Ten-man Sevilla FC booked themselves a ticket to the UEFA Champions League play-offs next term courtesy of a thrilling 3-2 win at UD Almería, Rodrigo Ríos scoring in the fourth minute of added time to break the hearts of RCD Mallorca, who briefly raised their hopes by beating RCD Espanyol 2-0.
A point better off than Mallorca before their final engagement of the Liga campaign, Sevilla twice let a lead slip against Almería, Fernando Soriano (44) responding first to Frédéric Kanouté's 16th-minute opener before Juanma Ortiz cancelled out a Chico own goal (53) with 11 minutes remaining. Reduced to ten men following Álvaro Negredo's 65th-minute dismissal, the visitors seemed destined for disappointment until 19-year-old Ríos − brought on with eight minutes to go − acrobatically volleyed in a memorable winner.
Mallorca must now content themselves with a berth in the UEFA Europa League play-offs after their 15th home victory this term proved insufficient to leapfrog Sevilla. Víctor Casadesus (24) and Mario Suárez (78) registered the goals that earned victory over Espanyol. A rung lower in sixth, Getafe CF prevailed 3-0 at inaugural UEFA Europa League winners Club Atlético de Madrid, earning their highest-ever finish and a place in the third qualifying round of that competition. Villarreal CF finished seventh after they could only draw 3-3 at Real Zaragoza.
The final round of matches continues on Sunday, when FC Barcelona will be assured of their 20th Spanish title if they overcome visitors Real Valladolid CF. A point off the pace, fellow title hopefuls Real Madrid CF travel to relegation-threatened Málaga CF, with the identity of the three teams heading for the second tier next season also to be resolved.
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|Last updated: 02/07/2011 04:16 CET|
David López 55 (p)
García del Pozo 42