The final day of the Primera Iberdrola had one final storyline that needed to play out. FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad had booked their places in next season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League before this past weekend, which left one more spot to fill that both Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid CF were looking to make their own.
Atlético were away to Barcelona, who were looking to make it a historic 30 wins out of 30, while Real Madrid hosted Villarreal CF. In what turned out to be a very tense 90 plus minutes for both Madrid teams, Real Madrid got the three points they needed to qualify for another Champions League season at the expense of their city rivals.
Red cards, goals and misery for Atléti
It was never going to be an easy day for Atlético Madrid, knowing that they needed a win against Barcelona on the final day of the season to put themselves back into the Champions League. Some may have thought that with the Champions League final a week away and the league already decided, Atléti could take advantage of a hopefully (for them) slack Barcelona and get a much-needed win but it wasn’t to be.
Barcelona were intent to end off their league season with a high, so much so that Aitana Bonmatí picked up a red card in stoppage time as she prevented a breakaway from Atlético that could’ve potentially tied up the game. Instead, Barcelona fought with everything they have to make it 30 wins out of 30, and thus snatching a Champions League berth away from Atlético Madrid right at the death.
Irene Paredes had gotten the hosts off to a good start, finding the back of the net in the 11th minute and Bonmatí added a second in the 23rd minute. Things got worse for the visitors when Merel van Dongen was issued a second yellow card in the 58th minute but Amanda Sampedro pulled one back for Atlético six minutes later, giving the away side a spark to try and push for an equaliser. Unfortunately for Atlético they couldn’t do so and with Real Madrid winning their game, lost out on Champions League football once again.
Kosovare Asllani leaves Madrid with a wonderful gift
The only goal of the game between Real Madrid and Villarreal came in the 43rd minute as Swedish international Kosovare Asllani converted from the spot. Before we delve a little more into the match, we should highlight how important Asllani has been for this Madrid side as she’s set to leave the club this summer.
Asllani was the first major signing the new look Real Madrid made when they finally converted from CD Tacón into Real Madrid Femenino. She has lived up to her billing from her first kick of the ball to her last, helping the team finish second last season witch crucial goals and performances. This season, a loss in form (which plagued the team early on) and a rash of injuries have kept her out of the side more often than not but on the final day of the season, she was ready to leave her mark once again. Any Madridista will tell you that while the board are seemingly willing to let Asllani go for free, her importance to the team cannot be understated and she will be missed in the league.
Apart from the penalty itself, the only goal of the game, Real Madrid were not at their best and allowed Villarreal to come into the game more in the second half. Had Villarreal been sharper in front of goal, what ended up being a great day for Real Madrid and a wonderful send off for Asllani and Babett Peter (who is retiring) could have been a day of misery. Instead, Alberto Toril and his charges will be looking to use the summer to rejuvenate and revamp the team once again for the next season.