Valencia held their nerve to secure La Liga’s last Champions League place on Saturday as a 2-0 victory over Real Valladolid ended Getafe and Sevilla’s hopes of snatching fourth.
Getafe had to better Valencia’s result at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla as they faced Villarreal, while Sevilla needed beat Athletic Bilbao and hope both Getafe and Valencia lost.Sevilla held up their side of the bargain by seeing off Bilbao 2-0 but Getafe drew 2-2 and Valencia won, meaning it is Marcelino’s side who reach the Champions League for a second consecutive year.
They sit seven points behind Real Madrid, who play Real Betis at home on Sunday, and 15 adrift of second-placed Atletico, who earlier drew 2-2 away at Levante, with Antoine Griezmann jeered in his final match for the club.
Valencia’s Champions League chances looked slim after they were knocked out of the Europa League by Arsenal two weeks ago and even slimmer when a miserable start to the season left them 15th after 15 games, a scrap for survival more likely than a dash for the top four.
After 11 weeks in the top four, fifth place and the Europa League comes as a disappointment for Getafe, even for a team promoted to the top flight only two seasons ago whose annual wage bill is more than 10 times smaller than Real