Second division - day 16
A low scoring weekend in the second division, with ten teams failing to get on the scoresheet and only 19 goals in all, with six of them coming in one game. Seven of the eleven matches were settled by a single goal, with second placed Xerez keeping up the pressure on leaders Atlético with a 0-1 victory at Levante on Sunday lunchtime. Bernd Schuster's side sat back and waited for their chance, which came halfway through the second half when Mena got away on a counterattack. Levante's Juvenal got sent off late in the match for a second bookable offence.
Xerez stay five points behind Atlético and five above Burgos, who move back up to third ahead of Recreativo on goal average after a 1-5 thrashing of Numancia. José Mari put the visitors ahead, and although Merino put through his own net to equalise, Cuéllar did the same at the other end after César Esteban had scored with a free kick to establish a two goal lead. A second half Iñaki penalty and a goal by Merino, this time in the right net, left Numancia down one place above the relegation spots having gone five games without a win. Fans called for the head of manager Cellestino Vallejo, and a decision is expected to be made within 24 hours. He is not the only one who could be given the boot this week, with Murcia's Braojos also likely to be fired after his team lost 0-2 to Gimnastic. Pinilla and Prieto got the goals for the Catalans, who move up a couple of places to nineteenth.
Racing Santander have not looked back since Quique Setién took over, and they moved up to within two points of the promotion spots with their first away win in 19 months. They beat promotion rivals Albacete 0-1 thanks to a late headed goal by central defender Neru, moving ahead of their opponents into sixth place. Racing lead a group of four teams on 24 points, including Ferrol, Elche and Salamanca, who defeated Leganés 1-0, their first victory in five weeks. Robert got the only goal of the game in the first half.
Badajoz set a new club record with their fifth straight win in a row, and they have not lost since manager Alhinho took over six weeks ago. Their match against Jaén was another which finished 1-0, with Pepín getting the winner with a magnificent volley from outside of the area on the stroke of half time. The same score as well at Gijon, where Sporting defeated Eibar to earn themselves a much needed three points. Michel got on the end of David Pirri's free kick to score the only goal in the first half. (25.11.01)
Atlético Madrid made hard work of beating bottom side Poli Ejido, but in the end they recorded a 1-0 victory to move even further ahead at the top of the table. The only goal came from Uruguay's Correa with a quarter of an hour gone after good work by Luque. However Mono Burgos saved the day closing down Vizcaino before half time, and even though the visitors were reduced to ten men after Francis picked up a second yellow card shortly after the restart, Atlético were unable to add to their scoreline and were grateful when the final whistle went.
Third placed Oviedo fell behind the top clubs again, losing away at Elche 2-0. Both goals came in the last quarter of an hour of the match, with Raúl Ivars opening the scoring with an individualist goal and Nino getting the second in the last minute. Oviedo's Onopko was sent off for the third time this season for a high kick on Moha in injury time. This was Elche's third win in a row, and they move safely up to midtable.
Recreativo move ahead of Oviedo into third place after a 1-0 victory over Racing Ferrol. The home side took the lead through Cheli ten minutes before the break with a solo effort. However Ferrol came back in the second half and were unlucky not to level the scores in the end. This was Recreativo's first home win in four games, and gives them hope once again of first division football.
Córdoba's new manager Pepe Murcia started with a victory, beating Extremadura 2-0. Murcia became the Andalucians' third manager of the season when Crispi was fired at the start of the week, and his side showed a major improvement after five games without a win. Lawal got the first from Whelliton's pass in the twentieth minute, and Alfonso added the second shortly after half time. Extremadura have yet to win away, and they stay down in the relegation zone. (24.11.01)