Gregorio Manzano's men can finish no lower than seventh after a rousing second-half display inspired by veteran striker Frederic Kanoute.

The Malian put the hosts ahead after 54 minutes and added a second on the hour mark.

Substitute Imanol Agirretxe pulled one back but Alvaro Negredo settled it with five minutes to go.

Champions Barcelona rested most of their first XI and finished with a goalless draw at home to Deportivo La Coruna.

Second-placed Real Madrid won 3-1 at Villarreal thanks to another brace from Cristiano Ronaldo, who equalled the single-season top-flight record of 38 goals, set by Athletic Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra in 1950/51 and equalled by Madrid's Hugo Sanchez in 1989/90.

The Portuguese, who now has 51 in all competitions, made it 2-0 after Marcelo had clipped in the opener and then completed the scoring after Ruben Cani had halved the arrears - both goals coming from trademark free-kicks.

Depor's point at the Nou Camp saw them slip to fourth from bottom - a point ahead of Real Zaragoza, who beat Espanyol 1-0 at the Riazor thanks to Leonardo Ponzio's 55th-minute strike.

Getafe also have 43 points after seeing off Osasuna 2-0. A Miguel Flano own goal set them on their way and Pedro Rios made sure of a vital win in the final minute.

Osasuna, Real Mallorca and Sociedad are one point better off.

Mallorca crashed to a 3-1 defeat at relegated Almeria.

Kalu Uche, Juanma Ortiz and Pablo Piatti put the hosts 3-0 up after 32 minutes with Michael Laudrup's side netting a sole consolation from Pierre Webo just before the break.

Hercules have also slipped through the trapdoor and they lost again tonight, 2-1 at Atletico Madrid, who secured a place in the Europa League in the process.

Defender Alvaro Dominguez gave Atletico the perfect start when he netted inside the opening minute and then highly-rated goalkeeper David De Gea saved a David Trezeguet penalty to keep the Rojiblancos ahead at half-time.

Trezeguet made amends for that miss in the 67th minute when he drew Hercules level, but parity lasted just four minutes before Jose Antonio Reyes netted what would turn out to be Atletico's winner.

Levante's goalless draw at Valencia was enough to preserve their top-flight status and make sure Los Che secured third.

Sporting Gijon beat Racing Santander 2-1 - goals from Miguel and Nacho Novo cancelling out Christian Fernandez's opener - while Athletic Bilbao and Malaga drew 1-1.

Athletic, who will play in the Europa League next season, fell behind to a Jose Recio goal but David Lopez's penalty levelled matters after Malaga's Martin Demichelis had been sent off for a second bookable offence in conceding the spot-kick.