Sporting Gijón escape drop as Getafe, Rayo Vallecano go down
With Getafe losing at Real Betis, Gijón's win over Villarreal saw them beat Los Azulones to Primera survival as Rayo were also relegated.
Sporting Gijón pulled off a memorable escape from relegation on a dramatic final day of the 2015/16 LaLiga season on Sunday, as a 2-0 triumph against Villarreal, coupled with Getafe's defeat at Real Betis, saw the Asturians climb out of the drop zone and condemn Juan Esnáider's men.
Getafe went into their clash at Betis one above the bottom three, knowing that a win would guarantee survival. However, they went down 2-1 at the Benito Villamarín and, having been a top-flight team since 2004/05, fall through the trap door to Segunda División.
Los Azulones will be joined in the second tier by Rayo Vallecano. Paco Jémez's side had come into week 38 dependent on slip-ups from both Gijón and their capital neighbours and, despite a 3-1 home victory over already-relegated Levante, Los Franjirrojos' six-year stay in Primera is at an end.
Jony and Álvarez secure Sporting survival
Sporting put themselves in pole position for safety early on, through a fine Jony volley - a goal that put them above Getafe in the table, having begun the day level on points with the Madrid club but with the inferior head-to-head record.
And when Germán Pezzella gave Betis a second-half lead in Seville, the Gijón miracle was within touching distance.
Betis' Rubén Castro then finished off Getafe from the spot, while Sergio Álvarez doubled Sporting's advantage - and the celebrations were underway at El Molinón. A late, spectacular strike from Getafe's Álvaro Medrán proved academic.
Rayo win in vain
Rayo, meanwhile, beat Levante at a Vallecas stadium subdued by the news filtering through from Gijón, with efforts from Pablo Hernández and Jozabed putting Vallecano in charge ahead of the break. After half time, a Verza penalty briefly left the result in doubt, only for Miku to restore the home side's two-goal cushion.
And when the final whistle - and Sporting's victory - delivered confirmation of relegation, the Rayo faithful saw off their team amid heartfelt applause but no shortage of tears, as they and Getafe faced up to life in Segunda.
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