Competition news

MATCHDAY 37: INTERTOTO IS NOW THE ONLY WINDOW TO EUROPE

13 May 2008
The defeat at the Vicente Calder??n has left Deportivo with the Intertoto as the only window in order to play in Europe during next season. Something that could be achieved with a draw in the last game of the season. Matchday 37 also meant a UEFA spot for Sevilla, while it left the fight for the permanence between four clubs: Valladolid, Recreativo, Osasuna and Zaragoza.

Deportivo's defeat in the last match against Atl?©tico Madrid confirmed two things: First, the participation of the Madrilenians in the next Champions League. And secondly, that the only way to see Deportivo playing in Europe for the next year is through the Intertoto cup. Depor had the option to reach a spot in the UEFA cup through the fair play system, but that option was discarded on Tuesday.

The Fair Play competition is based on the Fair Play assessments made by official UEFA delegates at all UEFA competition matches (club and national teams). A coefficient is established for each country, this coefficient is based on criteria such as positive play, respect of the opponent, respect of the referee, behaviour of the crowd and of team officials, as well as cautions and dismissals. The best seven countries in the final ranking could opt to three tickets for the UEFA cup, Spain was between the list, but at the end a draw determined that Germany and Denmark together with England (first place in the ranking) will be rewarded with the European spots.

Now, the final war for the European places has been reduced to two battles: the first one is the fight for the last direct spot in the next UEFA cup. Sevilla already clinched the 5th position after the 2-0 win in the Andalucian derby with Betis. The other spot is between Racing Santander and RCD Mallorca. The Cantabrians are living their worst moment on the season as they have only added 4 points within the last 5 matches, the opposite is occurring with the Majorcans, because Gregorio Manzanos's squad is the most in-form team in la liga with 15 points achieved in the last 5 games.

The other battle is for the Intertoto spot, Deportivo has a two-point advantage over Athletic Bilbao, the only team inscribed for the competition that still has the option to pass Depor in the liga table. In order to do it, the Basques have to win the last game in the season and to wait for a defeat of the Galicians. A draw will give the spot to Deportivo because in the worst case, both teams will end tied and Lotina's squad has won the particular series over Atlhetic Bilbao (5-2).

The fight for Europe:


Another war that still unresolved is the one to avoid the relegation, Levante and Real Murcia are already in Segunda Divisi??n, and the final spot is between Valladolid, Recreativo Huelva, Osasuna and Real Zaragoza. This four clubs are separated by just two points and everything will be decided in the last matchday.

There are a lot of possibilities, since two of this four clubs are playing between each other in the last matchday -Recreativo and Valladolid- Zaragoza only needs to win its last game in order to reach the safety, a draw for Los Ma?±os will only be worthy if Recreativo loses against Valladolid, in this case both teams will be tied but Zaragoza has won the particular series against Recreativo (4-2). a win of Zaragoza will force Osasuna to win its match. If Zaragoza and Osasuna are able to achieve a victory, then the last relegated team will come out from the match between Valladolid and Recreativo.

The fight for the permanence:


The last matchday of the season presents five crucial games. The two clubs fighting for the last UEFA spot -Racing and Mallorca- are hosting the two most compromised clubs in the fight for the permanence -Osasuna and Zaragoza- while the other two teams trying to avoid the relegation and playing against each other -Valladolid and Recreativo. Finally, in the fight for the Intertoto, Deportivo only needs a point against a Villarreal that's playing for nothing, while Atlhetic visits a Sevilla that already ended its season.


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