La Liga round-up: Atletico Madrid held to draw by Real Betis
Last Updated: 22/04/18 10:12pm
Saul Niguez was denied by the crossbar as second-placed Atletico Madrid were held to a 0-0 La Liga draw by Real Betis.
Saul rattled the woodwork with a 74th-minute strike on a day when it was the visitors who created the better chances but ultimately left frustrated by poor finishing.
In a scrappy first half, it was Europa League semi-finalists Atletico who created the better openings, with Fernando Torres seeing an early header saved by keeper Dani Gimenez, who later limped off to be replaced by Pedro Lopez.
Torres headed just wide four minutes before the break and Ryad Boudebouz called upon keeper Jan Oblak at the other end before Javi Garcia fired wastefully wide in stoppage time.
Garcia passed up a glorious opportunity to put the visitors ahead nine minutes into the second half when he completely missed his kick after being picked out unmarked by Boudebouz, and Cristian Tello clipped the outside of a post with 21 minutes remaining.
However, Atletico midfielder Saul came within inches of breaking the deadlock when he crashed a 74th-minute shot against the crossbar with Lopez beaten.
Oblak produced an instinctive near-post save to keep out Antonio Barragan's effort from a tight angle seven minutes from time, but the deadlock remained unbroken.
El Haddadi Munir struck twice as Alaves ended Las Palmas' stay in the top flight with a 4-0 victory in Gran Canaria.
Munir headed the visitors into a 51st-minute lead and then added a second with 17 minutes remaining to end his side's fears of being dragged into a relegation fight and push the hosts through the trapdoor.
Substitute Alvaro Medran helped himself to a third with a diving header six minutes later and Ruben Sobrino made it 4-0 in stoppage time amid driving rain to complete a miserable evening for Las Palmas.
Adrian Gonzalez and Youssef En-Nesyri combined to fire already-relegated Malaga to just their second win in 19 games as they got the better of Real Sociedad.
Striker Gonzalez opened the scoring with an 11th-minute shot and, although Sociedad, who beat Atletico 3-0 on Thursday evening, responded in determined fashion, En-Nesyri increased Malaga's lead 10 minutes before the break.
David Zurutuza went close to reducing the deficit as the hour-mark approached and Adnan Januzaj was unable to convert a gilt-edged chance seconds later with Malaga keeper Roberto saving late on from Willian Jose to secure a fifth league win of the campaign.
Gerard Moreno scored twice to give Espanyol victory in the Catalan derby, easing their relegation fears and denting Girona's hopes of securing a Europa League place.
The visitors took the lead against the run of play, Moreno allowed the time and space to control Sergi Darder's 42nd-minute free-kick before firing into the top corner.
The pattern was repeated in the second half as Girona continued to squander chances before Darder produced a superb, defence-splitting pass to find Moreno, who calmly chipped the advancing goalkeeper to claim the points.