The big match on Sunday lunchtime between second placed Betis and third placed Celta ended level at 1-1, a result which kept the Andalusians four points ahead of their opponents in the table. Both really needed a win though, and Celta took the lead early on when David Rodríguez got on the end of a De Lucas cross to beat Casto. But that was about it for the Galicians, and Jorge Molina hit the post and Yoel had to make a couple of good saves from Rubén Castro before Molina latched on to Emaná's pass to roll in the equaliser ten minutes before the break. A few minutes later the visitors were left with ten men when Roberto Lago picked up a second booking for a crunching tackle on Emaná, but despite dominating from then on they were unable to find the way past the excellent Yoel. With the game coming to an end an overzealous referee sent off Belenguer and then Iago Aspas, also for second yellow cards, leaving everyone feeling they could have done better.
A second match this weekend kicked off at mid-day on Sunday, with Alcorcón moving a step closer to safety after beating Numancia 3-1. The visitors went ahead early on though, Dimas slipping the ball through for Cedric to beat Herrera following a rapid counterattack. Eight minutes later however Angel equalised, and just a minute after the restart Fernando Sales latched on to Borja's through ball to turn the scoreline around. Iñigo got the ball in the net at the other end only for it to be ruled out belatedly by the referee for a previous foul, and Montañés wrapped things up for the Madrid based side with a third goal a few minutes later.
Just one match remained for Sunday afternoon, bottom club Ponferradina sinking further towards relegation after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Girona. After a dull first half, the home side went in front when Saizar beat Santamaría with a well struck free kick. But with five minutes to go Chechu got on the end of a cross from fellow substitute Borja to equalise, the referee waving away protests that a local player was lying on the ground injured at the time. The result keeps the Catalans just two points off the play-off spots, but they could have been even closer had Alejandro not kept out Despotovic in the last minute. (03.04.11)
Rayo Vallecano extended their lead at the top of the table to three points pending Sunday's games after coming back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Valladolid on Saturday evening. The visitors put their financial problems behind them and started well, Amaya heading wide from a corner and Delibasic hitting the post. However shortly before the break Jordi headed the locals in front from Jofre's corner, and just two minutes in to the second half Sisi beat Cobeño with an angled shot after another Jofre assist to make it two. The introduction of Susaeta changed things though, the Basque midfielder setting up Delibasic to pull one back and then having a hand in the equaliser, which Armenteros scored following a quick counter-attack with four minutes to go.
A couple of hours before their senior sides met, Villarreal B and Barcelona Athletic faced each other in the battle of the B teams. And Luis Enrique's side came away with a 2-3 victory which keeps them in fourth spot, now just a point behind Celta pending their match at Betis tomorrow. Hernán Pérez twice gave the locals the lead, the first as early as the third minute after picking up a cross from Iago Falqué. Soriano equalised on the half hour mark with his 21st of the season, but three minutes later Pérez scored again after Castellani laid back Gerard's long centre. Ilie levelled the scores again though when he headed in Carmona's corner a quarter of an hour in to the second half, and a few minutes later Saúl got the winner with a shot which Carlos Tomás deflected past his own keeper.
Earlier in the day Granada had moved back up to fifth spot after a 2-1 win over Cartagena. The Andalusians had been losing ground on their rivals after five games without a victory, but top scorer Geijo connected with Abel's free kick to put them ahead early on, and then netted a second on the half hour mark after a Dani Benítez free kick came back off the woodwork to take him one ahead of Soriano in the Pichichi chart. Benítez hit the post with another free kick and Casilla did well to foil Geijo's hat-trick, and shortly before the half time whistle visiting coach Juan Ignacio Martínez had already had enough, making a double substitution to try and change things. Even so Casilla had to pull off a string of saves in the second half before Toni Moral got on the end of Botelho's cross to get one back, and after that the locals closed the door to any further scoring chances.
Xerez moved a point clear of Villarreal B, up to tenth in the table, after drawing 1-1 at neighbours Recreativo. The locals have been moving clear of the danger zone recently after seven games without defeat, and they dominated the first half, with Aarón hitting the post early on and Chema having to make some first class saves, in particular a couple of times from Juan Villar. The goals though didn't come until the last ten minutes, Emilio Sánchez getting on the end of Villar's cross to put the Huelva based side ahead. However Cordero scrambled an equaliser soon afterwards, and Chema produced another late save from Emilio to keep his side three points below the play-off spots.
Recre are now nine points above the relegation places, and Huesca moved a point above them in the rankings after beating Córdoba 2-0. Onésimo's side had been dropping down the table after failing to win in their last four matches, but they opened the scoring somewhat against the run of play when Tariq nipped in to head past Alberto following a cross from Molinero midway through the first half. And eight minutes after the break Luis Helguera got on the end of Rigo's free kick to make it two and give his team a much needed victory which takes them level with their opponents in the table.
The wins for Huesca and Las Palmas meant that an eight point gap has opened up between the bottom four and the first seventeen teams, with only eighteenth placed Gimnàstic in between. That made Tenerife's visit to the Catalans even more important, but although the Canary Islanders took the lead, they were eventually pegged back to a 1-1 draw. Nino ran through score the first with just under half an hour gone, but Felipe Sanchón latched on to a loose ball to equalise just before the break. With a quarter of an hour to go Tenerife were left with ten men after Luna picked up a second yellow card, but Aragoneses made a couple of late saves from Eloy and Rey to at least keep their team in with a chance of survival.
Nàstic are now four points clear of the drop zone though after Salamanca lost 1-0 to fellow strugglers Albacete. The Manchegans started the day in next to bottom spot after a run of twelve games without a win, but they were the better of two poor teams in the first half, with Camacho heading just wide a couple of times before the interval. Ten minutes after the restart Tato got on the end of Kike's cross to beat Biel Ribas, and they held on after that despite having Toni sent off for a second booking with twenty minutes still to go. (02.04.11)
Las Palmas moved eight points clear of the relegation spots pending the rest of the weekend programme after beating fifth placed Elche 2-1 in the Friday night game. Both sides came in to the fixture on a roll, the Canary Islanders having won their last three matches and Elche their last five. The locals had the better of the first 45 minutes, Sergio Sánchez and Pedro Vega both going close, but midway through the second half Pelegrín headed the visitors in to the lead from Angel's cross. Just three minutes later Javi Guerrero levelled the scores after Vicente Gómez set him up, but a draw still seemed the most likely result until Quiroga slipped the ball through to Pedro Vega on a quick breakaway for him to score the winner with seven minutes to go. (01.04.11)