Late goal gives Sevilla final Champions League spot in Spain


madrid, may 16: Sevilla needed a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid to clinch the final Champions League spot in the Spanish league.
Barcelona secured second place, and a spot in the lucrative Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia, after a 0-0 draw at Getafe, which escaped relegation. A header by Youssef En-Nesyri in the 85th minute secured the point that gave Sevilla a place in Europe’s top club competition for a third straight season.
Third-place Atlético, which had already qualified, opened the scoring with José María Giménez in the first half.
A loss would have left Sevilla in a tense situation going into the final round next weekend as rival Real Betis beat Granada 2-0 to close in.
The draw kept Sevilla three points ahead with a better head-to-head tiebreaker against fifth-place Betis.
“Mission accomplished,” Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui said. “What a great season! The team deserved this prize.”
Manuel Pellegrini's Betis had already secured a Europa League place by winning the Copa del Rey, and it will be joined in the second-tier competition by sixth-place Real Sociedad, which defeated Villarreal 2-1 on Sunday.
Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao, which beat Osasuna 2-0, will fight next weekend for a spot in the third-tier Europa Conference League. Villareal visits Barcelona, while Bilbao is at Sevilla.
Real Madrid, which had already clinched the title and is focused on the Champions League final against Liverpool on May 28, drew 1-1 at Cádiz.
Alavés became the second team relegated after a 3-1 loss at Levante, which had been demoted in the previous round.
Granada, Mallorca and Cádiz will fight to avoid relegation in the final round.
Unai Emery’s Villarreal had a chance to stay alive in the fight for a Europa League spot but it allowed visiting Sociedad to rally to victory in the second half to secure the final spot in the second-tier competition.
Villarreal, which made it to the Champions League semifinals this season, is now in danger of missing out on the final Europa Conference League berth as well after Bilbao moved within a point of seventh place. Bilbao holds the head-to-head tiebreaker against Villarreal.

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