Second division - day 22
Atlético Madrid fell to their fourth defeat of the season, losing 1-0 at Jaén, although they still head up the table four points clear of their nearest rival. The only goal came early in the game in controversial circumstances, Atlético claiming that Hibic had cleared the ball off the line as Sierra's shot deflected off Burgos. However the linesman ruled that it had crossed the line and awarded the goal. Atlético did not play well though, and the Andalucian side's victory was well deserved. Jaén record their first home win in three months and move up to twelfth as a result, clear now of danger of relegation.
Second placed Xerez close up on the leaders with a belaboured 0-1 victory at Sporting Gijon. Top scorer Pineda returned from a one match ban to hit the winner with a quarter of an hour to go, his twelfth of the season. It was virtually their first shot at goal, and came after substitute keeper Ramón (who replaced the injured Luis in the tenth minute) had saved a penalty from Lozano at the other end. Sporting's David Pirri was sent off in the second half. Xerez stay five points clear of Racing Santander, who cruised to their eighth home win in a row, a 3-0 victory over next to bottom club Gimnàstic Tarragona. Bodipo got a goal in each half to take his tally for the season to nine, and Javi Guerrero added a third from a free kick near the end. Iban Pérez made his first appearance for Nàstic since signing from Osasuna, but got himself sent off in the second half picking up a second yellow in the incident leading to the third goal.
Burgos climbed two places to fifth, a point behind Recreativo and two below Racing, with a 2-0 win against Poli Ejido. It was their first home win since 30th September, and takes them back up within reach of the promotion spots. Gálvez opened the scoring early on after Dani Pendín headed on a long throw in, and Arregui got a second near the end from a free kick. Juan Jesús was sent off for the visitors in the second half. Ejido stay in last position, four points behind Nàstic and seven below Levante, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Albacete. The Valencia based club are looking for a new keeper, and current incumbent Veiga did himself no favours letting in Basti to score the first goal with a quarter of an hour gone. However the home side equalised soon after the restart through youngster Chota, who was making his debut.
Albacete lose ground on the top sides, as do Oviedo who are level with them a point behind Burgos after also drawing 1-1 at Extremadura. Neither of the home side's new signings Kiko and Pier were in the side, the former building up his fitness and the latter still to iron out a couple of points on his transfer from Tenerife, but they still took the lead through Jesús who bundled the ball in to the net in the fourth minute. Oli had a goal disallowed for the visitors and Onopko missed a penalty after the striker was brought down by Cortés, but Geni eventually got the equaliser they deserved in the second half. Eibar also fell behind after losing surprisingly to Murcia. The only goal came from José Mari midway through the first half, shooting home a corner. Barkero came in to the Basque side for his first game since rejoining the side from Real Sociedad, and he hit the bar with a free kick in the second half. Murcia move up level with Extremadura and Elche, all two points above the relegation spots.
Salamanca drew level with Eibar after beating new-look Numancia 2-0. Ojeda missed an early penalty for the visitors after Gañan brought down Iñaki, and Makukula eventually gave the home side the lead heading his eleventh of the season over Alvaro Nuñez in the second half. Pedro added the second in injury time catching the keeper off his line with a lob from outside of the penalty area. Numancia stay a point ahead of Córdoba, who bounced back from their midweek cup defeat with a 1-1 draw at Leganés on Sunday lunchtime. Lawal opened the scoring for them fifteen minutes into the game with a powerful shot from thirty metres out, but Villa made it all square with a strike in the second half. Córdoba keeper saved the day right at the end tipping a shot from Bahón over the bar. Leganés stay down in the relegation spots in nineteenth place. (13.01.02)
Only two games played in the second division on Saturday night. Recreativo moved for 24 hours at least up to third spot after defeating Badajoz 2-0, their first victory in their Nuevo Colombino stadium. Benítez opened the scoring in the first half a few minutes after Jorge Zafra was sent off for the visitors for a second bookable offence, and substitute Antoñito made it two after the break in his first match since joining on loan from Sevilla. Racing Ferrol put a stop to their slide down the table, beating Elche 1-0 in the A Malata stadium. The only goal came in the last minute from Manel, heading home a cross from Emery. The result did not reflect the run of play however, with Elche the better side throughout, and only a first class save by Aizkorreta from Nino's penalty in the first half prevented the visitors from taking the lead. In the end though Racing move back up to the top half of the table, and Elche approach the relegation spots having lost their last three games in a row. (12.01.02)