Deportivo still not safe after drawing with Osasuna

Deportivo still not safe after drawing with Osasuna

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Madrid, (AP/UNB) — Deportivo La Coruna midfielder Juanfran scored a late own-goal in a 2-2 draw Sunday at last-placed Osasuna to keep his team from securing a spot in the top tier of the Spanish league — for now.Deportivo could have mathematically avoided relegation with victory against already demoted Osasuna, but Juanfran found his own net in the 78th minute while trying to clear a free kick into the area.Jhon Steven Mondragon had put the hosts ahead in the fourth minute, but Brazilian forward Guilherme scored in the 18th and 70th minutes to put Deportivo ahead at the El Sadar Stadium.Deportivo, the 2000 Spanish league champion, needs at least a draw in one of its final three games to escape relegation for the first time since 2011.”The team has improved,” Deportivo coach Pepe Mel said. “We are only one point away, and if we keep playing like this, we will earn this point. We have to remain optimistic.”Deportivo is 16th in the 20-team standings and has an eight-point gap over the first team in the relegation zone, Sporting Gijon, which lost 3-1 at Villarreal on Friday to virtually seal its demotion after two straight seasons in the top flight.Osasuna, promoted to the first division this season, had its relegation confirmed last round after a 7-1 loss against league leader Barcelona at the Camp Nou. Granada was also relegated after a 2-1 loss at Real Sociedad on Saturday.Before Osasuna’s home match on Sunday, players entered the field displaying a banner thanking the local fans for their support throughout the season. The team has won only one home game, with two more victories away.Osasuna endured a 21-game winless streak in the league, and has only 19 points from 35 matches.Barcelona and Real Madrid remain at the top with 81 points each. The Catalan club is ahead on the head-to-head tiebreaker but it has three games left while Madrid has four.Barcelona won 3-0 at Espanyol on Saturday with a pair of goals by Luis Suarez, while Madrid scored late with Marcelo to defeat Valencia 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.Third-placed Atletico Madrid routed Las Palmas 5-0 in the Canary Islands to open a three-point gap to fourth-placed Sevilla, which visits Malaga on Monday. The third-placed team automatically qualifies for the Champions League, while the fourth-placed club has to go through a playoff.

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CELTA VIGO 0, ATHELTIC BILBAO 3

Athletic Bilbao stayed in position to qualify for the Europa League with the convincing win at Celta Vigo, which rested its regular starters ahead of the game against Manchester United in the competition’s semifinals on Thursday.Raul Garcia scored twice and Mikel Rico added another to leave Athletic in sixth place – the final qualifying slot for the second-tier European competition.Celta stayed 11th in the Spanish league.

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EIBAR 2, LEGANES 0

Leganes remained in danger of being relegated after its third straight away loss.Kike and Sergi Enrich scored four minutes apart in the second half for mid-table Eibar. Defeat for Leganes left the club six points ahead of Sporting, which has the head-to-head tiebreaker in case both teams finish level on points after the final three matches.Leganes is playing in the first division for the first time this season.

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REAL BETIS 1, ALAVES 4

Alaves conceded early at Real Betis but came from behind with four second-half goals to extend its unbeaten streak to four games.Alaves, 10th in the standings, is trying to get in form for the Copa del Rey final it will play against Barcelona on May 27.Real Betis stayed 15th, and is mathematically sure to avoid relegation.

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