Cash-strapped Racing Santander,
cast adrift at the bottom of La Liga, were relegated to the
second division after losing 3-0 at Real Sociedad on Saturday.
French winger Antoine Griezmann scored twice and set up a
third goal for Imanol Agirretxe as Sociedad gained a measure of
revenge over the north-coast rivals who had helped condemn them
to the drop in 2007.
Racing, who celebrate their centenary next year, have failed
to register a victory in 17 matches. They have 26 points and are
12 from safety with three games left.
"It's understandable that everyone is emotionally
destroyed," Racing's third coach of the campaign Alvaro Cervera
"Now we have to do our best to represent an institution that
has been around for 99 years and that deserves our maximum
respect [in the remaining games]."
Racing have spent the last decade in Spain's top division
but were left in disarray after a takeover by Indian businessman
Ahsan Ali Syed turned sour last year.
The club said Ali Syed, who had promised to put Racing on
the international map, failed to honour his commitments and they
went into administration in July with debts of more than 30
Elsewhere on Saturday, Sporting Gijon boosted their survival
chances with a 3-0 victory at Espanyol that moved them above
Real Zaragoza to third from bottom on 34 points, four short of
next best Villarreal.
Villarreal were held 1-1 at the Madrigal by Osasuna after
Raul Garcia struck a spectacular volley for the visitors in the
At the other end of the table, surprise packages Levante
were led to victory by Arouna Kone who opened the scoring in
their 3-1 home win over Granada. It was the Ivorian's 15th
league goal of the season.
Levante, bidding to secure a first venture into European
competition next season, climbed into the last Champions League
qualification berth in fourth spot with 52 points but the teams
around them have a game in hand.
In Saturday's other match, Real Mallorca were 3-1 winners in
a mid-table affair at Getafe.
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