LaLiga – Sevilla finally confirmed their place in La Liga’s top four on Sunday as a late equalizer by Youssef En-Nesyri snatched a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid to secure their qualification for the Champions League.
Atletico Madrid seemed ready to win at the Wanda Metropolitano thanks to Jose Gimenez’s first-half header. And with Real Betis beating Granada, Sevilla’s battle for fourth place with their city rivals would have come down to the last day.
Instead, with five minutes remaining, En-Nesyri nodded in Oliver Torres’ cross to give Sevilla the point they needed to secure their top-four berth after a difficult few weeks that saw their coach Julen Lopetegui under fire.
Instead, following the final whistle, Sevilla’s exuberant players hurled Lopetegui into the air.
En-equalizer Nesyri’s also kept Atletico from clinching third place, as Luis Suarez said his goodbyes to the home supporters since his contract with the club expires this summer.
Suarez avenged himself after being driven out of Barcelona by playing a key role in Atletico’s historic La Liga title success last season, scoring 21 goals in 32 league matches and finishing as the team’s leading scorer.
The 35-year-old has been useful but not spectacular this season, netting 14 goals in 48 appearances, and his drop from last year’s high standards has mirrored Atletico’s overall malaise.
Since the turn of the year, Suarez has been relegated to the bench, with Diego Simeone increasingly preferring Joao Felix.
Atletico is a point ahead of Sevilla and will face Real Sociedad away next weekend to clinch the season. Athletic Bilbao will play Sevilla at home.
Real Sociedad came back from a goal down to upset Villarreal 2-1 at La Ceramica in what was advertised as a Europa League qualifying match.
Villarreal needed to win to keep their hopes of finishing sixth alive, and Francis Coquelin’s acrobatic effort gave them the lead shortly before halftime.
La Real fought back in the second half, with Alexander Isak scoring at the back post and Martin Zubimendi nudging in after Villarreal failed to clear the ball.
Real Sociedad and Real Betis will compete in the Europa League next season, but Villarreal sits one point ahead of Athletic Bilbao and may need a win away at Barcelona on the last day of the season to qualify.
Barcelona Finished Second
Barcelona finished second, despite a dull, goalless draw away at Getafe, extending the Catalans’ disappointing season. However, the outcome benefited both clubs because a point ensured Getafe’s survival.
Cadiz is in the midst of a relegation battle and has disappointed the Nuevo Mirandilla, despite a 1-1 draw at home against already-crowned champions Real Madrid.
Carlo Ancelotti is continuing to rotate his players ahead of the Champions League final against Liverpool on May 28, with Karim Benzema, Thibaut Courtois, and Luka Modric all remaining at home.
While Cadiz equalized through Ruben Sobrino, Madrid might have won when Andrey Lunin knocked down Alvaro Negredo and the referee pointed to the spot. Lunin made up for it by saving Negredo’s penalty kick.
Mallorca is level on points with Cadiz after overcoming Rayo Vallecano 2-1 at Son Moix, with Abdon Prats scoring an astonishing 92nd-minute winner.
Granada, which is one point ahead of Mallorca and Cadiz, was defeated 2-0 by Real Betis on the road. After losing 3-1 against Levante, Alaves joined Levante in being demoted.