A free kick taken by goalkeeper Claudio Bravo just before half time was enough to give Real Sociedad a narrow 1-0 victory over Gimnàstic. Kicking off at lunchtime on Sunday, the Basque side needed to get back on track after three games without a win, especially as promotion rivals Hércules and Cartagena had won the night before. Redondo went close for the Catalans shortly before Bravo's goal, but Aranburu and Nsue both had chances to add to the lead after the restart. Real move up level with Hércules at the top of the table, now twelve points clear of Nàstic.
The other three games on Sunday were also settled by a single goal, with Levante moving level with fourth placed Numancia after beating Celta 1-0. Rafa Jordà got the only goal midway through the second half, turning a Miguel Pérez cross past Falcón for his third goal since joining in the winter transfer market, although the striker will not be available for the next game as he was sent off for a hard tackle on an opponent later on. Elche moved up to ninth in the table after a 0-1 victory at Salamanca, Usero scoring the only goal from Ripa's pass three minutes after the restart. The locals have now gone eight games without a win. And Huesca moved clear of the danger zone with a 1-0 victory over Murcia, Corona heading the winner following a first half corner to give his side their first win in the new year, and to leave Murcia further down in the relegation spots. (14.02.10)
Herculés pulled clear at the top of the second division after beating fifth placed Villarreal B 4-2 on Saturday evening. Cristóbal put the visitors ahead early on from the penalty spot after Juanra fouled Hernan Pérez, but midway through the first half they were left with ten men when keeper Juan Carlos was sent off for giving away a penalty on Tote. Farinós converted the kick, and Sergio Rodríguez headed past replacement keeper Vicente from two corners either side of half time to establish a two goal lead. Juanra was sent off for a second bookable offence soon afterwards though and Jefferson got one back after good work by Joan Tomás, but with ten minutes to go Kiko Femenia cut in from the wing to wrap things up.
Cartagena consolidated third spot with a 1-0 victory over Real Unión. The visitors defended well though, and the first chances didn't come until after the break, when Quiteros and De Lucas went close. The only goal though came from the penalty spot, De Lucas converting the kick after Alcalá had fouled Toché. And Maric could have saved a point for the Basque side when his free kick hit the post late on.
Numancia stay in fourth spot, four points behind Cartagena, after a 3-1 win over Las Palmas. Del Pino put the home side two up with typical strikers goals late in the first half. David González volleyed one back though on the stroke of half time, and it was not until the third minute of injury time that Barkero made sure from the penalty spot after Del Pino was fouled in the area.
Betis are still one of the favourites to go up, although they are now eight points off the top three after a 1-1 draw at Recreativo. Víctor Fernández's side went ahead when Sergio García turned in Nacho's cross just before the break, but Emilo Sánchez ran on to equalise after the restart. Sánchez got himself sent off after that for a second booking, but Recre held on to thwart their local rivals at home for the 16th time in a row.
Rayo Vallecano continue to slide down the table as well, and a 0-3 defeat to Girona means they have still not won a game since the start of the new year. Rubén Castro saw his early penalty saved by Jorquera after José had handled in the area, and Cañas headed in Matamala's free kick in the visitors' first attack close to half time. And Beltrán and Peragón added two more in the last five minutes to take the Catalans out of the drop zone.
Girona are now seven points ahead of bottom club Castellón, who picked up another point in a 1-1 draw at Albacete. Nico Medina appeared to have given the visitors victory when he turned a shot past Cabrero with only a couple of minutes left on the clock, but veteran striker Salva Ballesta scrambled home the equaliser just a minute later. (13.02.10)
The first of the second division Friday night games took place this week, with Córdoba beating local rivals Cádiz 1-0 to clock up their first home win in almost three months. The combination of Carnival and wet, cold weather meant that there was only a small crowd, and they saw the visitors have the better of the opening minutes. However a great run down the left wing by Lizio ended with him setting up Pepé Díaz to score the only goal of the game. (12.02.10)