Surprise contenders Real Sociedad maintained a wafer-thin lead over Real Madrid by drawing 1-1 with outgoing champions Valencia at the Anoeta tonight.
However, at the other end of the table all the relegation issues were settled with two matches to spare as Rayo Vallecano, Alaves and Recreativo Huelva were all condemned to the drop.
At San Sebastian, Sociedad were hoping to take full advantage of Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw with Celta Vigo 24 hours earlier but in the end had to settle for the same result and a single-point lead over the team that earlier in the week saw their European title handed over to AC Milan.
When Xabi Alonso scored it looked as though Sociedad were set to take a three-point lead at the top of the Primera Liga but almost immediately Valencia hit back with a somewhat fortunate goal when Anthony Reveillere’s shot clipped the leg of Igor Jauregui before finding the net.
Valencia survived the sending-off of Roberto Ayala to hang on to a point and boost their own hopes of playing in next season’s Champions League.