Barcelona coach Luis Enrique led the messages of congratulations to Sporting Gijon after they sealed La Liga survival on the final day of the season.
A 2-0 win over Villarreal coupled with Getafe’s loss at Real Betis ensured Sporting kept their status in Spain’s top flight.
Luis Enrique, who began his professional career at Sporting, posted a photo on social media in his former club’s jersey following the last round of games.
The Barca boss said: “What a great round of games! Sporting Gijon! Congratulations [Sporting manager] Pitu.”
Que gran jornada! Sporting de Gijón! Enhorabuena Pitu. pic.twitter.com/SR4r9S4cED
— LUISENRIQUE (@LUISENRIQUE21) May 15, 2016
Jony opened the scoring at El Molinon in just the ninth minute, but the home fans had to nervously wait until the 79th for a second, scored by Sergio Alvarez.
Sporting defender Alberto Lora praised the fans for their support, especially after what he described as a “tough” season.
“We want to acknowledge all the people that filled the stadium, those that were supporting us outside, and of course [former Sporting coach] Manolo Preciado,” Lora said.
“It’s there to be enjoyed. It’s been a tough season, we’ve been through a lot. With a lot of belief and a little bit of luck we were able to stay up.
“We just tried to stay focused on our match but it’s inevitable that you have half an eye on the other game. When we heard the stadium cheer we knew Betis had scored.”