A surprise on Thursday evening, leaders Celta losing 1-2 to Huesca for their first defeat since mid-November. The visitors went ahead in the third minute, Roberto's header coming back off the post and going in off keeper Falcón. De Lucas hit the post twice in the first half, and David Rodríguez and De Lucas were both booked for diving instead of being awarded penalties when brought down in the area either side of half time. But with a minute left on the clock Gilvan picked up a pass from Sorribas to make it two, and David Rodríguez's injury time header came too late to change the result. A great result again for Onésimo's side, who move up safely to mid-table after beating the two leading teams in the space of four days.
Third placed Betis were unable to take full advantage of Celta's slip-up though after they could only draw 1-1 at bottom club Ponferradina. Saizar headed the locals in front in the seventh minute from Abraham's cross, but Jorge Molina equalised four minutes in to the second half after Rubén Castro set him up. Both teams were left with ten men when Abraham and then Iriney picked up second yellow cards. But Betis felt themselves unlucky not to have taken the three points in the end after the referee failed to spot a clear hand ball in the area, and then ruled out a late headed goal by Molina for what he considered to be a foul in the build up. (03.03.11)
Rayo Vallecano put aside their financial problems to beat city neighbours Alcorcón 1-0 on Wednesday evening, a result which takes them to within a point of leaders Celta pending the Galicians' match on Thursday. Aganzo had a goal ruled out for offside before the striker picked up Trejo's through ball to open the scoring with thirteen minutes on the clock. But although the locals had the better of the play after that, Rayo keeper Cobeño had to be on his toes to keep out Quini either side of half time, and Nagore later in the second half. A first win for Sandoval's side in four games however, but the fans still spent much of the match calling for president Teresa Rivero to leave.
Xerez stay three points below the play-off spots though after a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Gimnàstic. The Andalusians started strongly, Oscar Díaz going close a couple of times before finishing off after Mario Bermejo played on a corner. However a couple of minutes before the half time whistle Powel headed the equaliser in off the bar from Gerardo's free kick, Rodri making sure even though the ball had bounced down just over the line. And eight minutes in to the second half new singing Felipe Sanchón fired home the second to take the Catalans back out of the relegation spots.
Valladolid's recent recovery under new coach Abel Resino took a slight set-back after they were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Albacete. The visitors had won their last three games, but they found themselves behind early on when ex-Valladolid striker Calle headed in a corner. Local keeper Kaylor Navas had to make a couple of important saves after that however, and with just over an hour gone Alvaro Antón got on the end of Nauzet's cross to equalise. Both teams ended the game with ten men after Juanito was sent off for a foul on Tato, and then Calle was given his marching orders for a second booking for diving near the end.
The result leaves David Vidal's side down in next to bottom spot, two points below Las Palmas, who could only draw 1-1 with Recreativo. Juan Manuel Rodríguez was in charge of the Canary Islanders for the first time after Paco Jémez was fired earlier in the week, looking for a win would have taken his new team above their opponents in the table. However with just over half an hour on the clock the visitors took the lead when Juan Villar headed Rafita's cross past Barbosa. Half time substitute Quiroga at least saved a point though when he got on the end of David González free kick with twenty minutes to go. (02.03.11)
A rare round of midweek games in the second division this week, with five games kicking off on Tuesday. None of the top three were in action though, and the match of the day was at Girona, where the Catalans kept up their unbeaten record in 2011 with a 2-0 victory over fourth placed Granada. Raúl Agné's side had won their last four games, and Moha had an effort cleared off the line before Peragón intercepted a bad back pass from Iñigo López to round Roberto to score. The locals sat back to defend after the break, but with two minutes to go Siqueira ran the ball in to his own net trying to clear from Kiko Ratón. (
Barcelona Athletic stay a point behind their regional rivals though after a 4-1 victory over Córdoba. Curiously all the goals came after the restart, with Thiago setting up Jonathan Soriano for the opener just two minutes in to the second half. Three minutes later Usero equalised with a shot from the edge of the area, but eight minutes after that the veteran midfielder put through his own net trying to clear Abraham's cross. Soriano picked up a second Thiago assist to make it three a few minutes later, and Edu Oriol rounded things off with the fourth later on, taking his side's tally to ten goals in the last two games.
Cartagena stay level with Barça B in the last of the play-off spots after a 1-0 win over Tenerife. Toché and Natalio had goals ruled out for borderline offsides in the first half, but midway through the second half Longas and Txiki combined to put Toché away to score what was to prove the only goal of the game. It was a set-back for the Canary Islanders, who had only just climbed out of the relegation spots for the first time this season at the weekend.
Elche remain three points behind Cartagena after beating Numancia 1-0. The locals dominated throughout, Dani López turning a shot against his own crossbar and Mantecón and Kike Mateo going close before Angel headed in Palanca's corner five minutes before the interval. After the restart the locals had three or four clear cut chances to increase the lead, but in the end they settled for a result which took them five points above their opponents, who have now lost their last three games.
It was a day for single goal results though, Salamanca picking up the three points for the first time in fourteen games after beating Villarreal B 1-0. Brian Sarmiento got the only goal with a shot in to the top corner of the net with just over half an hour on the clock, and the locals held off the onslaught after the interval, Nicki Bille shooting over the bar from a yard out and then hitting the post late on, and Hernán Pérez and Iago Falqué both wasting good chances in between. A first win for new coach Pepe Murcia, and his side move out of the drop zone pending the rest of the midweek games. (01.03.11)