La Liga Wk37: Villarreal in Europe

Villarreal made it five straight seasons of the Europa League in La Liga Week 37, while Athletic Bilbao wrote unwanted history.

However, the weekend kicked off at Anoeta, where Real Sociedad won their fifth game under caretaker boss Imanol Alguacil, beating Leganes 3-2.

Diego Rico and Miguel Angel Guerrero appeared to have earned Lega a point as they cancelled out first-half strikes from Mikel Oyarzabal and Real Betis-bound Sergio Canales.

However, Juanmi was hauled down in the visiting box, allowing Willian Jose to curl the resulting penalty into Nereo Champagne’s bottom-right corner.

La Real sneak into the top 10 and could yet topple neighbours Eibar on the final matchday, while Los Pepineros look set for another 17th-placed finish.

That was followed by a mini-Basque derby, which saw Alaves cruise to a 3-1 victory for Athletic Bilbao.

John GuidettiMunir El Haddadi and Ibai Gomez put Athletic out of sight by the 77th minute, despite Iker Muniain’s subsequent consolation. 

The result left Alaves as high as 12th and assured them of finishing above Los Leones, who will end the season as La Liga’s lowest-placed Basque team for the first time ever.

Villarreal went one better as they secured a top-six spot in style with a 4-2 win at Deportivo La Coruna.

Samu Castillejo’s first-half brace was sandwiched by a Manu Trigueros strike to put the Yellow Submarine out of sight before the break.

Borja Valle’s brace threatened to bring Depor back from the dead, but their turnaround was short-lived as Denis Cheryshev killed off the Galicians in stoppage time.

With that, Los Amarillos automatically qualify for next season’s Europa League group stage, while Clarence Seedorf’s side are already destined for the second tier.

Finally, Eibar remained on track for their best-ever Liga finish after a slender 1-0 victory over relegated Las Palmas.

Charles’ fifth-minute effort was enough to condemn the islanders to their 25th defeat of the season and move them up to ninth – one position higher than their previous best – with only one round of fixtures left.

Tags Deportivo