Valencia crowned Spanish champions
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
After both Real Madrid and Barcelona suffered surprising defeat on Saturday, Valencia knew three points in Seville would see them crowned champions of La Liga.
Rafa Benitez's men did just that and secured a 2-0 win with goals from Vicente and Ruben Baraja.
The win put them out of reach of the chasing pack and secured the title with two games still to play.
Benitez will now be able to give some of his stars some vital rest with their Uefa Cup final with Marseille coming up in Gothenburg.
Vicente gave the visitors the lead after just 12 minutes when he stormed into the box and fired the ball inside Esteban's near post with the goalkeeper woefully out of position.
The hosts gave Valencia a tough time, and Santiago Canizares had to be at his best on a couple of occasions, while both sides had goals chalked off for tight offside decisions.
With time ebbing away, Baraja sealed the three points, and the title, by dancing into the box and rifling home left footed.
Valencia fans can now celebrate their sixth title success in the remaining games before a Uefa Cup final to look forward to.
Espanyol gave themselves hope of survival as a surprising 2-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna lifted them out of the bottom three.
Mauricio Pochettino gave the hosts the lead in Barcelona after just eight minutes and Ivan de la Pena made the points safe with 16 minutes left to play.
Valladolid played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at home to Real Sociedad which amazingly ended up with the home side being reduced to eight men.
Igor Gabilondo gave Sociedad the lead after 18 minutes before Fernando Sales scored the first of his brace to equalise after 22 - the same minute that saw the first of two missed penalties as Albano Bizzarri missed from the spot.
Juan Manuel Pena was then sent off for the hosts on 34 minutes before Turkish star Nihat put Sociedad ahead three minute before the break.
Valery Karpin then became the second man to miss a penalty as he was unsuccessful from 12 yards out on the stroke of half time.
Sales got ten-man Valladolid back into the match with his second to draw level at 2-2, which is how the score remained despite both Chema and Pablo Richetti seeing red for the hosts in the final eight minutes.
It was a tale of two penalties at Athletic Bilbao as Andoni Iraola equalised for the hosts from the spot after Antonio Pachecho had put visiting Albacete ahead from his earlier penalty.
Miguel Angel scored the only goal of the game for Malaga as they secured a 1-0 win at home to relegated Murcia.
Real Zaragoza grabbed three valuable points that keeps them out of the drop zone as Alvaro's strike in injury time earned them a dramatic 1-0 win at home to Osasuna.
Omri Afek scored in the 90th minute to grab a 2-2 draw for Racing Santander at home to Atletico Madrid.
Cristian Alvarez levelled for Racing after Ariel Ibagaza had put Atletico ahead on 25 minutes, but they were only level for two minutes as Gonzalez de los Santos restored the visitors' lead.
Afek then struck in the final minute to give the hosts a point.
Jose Mari was the hero for Villarreal, as his 67th minute strike was enough to see-off visiting Real Betis 1-0.
Athletic Bilbao v Albacete
Espanyol v Deportivo
Malaga v Murcia
Racing Santander v Atletico Madrid
Real Zaragoza v Osasuna
Sevilla v Valencia
Valladolid v Real Sociedad
Villarreal v Real Betis