CA Osasuna and Real Valladolid were relegated on the final day of La Liga on Sunday to join the already doomed Real Betis Balompie in the second division next season.
Osasuna’s 2-1 win at home against Betis was overshadowed by a railing collapse that injured dozens of fans and counted for little after the day’s other games saw Granada beat Valladolid 1-0, Getafe best Rayo Vallecano de Madrid 2-1 and UD Almeria draw Athletic Bilbao 0-0.
Play was delayed for more than half an hour at El Sadar when a railing collapsed after Oriol Riera scored a 12th-minute goal, sending fans tumbling forward. Osasuna said that 68 people were hurt and one man suffered a broken leg.
The other three matches with relegation implications were delayed an extra 35 minutes during halftime to synchronize their estimated finishing times.
Before the relegation battles were over, thousands of Atletico Madrid fans had already started partying in the Spanish capital to celebrate los Colchoneros’ first league title in 18 years.
Osasuna have not played in the second tier since 2000, while Valladolid have spent the past two seasons in the top flight.
“In football, when you think you have wrapped it up, you are put in your place,” Riera said. “We reacted, but it was too late. We ask our fans for forgiveness and tell them we will do our best to come back up.”
Osasuna and Valladolid entered the final round in the drop zone, both needing to win their matches and hoping the other three teams in danger slipped up.
Osasuna did their part by beating Betis, but Valladolid self-destructed against Granada.
Pucela disappointed their fans at the Estadio Jose Zorilla with a paltry performance that reached a low point when defender Stefan Mitrovic scored an own-goal in the 44th minute by knocking in Francisco “Piti” Medina’s cross.
“We shouldn’t have arrived to this week in this situation,” Granada coach Lucas Alcaraz said. “We were facing a do-or-die match and my boys were able to handle it.”
Despite assuring their teams stayed up for another year, both Alcaraz and Rayo coach Paco Jemez said they would most likely not be with their teams next season.
Getafe won at crosstown rivals Rayo thanks to Ciprian Marica’s brace, one in the 43rd and the second from the spot in stoppage-time.
Earlier, Europa League champions Sevilla routed Elche 3-1 to round off an excellent campaign that saw los Rojiblancos finish fifth, while Giovani dos Santos scored one and set up another to help Villarreal win 2-1 at Real Sociedad and overtake Erreala to finish in sixth.
After drawing with eventual champions Atletico on Saturday, Barcelona finished second, level on points with Real Madrid on third and Bilbao following in fourth.