Fri, 22 Sep 2023

MADRID, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The penultimate round of La Liga left two big questions to be resolved when the season ends next weekend. Here are some things we learned in Spain in Sunday's games and some things we didn't.

1. Emotional goodbye to the Camp Nou

FC Barcelona said goodbye to veterans Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba with a 3-0 win at home to Mallorca in the Camp Nou Stadium on Sunday. Ansu Fati scored twice in a game that didn't really have much emotion, given that neither side had anything to play for.

Fati's future is also up in the air after his struggles for form this season and if he does leave Barcelona, he has signed off in a good way.

Barca will now move to the Olympic Stadium in Montjuic for the 2023-24 campaign as the Camp Nou undergoes a much-needed renovation, and you can't help but wonder how much both players and fans will miss their home.

2. Espanyol pay the price for leaking goals

Espanyol were just seconds away from taking their battle against relegation into the last round of games, only for an injury time goal away to Valencia to condemn them to a return to the second division, three years after their last promotion.

A look at a squad that includes players such as Martin Braithwaite, Sergi Darder and striker Joselu, implies the club had the firepower to stay up, and they have scored 49 goals. However, 66 goals against (the joint worst in the division) showed they struggled in defense all season, despite starting the campaign with the respected Diego Martinez in the dugout.

The decision to replace Martinez with the inexperienced Luis Garcia for the closing weeks of the campaign didn't bring any change and eventually their inability to defend is what sends them down.

3. Dramatic last day in store in relegation battle

Espanyol's relegation leaves six teams all with a very real chance of relegation on the last day of the season with just two points separating Valladolid, who are currently 18th, from Cadiz in 13th.

Valladolid, Celta Vigo, Almeria, Valencia, Getafe and Cadiz can all still go down, although Getafe will be safe if they can draw their head-to-head battle in Valladolid.

Cadiz visit Elche, who are down, while Almeria play away to Espanyol and Valencia have a difficult visit to play Betis.

Meanwhile, a Celta Vigo side in freefall with one win in 11 games are at home to Barcelona and if Barcelona are anywhere near their best next Sunday, Celta are in real trouble.

4. Does anyone want to play in the Conference League?

The weekend's results also left seventh place and qualification for the Conference League completely up in the air.

Osasuna remain seventh, despite a last-minute defeat to Getafe, while Athletic Club Bilbao someone lost to an injury time goal at home to Elche, after Elche keeper Edgar Badia made a string of saves to keep them at bay.

Girona were victims of two Borja Iglesias goals for Betis, while Sevilla's interest in the Europa League final saw them make wholesale changes for their defeat to Real Madrid.

With Athletic visiting Real Madrid on the last day of the season, it's tempting to think seventh place will be decided in the clash between Osasuna and Girona for the simple reason that they can't both lose. But after this weekend, you never know.

Sign up for Finland News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!