La Liga wrap: Jose Mourinho ends Real Madrid reign with a victory
La Liga wrap: Jose Mourinho ended his Real Madrid reign with three points as Los Blancos were 4-2 winners against Osasuna
Mourinho exits with a win and leaves Madrid in a mess
Jose Mourinho signed off as Real Madrid manager in typical fashion on Saturday by making many headlines following the game. Iker Casillas was left out of the squad completely as Mourinho turned to his fourth-choice keeper and Gonzalo Higuaín then told reporters that he had played his final match for the club. The Argentine striker scored 19 times for Madrid this season and cited a need for a change of scenery, hinting at a possible move to Juventus in the summer. With Cristiano Ronaldo sidelined with injury, it was left to Higuaín and Karim Benzema to lead the line in the 4-2 win against Osasuna which took them to 85 points for the season, 15 behind champions Barcelona. It will be a summer of transition at Real Madrid with the new manager needing to strengthen the squad and repair some of the bonds in the dressing room.
Abidal bids emotional farewell as Barça match Madrid’s 100-point feat
Eric Abidal played his final game for Barcelona in an emotional game at Camp Nou where Barcelona managed to secure the three points they needed to reach 100. Andres Iniesta called the feat “scandalous” as they became only the second club to amass the total in history after Real Madrid managed to last season. The 4-1 win against Málaga was routine and decorated with a couple of ‘golazos’ from Marvin Montoya and Cesc Fàbregas, making up for the continued absence of Lionel Messi, who nevertheless picked up the Pichichi following the game for his 46 league goals. Manuel Pellegrini took charge of Fàbregas for the final time in the game as he leaves southern Spain for what looks likely to be Manchester. Fàbregas finished in sixth place and must now wait to hear if their appeal against their European ban is successful for them to join Wigan, Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League next season.
Emery haunts former side as Sociedad steal Champions League qualification
Having led Valencia to three successive third place finishes, Unai Emery prevented his former side from qualifying for the Champions League as Sevilla won 4-3 in an extraordinary game. Valencia needed to win to guarantee fourth place ahead of Real Sociedad, who played Deportivo in an emotionally charged encounter and won 1-0 courtesy of Antoine Griezmann’s goal. Álvaro Negredo smashed all four goals to kick Valencia into the Europa League right at the death. Negredo, who failed to make Spain’s squad for the Confederations Cup this summer, outshone compatriot Roberto Soldado and clinched the Zarra trophy – awarded to the league’s highest scoring Spaniard. Both could now be subject to heavy speculation this summer as two of Spain’s top sides have to be satisfied with a run in the Europa League (if Rayo and Málaga fail in their UEFA appeals then Sevilla will qualify in ninth place).
Celta survive basement battle as Mallorca come close
Four teams fought for one spot in next year’s La Liga campaign with Deportivo, Celta Vigo, Real Zaragoza and Mallorca all fighting to avoid relegation to the Segunda Division. Due to the extraordinary number of permutations with the head-to-head ruling La Liga applies, it was set to be a tense night with European qualification also at stake in Deportivo’s game with Sociedad. Depor began the day safe in 17th but soon fell behind and faced the drop. Mallorca won 4-2 against Valladolid and Zaragoza held Atletico Madrid for an age but all efforts were in vain as Celta Vigo defeated Espanyol 1-0 to clinch safety. Natxo Insa’s goal won the game for Celta who were only relying on Deportivo slipping up, which they did, which gave them another reason to celebrate as Depor, Mallorca and Zaragoza face not only the drop but uncertain financial futures too.