Osasuna seal Europa Conference League spot as Valladolid relegated on final day of LaLiga

By Sports Desk June 04, 2023

Osasuna sealed European qualification for the first time in over a decade-and-a-half, as Real Valladolid were relegated on a gripping final day of the season in LaLiga.

With champions Barcelona, as well as Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad having wrapped up Champions League football, the continental spaces were mostly settled before Sunday.

But a Europa Conference League berth was still at stake, with Osasuna, Athletic Bilbao, Girona and Rayo Vallecano all in contention.

Ultimately, Jagoba Arrasate's Osasuna took the spoils with a 2-1 win over Girona, as Ernesto Valverde's Athletic finished two points adrift following a 1-1 draw at Real Madrid.

A solitary point for Los Blancos was enough for them to secure second ahead of rivals Atleti, who conceded a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Villarreal.

At the other end of the table, it was Valladolid who finished Sunday where they started in the relegation zone, joining Espanyol and Elche in dropping to the second tier.

Their goalless draw with Getafe was not enough as Cadiz, Valencia and Almeria also played out stalemates to secure survival, the latter needing a late equaliser to do so.

Celta Vigo, meanwhile, jumped from 17th to 13th with an impressive 2-1 win over Barcelona, making them the only relegation-threatened side to claim three points on Sunday.

Related items

  • A look at Arsenal’s highs and lows on the road in Europe, ahead of Munich return A look at Arsenal’s highs and lows on the road in Europe, ahead of Munich return

    Arsenal head to Germany on Wednesday night looking to progress to the Champions League semi-finals by beating Bayern Munich.

    With the quarter-final tie finely poised at 2-2 following the first leg at the Emirates Stadium last week, Mikel Arteta will be hopeful his side can pull off a victory in Bavaria.

    However, Arsenal’s recent past is tarnished by some poor performances on the road in European knockout games, some of which were unexpected and some whose ramifications are still felt on the club to this day.

    Here, the PA news agency looks at the highs and lows Arsenal have been through since the closing years of Arsene Wenger’s reign.

    HIGHSSlavia Prague 0 Arsenal 4: Europa League quarter-final, 2020-21

    After conceding an added-time equaliser in the home leg, Arteta’s Arsenal cruised into the final four with a fine showing at the Sinobo Stadium. Goals from Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette and Bukayo Saka had the Gunners cruising at the break before Lacazette wrapped up the emphatic win in the second half.

    Olympiacos 1 Arsenal 3: Europa League round of 16, 2020-21

    Two late goals were enough to give Arsenal a strong lead to take back to north London for the return leg. Martin Odegaard had given the visitors the lead but Youssef El-Arabi levelled before the hour – only for Gabriel Magalhaes and Mohamed Elneny to score in the closing stages.

    Valencia 2 Arsenal 4: Europa League semi-final, 2018-19

    Unai Emery had been appointed as Wenger’s successor and the most successful manager in Europa League history was at it again in his first season in charge. A 3-1 victory in the home leg at the Emirates was built on brilliantly in Spain as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stole the show with a hat-trick, with Lacazette also among the goals.

    Napoli 0 Arsenal 1: Europa League quarter-final, 2018-19

    Another strong home outing in the first leg had put Arsenal in the driving seat as they went to Italy with a 2-0 aggregate lead. An accomplished display, rounded off by a first-half Lacazette goal, completed a job well done for Emery and his players.

    LOWSPorto 1 Arsenal 0: Champions League round of 16, 2023-24

    After a seven-year wait to return to the knockout stages of Europe’s premier club competition, Arteta’s side stalled. Porto’s approach frustrated and restricted Arsenal in equal measures and Galeno’s stunning stoppage-time strike compounded a night to forget in Portugal.

    Villarreal 2 Arsenal 1: Europa League semi-final, 2020-21

    Emery may have lost his one and only Europa League final as Arsenal boss but he once again proved this was his competition as he led Villarreal to victory over his former side on course to lifting the trophy again. Manu Trigueros and Raul Albiol had the hosts two goals ahead inside half an hour before Dani Ceballos was sent off for Arsenal. Pepe pulled one back from the penalty spot but a 0-0 draw at the Emirates saw Emery triumph.

    Atletico Madrid 1 Arsenal 0: Europa League semi-final, 2017-18

    Wenger’s final chance to win European silverware as Arsenal manager evaporated with defeat in the Spanish capital. Having been held to a 1-1 draw at home despite Atleti playing with 10 men for 80 minutes, Diego Costa’s match-winner in Madrid saw Arsenal eliminated and Wenger’s hopes fade.

