Leaders Betis were beaten 3-0 by regional neighbours Granada on Sunday lunchtime, a result which means that only two points now separate the top three. All the goals came in the first twenty minutes after the break, Dani Benítez setting up second division top scorer Geijo for the first six minutes in to the second half, and then running through to score the second himself a few minutes later. Mel threw everyone forward, but soon afterwards Abel Gómez put Geijo through for him to score his second of the day and his sixteenth of the season. It was a second defeat in a row for Betis, who are now only ahead of Rayo on goal difference, and Granada themselves are now fifth after only losing once in their last nine games.
Later in the day Tenerife and Girona drew 3-3 in an action packed game, the Canary Islanders fighting back from two down with only ten men. Pablo Sicilia headed Antonio Tapia's side in to the lead from a Julio Alvarez corner, but Despotivic scored twice late in the first half to turn the scoreline around. With just a minute gone in the second half local keeper Aragoneses was sent off for handling in the area, and six minutes later it appeared to be all over when Kiko Ratón added a third for the visitors. Nino got one back though on the hour mark, and the striker scored again in injury time to save a point. Tenerife stay in bottom spot, but the result should boost their confidence under their new coach. (30.01.11)
Rayo Vallecano moved up level on points with leaders Betis pending their game on Sunday after beating Numancia 0-3 on Saturday evening. The Madrid based side dominated throughout, Borja García and Casado going close before Michel headed the opener with just under half an hour gone. Movilla added the second on the stroke of half time with a low shot, and Michel wrapped things up early in the second half with a well struck free kick. The locals had Pavón sent off near the end for a second bookable offence, and they ended the day a point off the play-off spots.
Celta drop two points behind Rayo though after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Barcelona Athletic. The Catalans had not won at home in five games, but they took the lead in the eighth minute when Edu Oriol latched on to a Jonathan Soriano through ball to beat Falcón. After that though the visitors took over, and David Rodríguez, Hugo Mallo, Trashorras and Alex López all caused problems for Miño before the break. Eight minutes after the restart López equalised after De Lucas set him up, but although both sides had chances after that, in the end the points were shared.
Xerez ended the day in fourth spot, albeit nine points behind Celta, after beating promotion rivals Cartagena 1-2. Both teams started the game level on points, and the locals took the lead midway through the first half when Víctor combined with his strike partner Goiria to beat Chema. A few minutes later though José Marí picked up an assist from Pablo Redondo to equalise, and the ex Atlético and Betis forward scored his second of the night in a rapid counterattack twenty minutes in to the second half to put Javi López's side in front. The visitors were left with ten men with a quarter of an hour to go when Lombán picked up a second booking, but Chema and his defence held fast to hand the home side their third defeat in a row.
Villarreal B stay a point behind Xerez in fifth place after a 2-0 win over Valladolid. Nicki Bille opened the scoring for the youngsters, chesting the ball over the line after Kiko headed on a Iago Falqué corner on the half mark. Bille won himself a penalty early in the second half only to see Javi Jiménez save his spot kick, but the keeper got himself sent off a few minutes later for handling the ball outside of the area. With Justo Villar and Jacobo both injured, B team keeper Salcedo came on, but he could do nothing to stop Marquitos from scoring a second in injury time after Gerard set him up.
Elche are now tenth after picking up a point in a boring 0-0 draw at Recreativo earlier in the day, their third game in a row without goals. The Andalusians needed points to move away from the danger zone, but they were unable to make inroads in to the visiting defence until late on, when Dani brought the save of the evening out of Caballero. Fabricio also did well to save from Generelo near the final whistle, but in the end it was a relief for the fans when the game finished and they were able to go home.
Córdoba moved up in to the top half of the table pending Sunday's results after beating Salamanca 2-0. Oscar Cano's team are in free-fall after an eighth defeat in a row, and they are now only a point above the relegation spots. The Andalusians were only a point above them though at the start of the game without a win at home since the start of the new year, and despite dominating the first half they were unable to score. With a quarter of an hour to go though Oriol Riera finally beat Biel Ribas after Tena's header came back off the bar, and with the game coming to an end Goikoetxea turned a cross from Pepe Díaz in to his own net for the second.
Huesca stay level on points with Córdoba after a last minute 1-0 win over struggling Ponferradina. Neither side particularly troubled the opposing keeper, with Yuri and Cristian failing to find the target for the visitors, and Camacho responding for the home side before Molinero fired a shot straight at Mackay. Yuri and Roberto went close at either end after the interval, but with the game coming to an end Camacho headed in from close up to give the Aragón based side their second home win in a row.
Ponferradina stay in next to bottom spot, three points now behind Gimnàstic, who drew 0-0 against Las Palmas. A win would have taken the Catalans level with their opponents in the table, but they were unable to get past Barbosa in the first half despite having the better chances. The Canary Islanders could have won it though late on, Rubén saving well from Sergio Suárez and Quiroga shooting wide with only the keeper to beat. Another point for Nàstic, who have only let in one goal in their last six games, but they have only scored twice in that time, a lack of goals which could cost them dearly this season. (29.01.11)
Alcorcón moved up the table to eleventh pending the rest of the weekend's games after beating Albacete 2-0 in the Friday night match. The Madrid based side have one of the best home records in the league, and Babín and Quini both rattled the woodwork in the first half. It was just a matter of time, and with an hour on the clock Javi Hernández got on the end of a corner to beat Miguel for the first time. The Manchegans lost Camacho to a second yellow card with a quarter of an hour to go, but they threw everything forward looking for a point. But with the keeper in the opposing penalty box following an injury time corner, the ball fell to Nagore who fired a long shot in to the empty net to wrap things up. Albacete ended the day just a point above the relegation spots. (28.01.11)