Barcelona: Real Madrid capped its dominant Spanish league campaign with a 4-1 win over Mallorca on Sunday to give the champions a record 100 points this season, while Villarreal and Sporting Gijon joined already relegated Racing Santander in being demoted to the second division.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring at the Santiago Bernabeu in the ninth minute. Karim Benzema scored four minutes later, and Mesut Oezil struck a brace after halftime.
Also, Raul Tamudo scored in stoppage time to give Rayo Vallecano a 1-0 win over Granada that lifted his team out of the drop zone and condemned Villarreal. The veteran striker headed in a rebound off the crossbar to send the fans at Vallecas stadium in the Spanish capital streaming onto the pitch.
“We always depended on ourselves,” said Rayo coach Jose Sandoval. “Now we have to show our support for Villarreal and Sporting. They are both topflight teams and they will come back, I am sure of it.
“It’s the moment to remember those people. We are crying for joy while they are from pain.”
Malaga, which had made a €70-million ($90 million) overhaul of its squad this season, saw its investment finally pay off when it beat Sporting Gijon 1-0 through Jose Rondon’s header to secure a fourth-place finish. It will join Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia in the Champions League for the first time ever.
“We knew how important this game was to Sporting, which was playing for its life,” said Malaga defender Martin Demichelis. “It is a great reward for all the months of hard work.”
Villarreal, which was decimated by injuries this season, was in control of its own fate until Radamel Falcao scored late to give Atletico Madrid a 1-0 win only minutes before Tamudo grabbed Rayo’s last-gasp winner.
“This is a year to forget,” said Villarreal striker Nilmar.
Atletico finished in fifth place, falling just short of its goal of making the Champions League.
Levante beat Athletic Bilbao 3-0 to qualify for the Europa League for the first time, putting an incredible end to its historic season that also saw it move top of the table for the first time ever to start the season.
Striker Abdelkader Ghezzal scored a brace before Javier Farinos added a third goal to give the team with the smallest budget in the league its crucial victory.
Zaragoza escaped the drop zone for the first time in 26 weeks with a 2-0 win over eight-man Getafe.
Antonio “Apono” Galdeano scored a penalty in the 58th minute and Helder Postiga secured Zaragoza its fourth straight victory.
Getafe’s Pablo Sarabia was sent off with two yellow cards for protesting before Miguel Torres followed for handling in the area. Apono converted the resulting penalty to complete Zaragoza’s revival.
Zaragoza played the last 10 minutes a man down after Tomislav Dujmovic was sent off for dangerous play, before Getafe’s Nicolas “Miku” Fedor sent off with a red card for a hard tackle.
“These are moments of euphoria, but apart from that, Zaragoza is not a team, for its fans and city, that should have to go through these troubles (two seasons in a row),” said Zaragoza captain Javier Paredes, whose team was 12 points from safety just weeks ago.
Also, Osasuna beat Racing 4-2, and Sevilla drew 1-1 at Espanyol. Osasuna, Mallorca, and Sevilla all finished just outside the Europa League spots.
Madrid padded its league record for goals scored in a season with 121, while Ronaldo added to his club records with his 46th league goal and 60th in all competitions this campaign.
The Spanish powerhouse’s 32nd victory of the season gave it one more point than the 99 that Barcelona collected in 2010.
“Real Madrid, as the best team in the history of football, has a wealth of titles, but this team will go down in history as the team of the 100 points,” coach Jose Mourinho told the packed stadium during Madrid celebration of its 32nd league crown.
Ronaldo headed in Marcelo’s cross, jumping over two defenders to send the ball beyond goalkeeper Dudu Aouate.
The Portugal forward’s total of 46 goals bettered his mark of 40 from last season, but fell short of Barcelona forward Lionel Messi‘s league record 50 goals this season.
Moments later Benzema slotted into the right lower corner to make it 2-0 after Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain linked up to play the France striker clear at the top of the area.
Oezil made it a rout three minutes after halftime when the Germany playmaker lifted an exquisite left-footed shot over Aouate.
In Mallorca’s first approach to Iker Casillas’ goal, Chori Castro pulled one back in the 52nd before Oezil got his double with a volley of a cross by Marcelo in the 58th.
On Saturday, runner-up Barcelona drew 2-2 at Real Betis while third-place Valencia lost 1-0 at Real Sociedad.