Every year tends to end the same way--at least in sports: some teams, and their fans, face the ultimate triumph of accomplishing their goals, some head home dejected, seeing their side fall when it matters most. In these cases, I always think of the Terminator movies: as the season creeps towards the final weeks, you can feel Judgment Day approaching. But, as in the first two Terminator films, Judgment Day tends to be put off--new, unexpected results pop up, and teams remain afloat, alive to fight another day.
But, like John Connor says at the end of Terminator 3, he always knew Judgment Day was coming--he just didn't want to hear about it: "it was never our destiny to stop Judgment Day, it was merely to survive it." And that's what about five teams towards the bottom of Primera will try to do next weekend. This weekend, they only postponed it.
As Arnold Schwarzenegger's terminator said: "Judgement Day is inevitable."
Zaragoza: one step closer to salvation. They take on a Getafe side next weekend that will probably only take the pitch in order to earn the bags and bags of cash that sides get towards the end of the year. And yes, I do mean bags--literally. They're paid bags filled with cash from other teams simply to try to win. It's common here.
Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Getafe
I'm pretty sure that Athletic Bilbao is already qualified for next year's Europa League, thanks to their participation in the final; if not, they're pretty far outside looking in. I do expect them to beat Atletico Madrid in the final, however.
Mallorca! Who woulda guessed, amirite?! Unfortunately, they are currently unlikely to make it into Europe this season, despite having the sixth seed at the moment. Why? Well, they have to go to Madrid to take on Real Madrid next weekend; and los blancos will be looking to win, and cement their legacy as one of the greatest Liga sides of all time, by winning 100 points.
Granada 1-2 Real Madrid
I just talked about Madrid. Let's talk about Granada: this is a pretty mediocre side. In many other years, they would've gone back down to Segunda. But not this season. Their actions at the end of this match--including hurling a filled water bottle into the referees face, then screaming that he's "dead" may not have endeared them to anyone, either.
Sevilla 5-2 Rayo
Ah, Rayo. I don't know what to say anymore. They were a sight to behold for a while there; now, they're crashing at the worst possible time. The good news? They have bottom-feeder Sporting at home next weekend, and hopefully their home faithful will be able to rally around them and send them to a season-saving win.
Sporting 2-1 Real Betis
Betis clearly wasn't paid enough to get up for this match. Now, Sporting will travel to Vallecas to try to save their season against Rayo. Must-see TV here.
Villarreal are not making this easy on their fans, are they? They should have been clear of the drop zone weeks ago, but they just keep hanging around. Look, it's not likely that they'll go down. But it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility. And Valencia? Probably third place. Which is pretty much first in many other leagues.
Osasuna was the only side that cared here, as la Real had no investment in this match--they're already officially above the drop zone. Osasuna would be a fun side to have in Europe next year, and they're going to have to hope for a loss or two next weekend, combined with a victory away at already-done Racing. It could happen.