La Liga 2012, Week 38: Levante, Atletico Madrid Qualify For Europa League

Judgement Day doesn't fall as hard on the top half of the table: teams are playing, in general, for what amounts to frosting on the cake of their already-phenomenal season. At least, that's what they like to tell themselves as they play arguably the most important matches of their seasons. At the end of what feels like an absolute million-mile marathon of a season, the 1/10000 shot Levante has managed to qualify for the Europa League, making them one of the least likely sides to ever qualify for European Competition from Spain (hello, EuroGeta). In other action, Málaga solidified their Champions League participation, beating Sporting easily--a great result for a good, exciting team.

Joining them in the Europa League will be defending champions Atlético Madrid, who defeated now-descended (more on that later) Villarreal 0-1 at El Madrigal. Atleti will now be able to defend their crown after successfully capturing fifth place in Spain; a goal from Columbian striker Radamel Falcao (who else?) sealed Atleti's fate in Spain.

But the real story of the afternoon is Levante, who dominated the universally-beloved Athletic Bilbao, winning 3-0 in the Ciutat de Valencia on the back of two goals from Ghezzal. The first goal was a brilliant effort, easily lifted over Athletic keeper Iraizoz, after a long ball through the middle. Levante dominated from the starting gun, easily overcoming an Athletic sides who has seen their epic season crumble before their eyes.

And with that, the plucky side that I thought was a fluke all year eliminated the brilliant Bielsa-coached side that beat Manchester United. What a world.

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