Much still to play for after exciting second last round of games in Spain's Primera Liga

2013-05-27 00:38:17 GMT2013-05-27 08:38:17(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MADRID, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Although the top-3 positions in Spain's BBVA Primera Liga were decided several weeks ago, this weekend's results in Spain mean the league goes into its final round of games with plenty much still to be decided.

FC Barcelona's 2-0 win away to local rivals Espanyol was a straightforward affair thanks to goals from Alexis Sanchez and Pedro Rodriguez. The win lifts Barca 15 points clear of Real Madrid and also gives the league champions the chance to equal Madrid's 100 points from last season if they win at home to Malaga next weekend.

There was little at stake in Espanyol's ground other than local pride, but nearly every other game this Sunday had something at stake, be it a place in the Champions or Europa League or simply avoiding relegation to the second division.

Real Sociedad had kicked off the day in fourth place but knowing they had a tough game at home to Real Madrid. Both clubs had announced during the week that their respective coaches: Philippe Montanier and Jose Mourinho, were leaving their posts at the end of the season, but there was no letup in a dramatic game where Real Madrid took a 2-0 lead through Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon only for Real Sociedad to fight back through a Xabi Prieto penalty and Antoine Griezman, who equalized with 12 minutes remaining.

Sami Khedria put Madrid back ahead almost immediately, but Prieto was on hand to stab the ball home from close range in the last moment to give his side a 3-3 draw.

That might not be enough for Real Sociedad, given that Roberto Soldado's 22nd goal of the campaign gave Valencia a 1-0 win at home to Granada and lifted his side into fourth and if Valencia win away to Sevilla next Saturday they will qualify for the Champions League.

The battle for the Europa League and to avoid relegation took place in several grounds and Betis took a huge stride towards the former with a 4-0 win over Zaragoza. Diego Castro opened the scoring and Dorlan Pabon scored twice to leave their side seventh, while Zaragoza are second from bottom.

Sevilla have almost no chance of playing in Europe next season after seeing a 1-0 lead escape them away to Osasuna: Alvaro Negredo had put Sevilla ahead, but Patxi Punal equalized with a splendid strike and Alvaro Cejudo gave Osasuna a win which assures they are safe from relegation 12 minutes from time.

Malaga fans said goodbye to coach Manuel Pellegrino in fine style as they defeated Deportivo la Coruna 3-1. Javier Saviola and Julio Cesar Baptista put Malaga 2-1 ahead and although Salomao gave Deportivo hope with a 75th minute goal, Isco's strike four minutes later assured Malaga remain sixth.

Deportivo la Coruna now have to win at home to Real Sociedad in their last game to be assure they avoid the drop, with Real Sociedad still chasing fourth place that will not be easy, they have their fate in their own hands, which is more than can be said for Celta Vigo, despite their 2-0 win in Valladolid, or Mallorca, who drew 0-0 away to Atletico Madrid in what would normally be a good result.

Neither Celta, Mallorca nor Zaragoza are relegated, but all need to win and hope their rivals slip up in order to stay up.

Elsewhere Rayo Vallecano won 2-1 away to Getafe to maintain a chance of a playing in Europe next season, but Athletic Club Bilbao's slim chance of European football evaporated as they lost 1-0 at home to Levante in the last game played in their historic San Mames Stadium.

Juanlu's 91st minute goal decided the game after Athletic had to play the last 30 minutes with a player less after Iker Muniain's silly red card.

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