La Liga Final Day Wrap
The La Liga season has finally come to an exciting close with the last day deciding the fates of several Spanish clubs. Every game had major significance and everyone knew it.
For some, a win meant European play while for others, a final day loss meant relegation. This season has been full of excitement throughout the entire table, and Saturday was no different.
With that being said, this article will recap each match from the final La Liga weekend and what the result meant for each Spanish club.
Real Madrid 4-2 Osasuna
Real Madrid’s season finale was also the final match with Jose Mourinho in charge. The Special One was received quite well by the Santiago Bernabeu and his last match proved to be exciting for Los Blancos.
Gonzalo Higuain and Michael Essien both scored within three minutes of each other to put Madrid up by two, but the game was just getting started.
After the start of the second half Roberto Torres beat young keeper Jesus Fernandez to pull a goal back for Osasuna. Alvaro Cejudo then found the back of the net to level the score as Osasuna begin to feel that they could force an upset.
However, it would not be Osasuna’s night.
Karim Benzema scored an impressive goal before Jose Callejon beat the keeper near the final whistle for a 4-2 victory in favor of Real Madrid.
Jose Mourinho left the Santiago Bernabeu disappointed in his time at the club, but the crowd backed the Special One the entire game.
With Mourinho now likely on his way back to Chelsea, the search begins for the new Real Madrid manager. Los Blancos finished the season 15 points behind La Liga winner Barcelona while Osasuna escaped relegation to finish 16th.
Barcelona 4-1 Malaga
Already crowned as champions, Barcelona wasted no time finding their rhythm against Malaga. Without Lionel Messi, the Catalans did not really struggle that much and ended their season with a bang.
David Villa scored in the third minute to get the Camp Nou crowd into the game early. Cesc Fabregas found the back of the net 10 minutes later before Martin Montoya blasted an unbelievable shot to put Barcelona up 3-0 at halftime.
The Catalans did not stop there as Andres Iniesta scored a few minutes into the second half. However, La Blaugrana was not able to keep a clean sheet as Pedro Morales pulled one goal back for the visitors.
Tito Vilanova’s first season as Barcelona’s manager saw the Catalan giants finish 15 points ahead of rivals Real Madrid for first place. Malaga on the other hand finished in sixth place and ended a season which also included a dream run in the Champions League.
Granada 2-0 Getafe
Getafe started the match in complete control but was unable to find the back of the net early on. Granada hung tight in defense and their patience eventually paid off in the end.
The home side from Granada eventually opened up the scoring after half an hour when Nolito struck from close. Getafe tried to get back into the game but was unable to do anything in the first half.
The second half was rather quiet throughout until Granada again found the back of the net through a Youssef El Arabi strike that beat Miguel Moya.
Getafe may have been in control for stretches of the match, but had nothing to show for their efforts in the 2-0 loss at Granada.
The home side ends their season in 15th place after a long battle with relegation. Getafe finished in the very middle of the table but will feel as though they truly missed out on the European zone.
Sevilla 4-3 Valencia
Valencia was in need of a victory to ensure their place in the Champions League next season. But Sevilla would have something to say about that as Valencia faltered in the attempt at a European spot.
Ever Banega opened the scoring up early and all signs pointed to an important victory for Valencia. But Alvaro Negredo would score twice near the end of the first half to lead Sevilla to a 2-1 victory at the whistle.
The second half began with Roberto Soldado eventually equalizing as a comeback looked possible. But Negredo would again answer back only one minute later to put Sevilla back up by a score of 3-2.
Negredo would stop there though as he scored again only minutes later to double Sevilla's lead at home. Roberto Soldado would pull a goal back near the final whistle, but it would be too little too late.
Valencia’s loss, coupled with a win by Real Sociedad, saw the club fall to fifth as they will have to settle for the Europa League next season. Sevilla ended their season in ninth place, just missing out on the European zone of the table.
