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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
94,487 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Round 37

05-05-02 F.C. Barcelona R.C.D. Espanyol
05-05-02 Villarreal C.F. Real Zaragoza
05-05-02 Celta de Vigo Sevilla
05-05-02 Alaves Rayo Vallecano
05-05-02 Athletic Club Osasuna
05-05-02 U.D. Las Palmas Tenerife
05-05-02 Real Valladolid Real Sociedad
05-05-02 Real Madrid R.C.D. Mallorca
05-05-02 Betis Deportivo de La Coruna
05-05-02 Malaga C.F. Valencia C.F.


Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
94,487 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Valencia win first league title in 31 years, Zaragoza relegated


Valencia's South American connection ensured that they clinched their first Spanish league title since 1971, by winning 2-0 at Malaga on Sunday.
First half goals from Argentine international Roberto Ayala and Brazilian defender Fabio Aurelio gave Valencia the fifth championship in their history, after Real Madrid could only draw 0-0 with Real Mallorca.
Real, the defending champions, were the only team able to overhaul the leaders prior to the penultimate day of the championship.
Valencia now have an unassailable 72 points from 37 games while Real stay in second with 66 points with just one round of matches left to play.
Deportivo La Coruna kept up the pressure on Real for direct qualification into next season's Champions League group stage by winning 3-0 at Real Betis.
Spanish international Diego Tristan scored two of Deportivo's goals to take his tally to 21 for the season, and maintain his place as the Spanish first division's leading scorer.
The Galicians are third with 65 points and play host to Real Madrid in their final game of the season on Friday.
Valencia had early chances on the Costa Del Sol through Miguel Angel Angulo and Pablo Aimar before Ayala rose high above the Malaga defence to break the deadlock after 35 minutes, heading home a Vicente Rodriguez corner.
Ayala's goal was only his second of the season but Fabio Aurelio is even less prolific and got his first ever competitive goal in his two-year stint at the club, when he slipped through Malaga's offside trap and connected with a perfect Aimar pass.
The referee Alfonso Perez Burrull initially ruled the strike offside but the Valencia players made prolonged protests, lasting more than four minutes.
After two consultations with his referee's assistant, Perez Burrull changed his mind and allowed the goal to stand.
Perez Burrull's indecision was forgotten though when the salesman blew his whistle to signal that 31 years of waiting were over, leading to wild celebrations among the 2,500 Valencia supporters who had managed to get tickets for the match.
Thousands of fans immediately swarmed into the streets of Valencia, Spain's third biggest city, celebrating in the local tradition by lighting fireworks and flares.
Struggling Real Mallorca were the last team to beat Real Madrid in a league match at the Santiago Bernabeu back in November 2000, and although they couldn't produce the same trick this time around, the point earned from the 0-0 draw may be vital in them avoiding relegation.
Real Madrid had the best chances of the game when Jose Maria Gutierrez hit the crossbar after 19 minutes but Mallorca also saw good opportunities for their World Cup-bound Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto'o go begging.
The game bizarrely saw the Bernabeu empty behind its south goal after half an hour when members of Real's notorious Ultras Sur, who have a reputation as a right-wing hooligan element, left the stadium in protest at the arrest of four of their number earlier in the day.
Four Ultras Sur, with alleged links to a neo-Nazi group, were arrested in the Madrid suburb of Moratalaz, accused of participating in the disturbances before Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg between Real and Barcelona.
Police and members of the media were attacked around the Bernabeu after emergency services were checking for further additional devices and clearing up the area after a car bomb had exploded 100 metres away from the stadium just under four hours before the kick off of the game.
Barcelona bounced back from Wednesday's Champions League exit by beating Espanyol 2-0 in the Catalan derby.
Dutch international striker Patrick Kluivert got his 18th goal of the season in injury time at the end of the first half and Xavi Hernandez ensured three points for Barcelona, as they move up to fourth with 63 points.
Espanyol ended the game with nine men after Alex Fernandez and Alberto Lopo got their marching orders in the last 10 minutes.
Celta Vigo's chances of appearing in the Champions League next season crashed after they lost 2-1 at home to Sevilla and they slipped to fifth place.
Real Zaragoza face life in the Spanish second division next season for the first time since 1978 after losing 2-1 at Villarreal, their 11th successive game without a win.
After their defeat, Zaragoza players had to flee for the safety of their dressing room as stadium security fell apart and the pitch was invaded by thousands of irate supporters.
Cesar Lainez and Toro Acuna were not as lucky as their team-mates and both men were slightly injured as spectators kicked and hit them with fists, before they were rescued.
At least one Canary island team will join Zaragoza but Tenerife kept alive their slim hopes of avoiding the drop after winning 1-0 away at their bitter local rivals Las Palmas thanks to a first half goal from their Argentine striker Bruno Marioni.


1,084 Posts
Rest of results:

Athletic Bilbao 1 - 1 Osasuna

Barcelona 2 - 0 Espanyol

Celta de Vigo 1 - 2 Sevilla

Deportivo Alaves 0 - 1 Rayo Vallecano

Las Palmas 0 - 1 Tenerife

Malaga 0 - 2 Valencia

Real Betis 0 - 3 Deportivo La Coruna

Real Madrid 0 - 0 Mallorca

Valladolid 1 - 3 Real Sociedad

Villarreal 2 - 1 Zaragoza
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