A drama-filled last evening of 'La Liga' action ended in joy for Real Sociedad, who clinched fourth place and a spot in the Champions League qualifying rounds ahead of Valencia, who joins Málaga and Betis in the Europa League. There was also euphoria in Vigo, as Celta pulled off a great escape to send Mallorca, Deportivo and Zaragoza down to the second division.
Prior to kick-off, Deportivo was the only of the four relegation candidates with its fate in its own hands, with a win enough to secure safety. The snag: it faced a Real Sociedad side whose two-way shootout with Valencia for Champions League qualification had gone down to the wire. Montanier's men kept up their side of the bargain, resisting a late Depor onslaught to hold out for a 1-0 win thanks to a first-half Griezmann strike. They were rewarded when four goals from Álvaro Negredo inspired Sevilla to a 4-3 victory over Valencia, crushing the latter's Champions League dreams.
Celta, meanwhile, earned a hard-fought win over an Espanyol side that on paper had nothing to play for. Natxo Insa's effort 16 minutes in was ultimately enough for the Vigo outfit to stay up, but the tension was palpable at the Balaídos stadium until the very last kick.
Mallorca and Zaragoza were both up against it from the off and ultimately sank into the quagmire in front of their fans, albeit in contrasting fashion. The Islanders thumped Valladolid 4-2, only for Celta's win to render the result irrelevant. Zaragoza, meanwhile, kept Atlético at bay for 84 minutes before caving in and losing 3-1. As things panned out, however, not even a victory would have rescued the Aragonese side.