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Sevilla secures third spot with Depor victory, Barcelona loses

SEVILLA secured third place in the Primera Liga and automatic qualification for the Champions League when a last-minute header from Diego Perotti earned it a 1-0 home win over Deportivo Coruna on Saturday.

Sevilla has a three-point lead and the head-to-head advantage over fourth-placed Atletico Madrid with one game left.

Atletico romped to a 4-1 victory away to Athletic Bilbao, with Diego Forlan netting a hat-trick in the last 17 minutes to move top in the scoring charts with 31 goals.

Atletico only needs a point from its last game at home to Almeria to make sure of the final Champions League slot.

Barcelona, with the title wrapped up and one eye on the Champions League final, fielded a weakened side and lost 0-1 at home to Osasuna.

Walter Pandiani headed Osasuna in front from a first-half corner and Barcelona was reduced to 10 men when youth team player Marc Muniesa was sent off nine minutes from time.

Barca coach Pep Guardiola was sent from the bench as he disputed the decision. After the match, Barcelona was presented with its second trophy of the season. The Catalans have 86 points, eight ahead of Real Madrid which was hosting Real Mallorca yesterday.

Villarreal climbed to fifth, two points behind Atletico, after two goals from Joseba Llorente and one from Cani gave it a 3-1 victory over neighbor Valencia, which slipped to sixth on 59 points.

At the foot of the table, Recreativo Huelva and Numancia were relegated. Recreativo lost 0-1 at home to Racing Santander, while Numancia fell by the same score at Getafe. Osasuna's victory did not manage to drag it out of the bottom three. It remains 18th with 40 points behind Sporting Gijon on the head-to-head rule, after Sporting won 2-1 at Valladolid.

Five teams - Osasuna, Sporting, Real Betis, Getafe and Valladolid - will be battling to avoid the last relegation spot in the final round of matches this weekend.


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