Getafe net Europa League spot with Atletico win
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Last Updated: Sunday, May 16, 2010, 09:38
  
Madrid: Getafe recorded their highest ever finish in La Liga sealing sixth place and European qualification with a 3-0 win at recently-crowned Europa League champions Atletico Madrid.

Foward Roberto Soldado scored a brace in each half to help Getafe overcome local rivals Atletico yesterday and qualify for next season's Europa League.

Villarral needed Getafe to drop points to stand any chance of pipping their rivals but could only draw 3-3 at Real Zaragoza to finish two points behind Getafe.

Getafe escaped relegation on the final day of last season so this result is a testament to the fine work of highly-rated coach Michel. It will be their second venture in Europe following a UEFA Cup bow in 2008 when they reached the quarter-finals.

Atletico, who fielded a second string side against Getafe, are down in ninth but the Europa League winners are still in with a chance of a cup double when they take on Sevilla in Wednesday's Kings Cup final.

For Villarreal, league runners-up in 2008, it was a disappointing season as they failed to come to terms with the summer departure of coach Manuel Pellegrini to Real Madrid.

Elsewhere Athletic Bilbao rounded off their season with a 2-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna to finish eighth in the table.

Bilbao had been fighting for a Europa League spot, lying sixth with six games left, but had to settle for eighth -- their best finish in La Liga since 2004 when they were fifth.

Later yesterday Sevilla and Real Mallorca will battle it out for fourth place and the final Champions League qualifying spot.

Sevilla are a point ahead of Mallorca, the surprise package of the season, and travel to an Almeria side that have nothing but pride to play for.

Mallorca were never expected to be challenging for the top four but under coach Gregorio Manzano they are in with a shot in the final game of the season and need to win at home to Espanyol and hope Sevilla draw or lose.

The destination of the Spanish league title will be decided on Sunday with champions Barcelona needing to beat Valladolid at Camp Nou to retain their trophy.

Barcelona have notched a record 96 points but Real Madrid, who travel to Malaga, are just one point behind.

Real need to win and hope Barcelona slip-up to steal the title from their grasp after spending vitually the entire season chasing their rivals.

Coach Pellegrini has faced speculation over his future all season and the Chilean admitted the talk of Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho was unsettling.

At the bottom of the table five teams are battling for survival on the final day with Xerez, Valladolid, Malaga, Tenerife and Racing Santander all in danger.

Bureau Report


First Published: Sunday, May 16, 2010, 09:38


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