RELEGATION BATTLE

Eight relegation-scrap heros who kept their sides in LaLiga

Rayo, Sporting and Getafe will be competing to finish Sunday night in 17th place. Kiko, Corominas, Tamudo and Salomao all kept their teams up on the final day of the season.

Rayo Vallecano, Sporting Gijon and Getafe will be competing with each other on Sunday to clinch 17th place and avoid the drop down to the Segunda División. Only one of the three can play LaLiga football next season.

With so much at stake it’s very likely that one of the three outfits’ players will distinguish himself as a hero over the 90 minutes of make-or-break action, just as Kiko, Corominas, Tamudo, Salomao and others did in relegation scraps gone by.

Kiko Narváez (Cádiz) 1990/1991

The Andalusian side needed to beat Zaragoza and hope that Oviedo did the same against Castellón to avoid being automatically relegated. Ramón Blanco’s charges were trailing 0-1 when a youngster by the name of Kiko, who was a reserve team striker at the time, drew a penalty which Dertycia converted and, minutes later, scored the winner. Cádiz went on to beat Málaga in the playoff following a nerve-raking penalty shoot-out.

Corominas (Espanyol) 2005/2006

Espanyol and Aláves were fighting it out to condemn the other to the final relegation spot. The Catalans held the upper hand as a win at home against Real Sociedad would guarantee their survival; however, three shots against the goal frame, along with news of the Vitoria side’s triumph over Depor, ensured that nerves began to creep into the ranks of the Parakeets. That all changed though in the 91st minute when Coro found himself in the right place at the right time to keep the blue and whites up.

Edu (Betis) 2006/2007

Betis beat Racing 2-0 and managed to stay up thanks to two late goals by Brazilian forward Edu. The Seville-based team would have been dead and buried if not for the South American’s brace.

Javi Guerrero (Recreativo Huelva) 2007/2008

Fans of The Dean will remember the 93rd-minute Javi Guerrero goal against Valladolid to keep the Nuevo Colombino club on the right side of the drop zone border line.

Juanfran (Osasuna) 2008/2009

The Navarrans overcame no less than Real Madrid at El Sadar to remain in the Spanish top-flight. Despite having nothing to play for, Los Blancos took the lead through Higuaín, thus forcing Osasuna to dig deep to overhaul the setback. Plasil struck first and then a Juanfran volley set Pamplona into raptures.

Duda (Málaga) 2009/2010

Real Madrid were challenging for the title, while Juan Muñiz-managed Málaga needed one point to stay in the division. The Portuguese left-back was the unlikely hero at La Rosaleda after grabbing the home side’s goal in a 1-1 draw.

Tamudo (Rayo Vallecano) 2011/2012

Rayo Vallecano, who had not fallen into the drop zone once leading up to the final day of the season, came close to slipping out of the top division against Granada. But an injury-time (and offside) Raúl Tamudo goal (1-0) was enough to keep Vallecas on the LaLiga map for another year.

Salomao (Deportivo de la Coruña) 2014/2015

Barça went 2-0 in front thanks to Lionel Messi and Depor’s faith looked sealed. However, Lucas (66) and Salomao (75) mounted a second-half rescue mission to keep the Galicians up.