Valencia boosts European hopes

Valencia won 1-0 at Getafe thanks to Jeremy Mathieu’s goal to provisionally move into fourth place and Spain’s last Champions League spot on Saturday.

Real Sociedad can reclaim its hold on fourth place with a win at Sevilla later, after Osasuna plays Granada.

Mathieu scored with a deft volley from a pass from Ever Banega in the 44th minute, firing the ball into the net from outside the area.

Getafe never threatened to draw at its Alfonso Perez Coliseum, with goalkeeper Miguel Moya saving the hosts from a heavier defeat.

Elsewhere, Granada went a long way to securing its place in the topflight next season by rolling over 10-man Osasuna 3-0 after Brazilian defender Siqueira set up one goal and scored another.

Siqueira passed for unmarked striker Youssef El Arabi to poke the ball under the goalkeeper for Granada’s first goal in the 23rd.

He then converted a penalty kick in the ”Panenka” chipped style in the 80th after Fernando ”Nano” Macedo was sent off when he fouled Yacine Brahimi from behind with only the keeper to beat.

Diego Buonanotte added the hosts’ third goal in stoppage time to the delight of the Los Carmenes Stadium fans.

Granada stayed undefeated in five consecutive games and rose seven points clear of the relegation zone, while Osasuna stayed four points above the drop before three of the four teams below it in the standings play this round.

On Sunday, new league champion Barcelona plays Valladolid without injured top scorer Lionel Messi. Barcelona can match Real Madrid’s record haul of 100 points from last season if it wins its remaining three matches.

Also, it’s: Levante vs. Rayo Vallecano, Real Zaragoza vs. Athletic Bilbao, and Deportivo La Coruna vs. Espanyol.

Last-place Mallorca hosts Real Betis on Monday.

Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Malaga, and Celta Vigo already played their fixtures for this round last week to make room in the calendar for the Copa del Rey final on Friday, when Atletico beat Madrid for its 10th cup and first win over its crosstown rivals in 26 matches dating back to 1999.