Second division - day 17

Atlético Madrid recorded yet another victory to widen the gap at the top, and they are now twelve points clear of the fourth placed side. They did not have it all their own way though against struggling Gimnastic Tarragona, ending up with a 1-2 victory as the Catalan side came back late in the game. Diego Alonso returned to the side after a long spell of international duty with Uruguay for their World Cup qualifiers, and he opened the scoring ten minutes before half time with his ninth goal of the season. Youngster Fernando Torres put them further in front heading home Stankovic's free kick in the second half, but a goal from Prieto in the eightieth minute put the visitors under pressure for the dying moments. Atlético stay five points ahead of second placed Xerez, and Nàstic stay down in the relegation spots.

The two matches which took place on Sunday lunchtime both ended scoreless. Last week's third placed side Burgos were held at home by promotion rivals Albacete, and couldn't even score from a last minute penalty when Tcherychev was brought down by Valbuena. The keeper made up for his mistake by saving Iñaki's spot kick to keep his side in the promotion race. It was nevertheless the first point that Burgos had picked up in the Plantio stadium in five games, and they drop out of the top three down to fifth.The team just below them Recreativo recorded the same score away at Leganés in a game of two halves. The visitors dominated the first half completely, but new manager Carlos Aguiar brought on Arnal and Villa around the break and from then on they were in charge. However neither side could break through, and they settled in the end for a point each.

Oviedo took advantage of the draws of the two teams above them, moving back up to third place with a 2-0 victory over Murcia. They made it hard for themselves though when Nadj got himself sent off for a second bookable offence halfway through the first half, but Jaime put them in to the lead with a free kick only a few minutes later. Santamaría added a second after the break to give them the victory, and Murcia's manager Braojos must surely be on his way as his side drop to seventeenth, only a point above the relegation spots. Racing Santander have not looked back since they replaced their manager, and they made it seventeen points from seven games with a 2-0 victory over Córdoba. It was a flattering result, with the visitors playing the best football, but a goal from Bodipo in the first half and a second at the end from substitute Regueiro just minutes after he came on took them up to fourth, ahead of Burgos and Recreativo on goal average.

Salamanca are seventh after a breathtaking final few minutes at Levante. Both sides missed penalties in the first hour, and Ettien finally gave the home side the lead with a brilliant solo run. Makakula equalised three minutes from time, but Roa restored the lead three minutes in to injury time. However the visitors raced down the other end stright from the kick off, and Makakula scored again to make it 2-2 at the end. Levante stay next to bottom, just behind Nàstic on goal average. Racing Ferrol drop a couple of places after losing at home 1-2 to Sporting Gijon, who were on a high after defeating first division leaders Alavés in the Spanish cup midweek. Two goals from Lozano in the first half were enough to take the three points, although Sastre put through his own net soon afterwards and then Valencia saved an Ismael penalty in the second half.

Badajoz kept up their incredible run under manager Carlos Alhinho with their sixth league run in a row, defeating Eibar 0-1 in the Ipurua stadium. Jorge Zafra gave them the lead early on with help from Bauzá, and they should have got a second near the end when the referee awarded a penalty after Mantecón was brought down. However it was not a day for penalty takers, and Almunia saved Cidoncha's kick to make it five misses out of five in the nine matches played on Sunday. Badajoz's neighbours Extremadura finally got their first win in some time, beating Elche 1-0 in a bad match. The only goal came from Manuel in the fifth minute (their second in seven games), and the victory takes them above Nàstic to nineteenth. With Córdoba, Murcia and Leganés all a point above them on 19 points, they are now within a point of salvation, despite having only won once in eight games before this one. (2.12.01)

Xerez kept up their surprising push for promotion with another home win, this time by 2-1 against bottom club Poli Ejido. Cañizares gave them the lead in the first half, and when Ejido's' Sedano was sent off for a second bookable offence before half time it appeared to be all over. However Trzeciak made it all square after the restart before Cubillo re-established the lead from a cross by Cañizares. Ejido were reduced to nine men in injury time when Trzeciak also picked up a second caution, and they fell to their sixth defeat in a row since Castro Santos took over two months ago. Xerez are now only two points behind leaders Atlético, who play at Nástic on Sunday.

Numancia's new manager Sánchez Duque started with a 1-2 victory at Jaén to ease up the pressure on the Soria side, who dropped to the edge of the relegation places last week. Ojeda got the first goal from the penalty spot when Puche fouled Pacheta, and Rosu added a second before the interval. Jaén were once again on poor form at home (they have only won twice all season), although they did get a consolation goal, also from the penalty spot, in the last minute through Pepín. (01.12.01)

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