La Liga Round-Up
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Real Sociedad, a model of mediocrity, were the visitors and could hardly believe their luck in encountering a team lacking in both coherence and determination.
This season has been the worst in the club's long and esteemed history and it is not difficult to see why when watching such an insipid display by several of the world's best players.
After just over half-an-hour, Madrid were put to the sword and found themselves 3-0 down to a depleted Sociedad side.
The first came through the rampaging Darko Kovacevic, who rose to steer the simplest of headers past a flapping Cesar and a static Francisco Pavon.
If Sociedad's opener owed itself to Madrid's deficiencies then the second deserves to be credited to a sumptuous swerving strike from Xabier Prieto.
On 32 minutes Madrid's misery was compounded by another aberration in their backline. This time Oscar De Paula was the grateful beneficiary - heading home when entirely unmarked in the box.
Kovacevic then saw a bullet of a header tipped over, before Ronaldo was pulled back in the Sociedad box and Luis Figo duly dispatched the resulting penalty kick.
The second period saw Madrid briefly flurry before Figo needlessly fouled in his own box. The precocious Prieto scored his second of the game with a cocksure chip befitting of the evening to earn Sociedad a 4-1 win.
Adding salt to Madrid wounds is the renaissance currently being experienced at Barcelona. Despite defeat to Real Zaragoza they finish the season as runners-up to Valencia.
The diminutive Argentine Javier Saviola handed Barcelona the lead but goals from Ruben Graci Cani and Fernando Soriano claimed maximum spoils for the home side.
Beaten UEFA Champions League semi-finalists Deportivo La Coruna secured third spot in La Liga thanks to a first half strike from Walter Pandiani at Racing Santander.
At the foot of the table Real Valladolid and Celta de Vigo joined Murcia in being unable to beat the drop.
Two goals from Roberto Losada secured an impressive victory for Valladolid over Uefa Cup chasing Villarreal but their efforts were in vain because of Espanyol's win over Real Murcia.
Despite being reduced to ten men, Cladiu Raducanu was ordered off, goals from Raul Tamudo and Alberto Lopo were enough to secure a crucial 2-0 victory for Espanyol.
Joining Valladolid in relegation are Celta de Vigo - who could not manage a crucial goal in a dour 0-0 stalemate with Mallorca.
Champions Valencia suffered a Uefa Cup hangover in their home clash with midtable Albacete. A solitary goal on the hour from Carlos Aranda took maximum spoils for the impressive visitors.
Sevilla will be delighted with their victory over Osasuna thanks to a goal in the final minute from prolific striker Julio Baptista, that hands them Uefa Cup football.
Osasuna were reduced to ten men when Alfredo Benitio was given his marching orders in the first half.
Athletic Bilbao ensured European football will be played in the Basque country next season, despite a 4-3 defeat to Atletico Madrid.
A late double salvo from Joseba Arriga could not rescue Bilbao from defeat, after goals from Ariel Ibagaza, Matias Lequi and Fernando Torres, 2, put Atletico into an unassailable lead. Igor Iraola handed Bilbao the lead.
Malaga ended their season in defeat, despite being 2-0 up at home to Real Betis.
First half half strikes from Salva and Manuel Canabal were cancelled out in the second period by two goals from Dani and one from Juanito Gutierrez, to seal an unlikely 3-2 victory.