Real Betis Balompié's eight-season stint in the Spanish Liga is over as their 1-1 draw at home to Real Valladolid CF, coupled with final-day victories for Real Sporting de Gijón and CA Osasuna, confirmed the Seville side's relegation.
Top two scalps
Osasuna and Sporting started the day a point behind Betis and Getafe CF, but respective wins against Real Madrid CF and relegated RC Recreativo de Huelva ensured that both survived. The Pamplona-based outfit had arguably the toughest task in order to stay up, being asked to follow last Saturday's success at champions FC Barcelona with another three points against Juande Ramos's second-placed side.
It appeared unlikely when Gonzalo Higuaín fired in to give Madrid the lead on eleven minutes, but a Jaroslav Plašil effort then squirmed through the hands of Iker Casillas to quickly restore parity. The game turned when Míchel Salgado was sent off eleven minutes after the restart and Osasuna took advantage swiftly through a spectacular volley from former Merengues' defender Juanfran, positioned 20 metres out. The hosts should have added more goals, Plašil going closest when his header struck the bar, while Madrid also had Klaas Jan Huntelaar dismissed late on.
That left the trapdoor open for Sporting, especially when Ersen Martin gave Recre a 23rd-minute lead, but David Barral cut inside and found the corner to level on 58 minutes before Luis Morán fired in from a narrow angle to ensure safety. Betis could not follow suit as Marcos Aguirre drove Valladolid in front on the stroke of half-time, with Ricardo Oliveira's far-post header not enough to beat the drop. Getafe finished level with Betis on 42 points but stayed up on goal difference, having drawn both league games against Betis, after a 1-1 draw with relegation-threatened Real Racing Club. Elsewhere, RCD Espanyol beat Málaga CF 3-0 and Sevilla FC won 2-0 at relegated CD Numancia.
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