La Liga Wrap: Valencia in box seat for Champions League
By Football News
Roberto Soldado has taken Valencia above Real Sociedad into La Liga's Champions League places with a 1-0 win over Granada.
Soldado's header on the hour-mark gave Valencia a crucial win at home, which took them into fourth spot on the Spanish league table with 65 points, above Sociedad (63 points), who needed a second-half stoppage time equaliser to draw 3-3 against Real Madrid.
Sunday's results leave Valencia in the box seat to claim La Liga's berth in the qualifying stages of next season's Champions League ahead of the final round of games, while at the bottom of the table, Celta de Vigo won 2-0 away to Real Valladolid to move within one point of safety.
In Valencia, the home side dominated 16th-placed Granada, controlling possession for 65 percent of the match, while the visitors did not manage a shot on target.
But the hosts had to wait until the 60th minute to finally beat Granada's goalkeeper Roberto with Joao Pereira's driven cross to the near post neatly headed into the net by an unmarked Soldado.
In San Sebastian, Sociedad came from behind twice to secure a draw against second-placed Real Madrid with attacking midfielder Xabi Prieto leading the way for the hosts.
The visitors from the capital hit the front in the sixth minute through Gonzalo Higuain and doubled their lead 11 minutes into the second half following Jose Callejon's goal.
Sociedad struck twice to draw level at 2-2 thanks to a penalty from Prieto and Antoine Griezmann's equaliser but Real Madrid moved ahead again in the 80th minute when Sami Khedira chipped Claudio Bravo.
But Prieto clinched a point for Sociedad to keep them within striking distance of fourth spot when he bundled the ball home at the back post from Imanol Agirretxe's cross in the 93rd minute.
In the relegation battle, Celta moved above Real Zaragoza into 18th position, one point and one spot away from safety.
Gustavo Cabral and Iago Aspas gave Celta victory in Valladolid, while Zaragoza were thumped 4-0 by Real Betis.
Bottom club Mallorca claimed a scoreless draw away to Atletico Madrid to also stay alive, while 17th-placed Deportivo La Coruna lost 3-1 to Malaga.
Those results mean any three of the bottom four clubs could be relegated on the final day with Deportivo (35 points, minus 22 goal difference) ahead of Celta (34, minus 16), Zaragoza (34, minus 23) and Mallorca (33, minus 31).
In other La Liga results, Rayo Vallecano won their Madrid derby 2-1 against Getafe, Barcelona also had derby success with a 2-0 win over Espanyol, Osasuna defeated Sevilla 2-1 and Levante knocked off Athletic Bilbao 1-0.