Deportivo 0-1 Real Sociedad
While Valencia was in the midst of a losing effort against Sevilla, Real Sociedad was in the fight of their lives to secure a Champions League spot.
La Real got off to a very good start as Antoine Griezmann scored in the 22nd minute to put the visitors up 1-0. But with Deportivo fighting against relegation, things would not be easy for their Basque opponents.
Deportivo began to put pressure on Sociedad and things started to get very nerve-racking for the visitors. However, La Real was able to hold onto their slim lead as the whistle blew with the score at 1-0.
The Basque side will not be playing in the Champions League next season as they finished fourth in the table in one of their best seasons ever. Deportivo, however, will now face relegation.
Celta 1-0 Espanyol
Celta hosted Espanyol in their final match of the season. The home side needed to take all three points to guarantee they would remain in the top flight of Spanish football.
Iago Aspas did what he does best to give Celta an opening goal. The striker played a ball into the box which met Natxo Insa who slotted home from close.
Espanyol then began to get into the game, but missed chances from Joan Verdu and Christian Stuani cost the Catalan side in the end.
Celta Vigo’s thrilling victory allowed them to escape relegation by only one point. Espanyol on the other hand turned around their season to finish 13th in the table.
Mallorca 4-2 Valladolid
Mallorca was hard pressed to escape relegation but could not seal their fate alone. The struggling club did what they needed to do, but Celta’s victory confirmed that Mallorca would be relegated.
Alfaro opened up the scoring for the home side in under 20 minutes before Bueno leveled the score at the half hour mark. Marti found the back of the net before half time and Mallorca was in complete control in front of their own fans.
Giovani Dos Santos and Javi Marquez added two more goals for Mallorca before Omar scored a consolation goal.
Mallorca was happy to finish their season with a 4-2 victory but will be sad to still be facing relegation. Valladolid finished their season in 14th place in the table in what will be seen as a successful season.
Zaragoza 1-3 Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid traveled to face Zaragoza in their last match of the season. Their storybook season finished the same way it began as the Madrid-based club delivered a very exciting match for all viewers.
The match was open throughout the entire 90 minutes, but both teams had problems finishing.
Finally, Arda Turan was able to open the scoring in the 84th minute but an 89th minute strike from Helder Postiga shocked everyone.
With the match set for a draw, Diego Costa netted twice in extra time to lead Atletico Madrid to a 3-1 victory. The capital based club finished their campaign in third place, while Zaragoza ended their season at the very bottom of the table.
Levante 1-1 Real Betis
Levante hosted Real Betis to end their season in a match that thrilled fans to a 1-1 draw. The host's had a terrible end to the season after their exit from the Europa League, a competition Betis now finds themselves qualified for.
Pedro Rios struck first at the start of the second half as Levante looked poised to steal three points. But a Jorge Molina goal leveled the score and the two clubs fought it out without a deciding goal coming.
Real Betis ended their year in seventh place to qualify for Europe. However, Levante finished off the campaign in 11th place, which will be seen as a great disappointment after their incredible start.
Rayo Vallecano 2-2 Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao traveled to face off with Rayo Vallecano in the last match of the La Liga season. After a horrible start, the Basque side turned their season around and finished much higher than any expected them to.
Franco Vazquez opened up the scoring but Rayo was not able to keep the lead for long.
Markel Susaeta and Jon Aurtenetxe scored in opposite halves to put Bilbao up by a score of 2-1. But there would be one more goal as the exciting Piti again put Rayo on his back and leveled the scoring after 55 minutes.
Bilbao took command of the game from that point but was unable to get through Rayo Vallecano’s prepared defense.
Athletic Bilbao finish their season in 12th after a long battle with relegation, but fans will certainly be demanding more next year. Rayo end their campaign in eighth as they just miss out on the European zone.
How would you rate this La Liga season? Which teams turned up and surprised? Which teams left much to be desired? Who deserved to be relegated? Leave your thoughts and comments below.
Tre’ Atkinson. Follow me on Twitter for more discussions on La Liga.