    Bayern Munich 5 Arsenal 1: Champions League round of 16, 2016-17

    Three goals in 10 second half minutes proved the undoing of Wenger’s side in Munich, after Alexis Sanchez had cancelled out Arjen Robben’s early effort. Robert Lewandowski and a Thiago Alcantara double took the game beyond the visitors, before Thomas Muller struck late on. Bayern added insult to injury by repeating the scoreline in the second leg at the Emirates.

    Barcelona 3 Arsenal 1: Champions League round of 16, 2015-16

    Having barely scraped out of their group, Arsenal were handed a lesson by Barcelona, losing the home leg of their tie 2-0. They travelled to the Nou Camp in hope rather than expectation but were again found wanting, Elneny’s fine consolation of little consequence as Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi struck for the hosts.

  • Everton lodge appeal against two-point deduction Everton lodge appeal against two-point deduction

    Everton have formally lodged an appeal against the two-point penalty imposed on the club earlier this month for breaching Premier League financial rules.

    The Toffees indicated their intention to appeal last Monday, the same day the sanction was announced. The PA news agency understands that appeal has now been lodged.

    The club admitted breaching the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules (PSR) for permitted losses by £16.6million for the assessment period ending with the 2022-23 season.

    The independent commission which imposed the sanction disclosed in the written reasons for its decision that the Premier League had initially sought a five-point penalty.

    This was reduced to two by the commission, after mitigation was taken into account, notably the fact that the club were being punished twice in the same overlapping period. In February Everton had a 10-point penalty for an earlier PSR breach reduced to six on appeal.

    Everton will now be aiming to achieve a further reduction to the two-point penalty via the latest appeal.

    Everton and Nottingham Forest have both now appealed against the sanctions imposed on them, and the hope for all concerned will be that both outcomes are known heading into the final round of Premier League matches on May 19.

    The commission which issued the two-point penalty will also hold a separate hearing to settle a dispute between the club and the league around costs which Everton contend are associated to the construction of their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

    This dispute is not covered by the new ‘standard directions’ for dealing with PSR cases before the end of the season in which clubs are charged, so any sanction imposed would almost certainly apply next season.

  • Not too Xabi: The numbers behind Bayer Leverkusen’s invincible run under Alonso Not too Xabi: The numbers behind Bayer Leverkusen’s invincible run under Alonso

    Bayer Leverkusen wrapped up their first ever Bundesliga title on Sunday night as Xabi Alonso’s managerial reputation continues to grow.

    Leverkusen are unbeaten in all competitions this season and here, the PA news agency looks at their record.

    Invincibles

    Alonso’s side lead Bayern Munich by 16 points with five games remaining after 25 wins and four draws in the Bundesliga this season.

    Wins or draws against all of Borussia Dortmund, Stuttgart, Eintracht Frankfurt, Bochum and Augsburg would see them complete the first ever undefeated Bundesliga season – Bayern lost just one game in both the 1986-87 and 2012-13 seasons, a record in the competition.

    Leverkusen are also in the DFB-Pokal final, against second-tier Kaiserslautern, and hold a 2-0 lead from the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final against West Ham.

    They have not lost in those competitions either, with an overall season record of 38 wins and five draws, 123 goals scored and only 31 conceded.

    Sunday’s title-clinching 5-0 win over Werder Bremen was the fifth time this season they have scored five goals – Darmstadt, third-tier Sandhausen and European opponents Qarabag and Molde the other victims – in addition to an 8-0 cup rout of fourth-tier Teutonia Ottensen.

    Florian Wirtz’s hat-trick against Bremen moved him alongside Victor Boniface as the club’s leading scorer, both with 11 league goals and 17 in all competitions. Leverkusen have kept 21 clean sheets at the other end.

    Arsenal’s 2003-04 team earned the title of “The Invincibles” after winning the Premier League without losing a match – Alonso’s men need to get through a further nine or 10 games to complete an “Unbesiegbar” season across all competitions.

    Xabi’s X-factor

    Taking over a team second-bottom of the table in October of last season, Alonso worked wonders to lead Leverkusen to a sixth-placed finish and a Europa League semi-final before breaking new ground this season.

    Across his 80 games in charge to date, Alonso has 55 wins – a remarkable 68.8 per cent rate – with 15 draws and 10 defeats. His side have scored 187 goals, averaging 2.34 per match, and conceding 77 or just under a goal per game.

    Alonso was linked with Tottenham last summer and with the upcoming vacancies at Liverpool and deposed Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich – both clubs he represented as a player – at the end of this season.

    He has pledged his continued loyalty to Leverkusen, who will be hoping that remains the case as his stock rises.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.