos Acuna’s goal in the 14th right after play was restarted. Betis’ Francisco Chica pulled one back with a long strike in the 70th.
But Valladolid self-destructed in a direct matchup with Granada, one of the trio of teams along with Getafe and Almeria still in danger.
Valladolid disappointed its fans at Jose Zorilla Stadium with a paltry performance that reached its low point when defender Stefan Mitrovic scored an own goal in the 44th minute by knocking in Francisco “Piti” Medina’s cross.
“We shouldn’t have arrived to this week in this situation,” Granada coach Lucas Alcaraz said. “We were facing a do-or-die match and my boys were able to handle it.”
Despite assuring their teams stayed up for another year, both Alcaraz and Rayo coach Paco Jemez said that they would most likely not be continuing with their teams next season.
Getafe won at crosstown rival Rayo thanks to Ciprian Marica’s brace. The Romanian striker scored from long range in the 43rd and then added a second from the penalty spot in stoppage time after Roberto Trashorras had leveled in the 67th.
Almeria needed goalkeeper Esteban Suarez to save Guillermo Fernandez’s point-blank try in injury time to ensure a point against Bilbao.
Earlier, Europa League champion Sevilla routed Elche 3-1 at home to round off an excellent campaign that saw the team finish fifth.
Midfielder Vicente Iborra scored twice in the 16th and 72nd with Jairo Samperio netting in the 61st for Sevilla. Yiadom Boayke scored Elche’s consolation goal moments before the final whistle.
Giovani Dos Santos scored one goal and set up another to help Villarreal win 2-1 at Real Sociedad, overtaking its rival to finish the season in sixth place.
Dos Santos raced into the box before cutting back to put the ball on his left foot and curl in the 26th-minute opener. The Mexico forward set up Ikechukwu Uche on the break in the 69th before Carlos Vela pulled one back in stoppage time.
Villarreal, which spent last season in the second division, rose above seventh-place Sociedad on head-to-head goal difference. Both teams had already clinched Europa League berths.
Atletico won the league title for the first time in 18 years on Saturday after it drew 1-1 at Barcelona.
Barcelona needed to win to defend its title but finished second, level on points with Real Madrid. Bilbao had already sealed its fourth-place finish, completing the top four teams heading to the Champions League.