Second division - day 21
Atlético Madrid moved closer to first division football with an impressive 0-4 victory at third placed Burgos on Sunday lunchtime. The home side were reduced to ten men seven minutes before the half time interval when José Mari was sent off rather harshly for a tackle from behind on Luque, and shortly afterwards Carreras put the visitors ahead. Hibic got the second soon after the restart, and substitute Dani added two more in the last quarter of an hour. Atlético end the first half of the season with a record 46 points, seven ahead of second placed Xerez. Burgos drop four places to seventh, albeit only two points behind third placed Racing Santander.
Albacete moved up to fourth place, a point behind Racing and ahead of Oviedo and Recreativo Huelva on goal average, after defeating Leganés 1-2 in Madrid. José gave them the lead, and although Miguel Angel levelled the scores before the break, Basti scored the winner later on. Recreativo missed out on the chance to go third after being held to a 0-0 draw by Sporting Gijon in their first match at their new stadium. Problems with the turnstiles meant that many supporters did not get in until well after the kick off, and the club eventually had to open the gates to avoid crowd trouble. Sporting ended the game with ten men after Juan was given a second booking early in the second half.
Eibar kept up their challenge for the hotly disputed third promotion spot with a 3-1 victory over Elche. Sukia scored twice in the second half for the hosts, with Nino levelling the scores temporarily in between from the penalty spot after Galdames brought down Moha. Jon Solaun made it safe near the end. Only three points separate the Basque side, who are eighth, from third placed Racing. Salamanca and Badajoz lose ground on the top group though after cancelling each other out in a 2-2 draw. Makukula kept up his impressive scoring record with a goal in the first minute and a second later in the half after Jorge Zafra had equalised. However Molist put Alhinho's back level near the end to stay a point ahead of their rivals in mid-table.
Córdoba took advantage of the high spirits on the eve of their cup quarter final with Figueres to record a much needed 1-3 victory at Racing Ferrol. All four goals came in the second half, with the visitors taking a two goal lead through an individualist Alfonso goal and a header from Manolo. Delporte scrambled one back on his debut for the Gallician side, but Lawal hit the killer blow in injury time to take his team to within a point of their opponents. A new look Numancia also moved away from the bottom spots with a narrow 0-1 victory at Levante, who stay third from bottom. Iñaki caught out keeper Veiga near the end with a free kick from over 30 metres which crept in at the near post. Numancia manager Sánchez Duque has cleaned up the dressing room over the holiday period, but he was on the receiving end of punitive action this time, getting himself a red card for protesting.
Another new manager took over this week, Anquela moving up from the technical staff at Jaén to replace Francisco after he resigned before the holiday period. His team could not break down Murcia's defensive wall though, and with keeper Reinke stopping everything thrown at him, the game ended 0-0. Murcia climb out of the bottom four having a slightly better goal average than Leganés. Extremadura also moved away from the relegation spots after a 1-0 win against Gimnàstic Tarragona. New club president Juanito was applauded in his first appearance in the directors' box after the ex Atlético Madrid defender announced he was on the point of signing veteran strikers Kiko and Pier to the end of the season. In their absence Jorge Pérez provided the only goal in the second half. (06.01.02)
Only two games were brought forward to Saturday in the second division as the league programme resumed after a two week break. Second placed Xerez were narrowly beaten at Oviedo, who move up to fourth pending Sunday's games. The only goal of the game came from the penalty spot when Oli was brought down early in the second half, Onopko rolling the ball home past keeper Luis.
Racing Santander moved up to third with their seventh home win in a row, although it took a late Mazzoni goal to beat bottom club Poli Ejido 2-1. The visitors took the lead through Angel Rodríguez, but then were reduced to ten men when Sevilla earned himself a straight red card. Bodipo headed the equaliser before the break, but the visiting keeper Marcos saved a penalty before the Argentine striker scored the winner. (05.01.02)