Barcelona finish with a defeat by Villarreal, and Granada go down

Barcelona finished 13 points behind La Liga winners Real Madrid after losing 2-0 at home to Villarreal on Sunday.

Atletico Madrid triumphed 2-1 away at Real Sociedad to maintain their one-point lead over Sevilla, who won 1-0 at home against Athletic Bilbao.

Athletic’s setback, along with Villarreal’s outstanding win at Camp Nou, ensures that Villarreal will finish seventh and qualify for the Europa Conference League.

Villarreal’s season was highlighted by their amazing journey to the Champions League semi-finals, but Unai Emery’s squad has struggled against the inferior sides in La Liga and will be dropped to Europe’s third-tier league next season.

Villarreal vs Barcelona

Athletic finished eighth, while Real Sociedad maintains sixth place and Europa League qualifying despite a home defeat to Atletico Madrid.

At the opposite end of the table, Granada was relegated along with Alaves and Levante.

Espanyol held Granada to a goalless draw, enabling Cadiz, who won 1-0 away at Alaves, to advance. Mallorca also remained in the top flight after defeating Osasuna 2-0.

Barcelona already had second place and a berth in the top four secured, but Xavi Hernandez will be worried about how his squad has faded moving into the summer.

“We’re disappointed with today’s outcome,” Dani Alves told Barca TV. “We need to reflect, adjust our mindset for next season, and put more effort on the field because we are representing this wonderful club and we cannot finish the season without contending for anything.”

Barcelona has now lost four of their previous nine games in all competitions, while Real Madrid has won La Liga by a landslide.

After being hired in November, with the squad in ninth place, Xavi revitalized it and fulfilled the team’s most crucial goal of qualifying for the Champions League.

However, defeats to Frankfurt in the Europa League semi-finals and Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey were disappointing, and the drop-off during the run-in underlines that there is still much work to be done.

Villarreal’s two goals came to either side of halftime, with Alfonso Pedraza scoring in the 41st minute after latching onto a Dani Parejo through-ball and Moi Gomez doubling the lead in the 55th.

Adama Traore was at fault, with his attempted clearing across his own box going straight to Gomez, who shot in, with Traore being replaced shortly thereafter.

Rodrigo De Paul

Atletico defeated Real Sociedad thanks to goals from Rodrigo de Paul and Angel Correa in the second half before Jon Guridi scored a late consolation for the hosts.

Sevilla defeated Athletic Bilbao in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan thanks to Rafa Mir’s brilliant goal inside the post in the 68th minute.

Cadiz started the day a point behind Granada and Mallorca in the battle for the last relegation slot, with Alaves and Levante already out.

Cadiz won away at Alaves thanks to Anthony Lozano’s finish, while Granada were kept to a tie at home by Espanyol.

Jorge Molina had the finest opportunity to win it for Granada, but his penalty in the 72nd minute went agonizingly wide of the post before Cadiz seized the lead at Mendizorrotza in the 76th.

Mallorca had already taken the lead against Osasuna, thanks to Angel Rodriguez’s goal. Clement Grenier scored twice as Mallorca defeated El Sadar 2-0 to escape relegation.

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