Villarreal sixth after win
Villarreal claimed a 2-1 victory at Real Sociedad to unseat the Basques and finish sixth in the Primera Division.
Last Updated: 18/05/14 2:12pm
Villarreal produced a dominant performance to claim a 2-1 victory at Real Sociedad and unseat the Basques to finish sixth in the Primera Division.
Man of the match Giovani dos Santos gave the visitors a deserved lead with a fine curled finish after 26 minutes, and then the Mexican provided Ikechukwu Uche with the pass for the second goal on 69 minutes which killed off the game.
Carlos Vela got a goal back for the hosts in the third and final minute of injury time, but it left far too little time to find an equaliser.
The Basques never really got out of the blocks and as a result of the defeat will have to play two play-off rounds at the start of next season to qualify for the Europa League.
They surrender sixth place due to their inferior head-to-head record with Villarreal, who beat them 5-1 at El Madrigal earlier in the season.
Marcelino's side will need to play just one play-off tie to reach the Europa League group stages, and the result also means that Sevilla finish the season in fifth place.
The visitors made a strong start to the game and could have taken the lead before they did.
The lively Dos Santos accelerated down the right wing and cut inside onto his left foot, but his shot was well saved by Claudio Bravo. Then his Nigerian strike partner Uche had a go from outside the area but was well off target.
The opening goal was not far away, however. La Real ceded possession in the middle of the park and left large gaps between their defenders.
Dos Santos received the ball just after the halfway line and raced down the pitch, again switching onto his favoured left foot but this time striking the ball perfectly, curling it into the far corner.
La Real took their time to react to going behind, but almost drew level on the stroke of half-time, Markel Bergara shooting just wide of a post following a free-kick into the box.
Jagoba Arrasate's side made a better start to the second half, with Antoine Griezmann seeing a header saved by Juan Carlos Martinez, and Vela shooting wide when he had just the goalkeeper to beat.
The visitors were also wasteful. Bravo saved from Jaume Costa and then Uche took too long to get his shot away after a cutback from Moi Gomez - but the Nigerian soon made amends for his indecision.
Again Dos Santos caught the La Real defence out with his pace on a quick Villarreal break, and slipped the ball to Uche, who executed a first time shot into the opposite corner.
Bravo averted a third by denying Jonathan Pereira with his legs, but Vela would score the final goal of the afternoon, combining with David Zurutuza and then poking home from close range.
The Basques were unable to create anything from their final surge forward, leaving a sour note to a disappointing season compared with the last, when they finished fourth to qualify for the Champions League.
Villarreal meanwhile celebrate their highest league finish in three years in their first season back in the top flight.