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Villarreal qualifies for Europe, but much is still undecided

The Submarine can finish 5th or 6th

Real Madrid CF v Villarreal CF - La Liga
Both teams can be happy after this one (though Sergio Ramos is still a diving bastard, in my opinion!)
Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Here is what we know going into the last round:

Real Madrid win La Liga; Barcelona are runners-up; Atleti and Sevilla will grab the other Champions League spots, order to be determined yet.

Villarreal finishes fifth or sixth, depending

Villarreal have qualified for the Europa League. Amazingly enough, going into the last round, they’re the only club that has. They finish 5th unless they lose to Eibar and Real Sociedad win over Atleti, or unless they draw with Eibar and Sociedad win by three goals or more, or unless they win by two goals and score at least five more goals against Atleti than Villarreal does against Eibar.

There actually is a scenario where the two teams finish EXACTLY tied. If Villarreal draw 0-0, and Sociedad win 4-2, both teams would have 59 goals for, 49 against, +10 goal difference, and 3-3 head to head with both clubs winning 2-1 at the other’s ground. I assume that would be settled with a coin flip??

The fight for Europe

There are all sorts of scenarios, so let’s do the simplest first. If Getafe wins their match, then Getafe finish 6th, unless La Real wins theirs—then Geta are 7th.

Now, it gets CRAZY. Here are some of the possibilities:

(1) La Real draw, so end on 56 points. Getafe draw so end on 55 (or lose and end on 54). Meanwhile, Granada and Valencia both win, so are also on 56 points.

Villarreal finish 5th; 6th, 7th and 8th are decided by a mini-league among Granada/Valencia/La Real. I believe that would place Real Sociedad 6th, Granada 7th, and Valencia 8th.

(2) Getafe lose, Valencia draw, Granada draw, Osasuna win. Now we have four teams on 54 points, tied for 7th: Valencia, Granada, Osasuna, and Getafe. Granada would have 10 points, Valencia 8, Getafe 9, Osasuna 5, so Granada would finish seventh.

(3) Getafe lose, Valencia draw, Athletic Bilbao win, Osasuna win. Four teams on 54 points again, but the mini-league is now: Osasuna 8, Valencia 7, Getafe 10, Athletic Club Getafe gets 7th place.

Going through all the permutations is beyond me, but basically if Getafe lose and they end up on 54 points with ONE other team, Getafe would finish seventh, and if they finished seventh along with Athletic Club and Osasuna both, Getafe would win that tiebreak too. There is no way for Athletic Club or Osasuna to get into Europe.

And what about Valencia? They have to win; if they and Granada win and Real Sociedad draw so they all end up on 56 points, La Real win the tiebreak (if Getafe loe, so that 6th and 7th are both in play, the order would be La Real 6th, Valencia 7th); while if La Real lose, but Granada and Valencia both win, then Valencia win the tiebreak.

Granada also have to win; they need Valencia to lose or draw, and Real Sociedad to lose or draw. If both of those lose, and Getafe lose as well, then Granada’s 56 points would get them 6th (!) place; if Getafe and Valencia lose, and La Real draw, Granada would get 6th and La Real 7th. If Getafe win, but Valencia and La Real lose, then Granada get seventh. Got it?

The fight for survival

It’s simple. If Leganés win, and Celta lose, the Big Pickle gets another year in the Primera. Anything else, and Celta survive (they have the tiebreak over Lega).

And meanwhile.....

Mallorca and Espanyol are down, and Levante is guaranteed to finish 12th. And, a bit of trivia for you....the only clubs to improve their point totals by more than 10 points over last year are Real Madrid (18) and Villarreal (13). Leganes and Espanyol have gone backwards the most (10 and a whopping 29!!!). Most everyone else will finish within a couple of points of last year’s totals.