Barca win, Valencia draw sends Espanyol down in La Liga


Ansu Fati of FC Barcelona celebrates with teammates after scoring the team's first goal during the LaLiga Santander match between FC Barcelona and RCD Mallorca at Spotify Camp Nou on May 28, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain.

Playing their first home game with a section of Mestalla Stadium closed as punishment for the racist abuse against Vinicius Junior, Valencia moved closer to avoiding relegation from the Spain’s La Liga thanks to an added-time equaliser in a 2-2 draw against Espanyol.

Valencia had the first of their three matches with a small section of Mestalla closed behind one of the goals where the abuse targeting Vinicius took place in a match against Real Madrid a week ago.

Valencia were initially ordered to close the section for five games but the punishment was reduced on appeal. The club’s initial fine of 45,000 euros ($A74,000) was also reduced to 27,000 euros ($A44,000).

The draw was enough to relegate Espanyol for the second time in three seasons. The Catalan club were set to take their fight against relegation to the final round but Samuel Lino scored with a shot from inside the area three minutes into added time.

Valencia dropped to 15th place but stayed two points above the relegation zone ahead of their match at sixth-placed Real Betis next Sunday.

Six teams will enter the final round hoping to avoid the drop. Last-placed Elche had already been relegated.

Cadiz, Getafe, Valencia, Almeria, Celta Vigo and Valladolid are the teams still in danger.

Valladolid are the first team currently inside the relegation zone, sitting one point behind both 17th-placed Celta and 16th-placed Almeria.

Valencia, 14th-placed Getafe and 13th-placed Cadiz are two points ahead of Valladolid, who drew 0-0 at Almeria.

Getafe boosted their chances with Jaime Mata scoring a 90th-minute winner to lead a 2-1 comeback victory over Osasuna at home.

Cadiz needed a 53rd-minute winner in their 1-0 home victory against Celta.

Celta host champion Barcelona in the final round, while Getafe visit Valladolid, Cadiz are at Elche and Espanyol host Almeria.

Barcelona beat 10-man Mallorca 3-0 for their first win after clinching the league title.

Ansu Fati scored a pair of first-half goals and Gavi added another after halftime to lead the champions to victory after two consecutive losses.

Mallorca, sitting in 12th place, played a man down from the 14th minute after Amath Ndiaye was sent off for a foul on Alejandro Balde, who was not able to continue.

Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid clinched a top-three finish for the 11th straight time after a 2-1 home win over fourth-placed Real Sociedad.

Antoine Griezmann and Nahuel Molina scored a goal in each half for Atletico, who will enter the final round one point behind city rivals Real Madrid.

Sociedad secured the final Champions League place despite the loss as fifth-placed Villarreal stayed five points back after a 2-1 defeat at Rayo Vallecano.

Villarreal and Real Betis, who won 2-1 at Girona, secured the Europa League places while eighth-placed Athletic Bilbao lost 1-0 to Elche.

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