The final remaining issues to be decided in the Spanish BBVA Primera Liga were resolved on Sunday as Sporting Gijon avoided relegation, while Rayo Vallecano and Getafe joined Levante in dropping down to the Spanish second division.
If Saturday saw FC Barcelona crowned as league champions thanks to Luis Suarez’s hat-trick which gave them a 3-0 win in Granada, while Athletic Club Bilbao assured fifth place and direct qualification to the group stage of the Europa League, Sunday was about which of Getafe, Sporting Gijon and Rayo Vallecano would be able to stay in the Primera Liga for another year.
Getafe’s players knew that a win away to Betis would assure their survival, while Sporting Gijon hoped for Getafe to drop points and a home win against Villarreal to assure their top-flight survival.
Rayo meanwhile needed both Sporting and Getafe to drop points coupled with a home win against already relegated Levante in order to stay up for another year.
Sporting opened the scoring in the eighth minute of a tense afternoon against a Villarreal side coached by former Sporting player and coach Marcelino Garcia which fieldied several fringe players including third choice goalkeeper Mariano Barbosa, while Pablo Hernandez and Jozabed quickly gave Rayo a 2-0 lead, which was worth little as long as Sporting were ahead.
Meanwhile a goal for Getafe would have made both of those results totally insignificant to keep fans on a knife edge.
The key moment of the day came in the 56th minute when German Pezella’s goal for Betis suddenly made Sporting’s position a lot stronger and Gijon began to celebrate when Ruben Castro’s 73rd minute penalty left Getafe dead in the water despite Medan’s 84th minute goal.
Goals from Verza and Miku left the Rayo – Levante game 3-1, but it was Sporting who will be in the top flight next season as Jose Picon netted a second goal 11 minutes from time to assure their survival and to leave coach Aberlado Fernandez with tears of joy in his eyes.