Betis moved to the top of the table, above Rayo on goal difference, after coming from behind to beat regional neighbours Xerez 2-3 on Sunday lunchtime. All the goals came after the break, Leandro Gioda getting on the end of a corner to put the locals ahead with just over an hour on the clock. Within fifteen minutes though Betis scored three times to turn the scoreline around, Rubén Castro heading the first from Nacho's cross. Four minutes later Emaná set up substitute Jonathan Pereira for number two, and Pereira returned the favour for Emaná to score the third soon afterwards. José Marí headed one back though almost immediately, and after Pereira was sent off for elbowing Redondo, the visitors pulled back to defend for the remaining minutes.
Later in the day Alcorcón thrashed Córdoba 1-4 to move up to within two points of the play-off spots. A win would have taken the Andalusians level with their opponents, and Oriol Riera put them ahead in the ninth minute after a shot from Camille was blocked. Babín had headed against the post for the visitors a few minutes earlier though, and with twelve minutes gone Quini got on the end of a Sergio Mora cross to equalise. Shortly before half time Montañés gave Alcorcón the lead, and with a quarter of an hour to go the Madrid based side scored two more in as many minutes, Borja combining with Quini to make it three, and Carlos Martínez completing the rout with a free kick which bounced past everyone in to the net.
Alcorcón are now level with Girona, who drop down the table to tenth after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Las Palmas. Both goals came early on, Peragón charging down a clearance by Barbosa to score the opener in the ninth minute, and Jorge levelling the scores from the penalty spot two minutes later after Bautista fouled Javi Guerrero in the area. Despotovic and Guerrero both wasted chances before the break, and early in the second half the Catalans were left with ten men after Moha was sent off for insulting the referee's mother. Juan Manuel Rodríguez threw on all his fire power, but Santamaría and his defence held fast for a point which keeps them in touch with the play-off spots.
Numancia are up to eleventh spot after a 2-1 victory over Villarreal B, a result which takes them a point above their opponents in the table. The locals took the lead in the ninth minute when Nano headed in Barkero's cross, and Barkero himself added the second five minutes after the restart with an impressive shot which Diego Mariño could do nothing about. Iago Falqué pulled one back from the penalty spot though a quarter of an hour later after Pavón brought him down in the area, and Airam almost saved a point for his side with a last minute overhead kick which went just wide of the post.
Salamanca are looking ever more likely to go down though after they could only draw 2-2 against bottom club Ponferradina. Edu Bedía put the home side ahead against their regional rivals in the fifth minute following Toti's corner. But the visitors scored twice early in the second half to turn things around, Mayor connecting with Abraham's cross to equalise, and Yuri netting again just a minute later. Straight from the kick off though Pepe Murcia's equalised, Marcos Márquez crossing in for Toti to beat Alejandro, and after Jonathan and then Zamora were both sent off with straight reds, Goikoetxea missed a last minute sitter which would have given the locals the three points. (10.04.11)
Rayo Vallecano stay at the top of the table pending Betis's game on Sunday, although they will be ruing not taking the three points after throwing away a three goal lead in a 3-3 draw against Albacete. The visitors actually had the better of the first half, but Rayo scored twice in the opening two minutes after the break, Piti firing in a wide free kick and Delibasic making it two after picking up a pass from Armenteros. And when Delibasic returned the favour seven minutes later for Armenteros to head the third it appeared to be all over. However a defensive mistake allowed Toto to get one back with just under twenty minutes to go, and a few minutes after that Calle converted a penalty after Arribas was sent off for bringing down the striker in the area. That set up a frantic finish, and with the game in injury time Verza equalised with an angled shot to save a much needed point for Mario Simón's side.
Celta continue to lose ground on their rivals though after losing 1-2 at home to Valladolid, and after seven games without a win they end Saturday seven points behind the leaders. Nauzet put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot after Jonathan Vila fouled Javi Guerra in the area ten minutes before the break. The Galicians equalised though through De Lucas three minutes after the restart, and Catalá hit the post soon afterwards. But Oscar headed in Nauzet's cross a few minutes later to restore the lead, and Antón and Guerra could have added to the scoreline near the end. The win takes Abel Resino's side up in to the play-off spots, now seven points behind their opponents in the table.
Elche are only three points behind Celta after a late 1-0 victory over Gimnàstic. The locals had the better chances in the first half, Kike Mateo, Angel and Mantecón all going close, although their keeper Jaime had to save from Powel before the break and Mairata and Rey soon after the restart. With five minutes to go Elche were left with ten men when Ripa picked up a second booking, but two minutes later Xumetra headed in Palanca's cross, and defender Medina ended up in goal for Nàstic after keeper Rubén Pérez was sent off near the end with all three changes made.
Cartagena drop out of the play off spots however after they were beaten 1-3 at home by Recreativo. The visitors had gone eight games without defeat, and they went two up in the first twenty minutes, Asen heading in a cross from Aitor and Jesús Vázquez adding the second after Casilla could only push out a corner. Fabri had to make a couple of saves at the other end though before Cala beat him with a header from Víctor's free kick just before the break. But ten minutes after the restart Juan Villar restored the two goal cushion after Lamas played on Rafita's cross. Both sides ended with ten men after Botelho and Villar were sent off with five minutes to go.
Recre move twelve points clear of the bottom four, and Huesca stay a point above them after beating struggling Tenerife 0-1. The Canary Islanders showed some improvement in the first half under their latest coach David Amaral, who returned to the Heliodromo stadium after Antonio Tapia became their third manager to hit the dust this season, Ricardo and Nino both bringing good saves out of Andrés. But that was about it, and Jokín headed in Molinero's cross with a quarter of an hour to go to leave their hosts seven points away from safety. (09.04.11)
Barcelona's first team may be topping La Liga, but their B team Barcelona Athletic are quietly moving up the rankings as well, a 4-0 victory over Granada on Friday night taking them up to third spot in the second division. It was an action packed match, Nolito hitting the post before crossing in for Marc Bartra to open the scoring on the quarter hour mark. The visitors had two penalty appeals turned down by the referee, costing coach Fabri a red card for protesting, and with just over half an hour gone the locals were awarded a spot kick themselves when Siqueira handled in the area, the defender getting himself sent off for a second booking. Roberto saved Jonathan Soriano's penalty kick, but on the stroke of half time the striker did get his name on the scoresheet when he headed in a cross from namesake Jonathan Dos Santos. Orellana hit the post at the other just before the second goal, but Soriano rattled the woodwork himself before scoring his second of the night and his 23rd of the season midway through the second half. Sergi Roberto completed the scoring with ten minutes to go, and the Andalusians (who started the game just a place behind their opponents) ended with nine men when Nyom was also shown a second yellow card near the end. (08.04.11)