Real Sociedad moved back up above Hércules to the top of the table after beating promotion rivals Betis 2-0 on Sunday lunchtime. Carlos Bueno had a goal disallowed for a dubious offside before heading the opener from Xabi Prieto's cross on the half hour mark, and Prieto himself scored the second after Aranburu set him up with five minutes to go.
Later in the day Gimnàstic beat Villarreal B to move up to eighth in the table, four points below the promotion spots. Fernando Morán set up Vicente for the opener and then scored the second himself shortly before the break, with Marco Rubén replying for the visitors from the penalty spot after Medina brought down Mario near the end. All the other matches involved sides who are down in the lower reaches, with no less than eleven teams separated by four points. Nàstic's neighbours Girona moved out of the bottom four after an exciting 3-2 win over Elche, Brian Sarmiento getting the winner with a late penalty after Oscar Rubio was sent off for a foul on Xumetra. Kiko Ratón's opener was overturned by goals by Molina and Trejo before the interval, but Ratón equalised again midway through the second half.
Girona's place in the relegation spots has been taken by Cádiz, who are just below Celta on goal difference after drawing 2-2 at Murcia. The Andalusians twice took the lead, Enrique getting the first in the twentieth minute after Diego Tristán's long free kick came back off the bar, and Fran Cortés putting them back in front after Isaac Jové had equalised. The visitors had Christian sent off though, and Chando made it all square again with three minutes to go to give his team their eighth draw of the season. Murcia stay in next to bottom spot, three points ahead of Castellón who lost 2-0 at Huesca. Mikel Rico put the locals ahead midway through the first half, and Camacho added the second with a long shot on the hour mark. (20.12.09)
Hércules return to the top of the second division pending Sunday's games after beating Recreativo 2-0 on Saturday evening. Both goals came in the first twenty minutes, Danciulescu opening the scoring and Pepe Mora putting through his own net trying to clear Rufete's cross soon afterwards. Cartagena are back up to third after a 1-2 win at Levante. Goals from free kicks either side of half time by Toché and Expósito put the visitors two up before Rubén Suárez got one back late on. For a couple of hours Rayo Vallecano were in the promotion spots as well after they beat Salamanca 0-1 in the first game of the weekend. Aganzo got the only goal from Rubén Castro's cross with five minutes to go to take his side above their opponents in the table.
Numancia moved up level with Salamanca after beating Real Unión 1-0 in a frozen Pajaritos stadium. Mikel Alvaro got the only goal in the twelfth minute, and the Basque side's challenge ended when Gurrutxaga was sent off on the hour mark. Córdoba lost ground on the teams above them after they were beaten 0-2 by Albacete, Stuani and Alberto getting the goals a few minutes either side of the break, the first from the penalty spot and the second a header from a corner. And further down the table Las Palmas and Celta kept themselves clear of the drop zone with a 1-1 draw, Marcos Márquez saving a point for the locals with two minutes to go after youngster Toni Rodríguez had given the Galicians an early lead. (19.12.09)