Valladolid return to second spot after a 4-0 victory over bottom club Gimnàstic on Sunday evening. Djukic's side had not lost in eleven games, and although Powel and Bargas went close for the visitors early on, after that it was one way traffic. With just over twenty minutes on the clock Oscar González headed the first from a Nauzet corner, and the experienced midfielder scored two more past a shaky defence later in the first half to complete a hat-trick. After the restart Marc Valiente hit the post and Rubén Pérez had to make saves from Nauzet and Bueno, and with ten minutes to go Javi Guerra rounded things off with his side's fourth after the visiting keeper could only push out a shot from Marquitos.
Curiously the top six places are currently occupied by the three teams who were relegated from the first division last season, together with the three who missed out in the play-offs, and (with Córdoba's permission) the fight for the three promotion spots looks like being between those sides. Hércules took back fifth place after beating Cartagena 0-3 in the mid-day game, a result which left the locals still down in the relegation zone. Mandiá's team were lucky that the referee allowed the first to stand though after Carlos Calvo's shot on the quarter hour mark went in off Felipe Sanchón's arm, and ten minutes later a shot from Arbilla went straight through the legs of keeper Reina. Michel completed the scoring with a much protested penalty with twenty minutes to go after the referee ruled that Carlos Calvo had been fouled in the area. (05.02.12)
Deportivo increased their lead at the top of the table pending the rest of the weekend games after beating Recreativo 0-1 in the first match on Saturday. Valerón got the only goal of the match on the quarter hour mark after Manu could only push out Riki's header, but Aranzubia had to save from Juan Villar a couple of times later in the first half, and Aythami was lucky to be let off a penalty claim when he tackled Villar in the area. After the restart Aranzubia had some work to do, but Riki could have added to the lead a couple of times before the final whistle. A record seventh win in a row though for José Luis Oltra's side, and they are looking good for an immediate return to the top flight.
Depor's neighbours Celta are up to second spot after a 1-0 win over Murcia later in the evening, their eighth game in a row without defeat. The Galicians dominated the first half, Oier heading just over and Iago Aspas hitting the bar. Ten minutes in to the second half Orellana beat Alberto after good work by Aspas, and Bermejo could have increased the lead when he hit the post later on. Local keeper Yoel injured himself before the interval, but his replacement Sergio Alvarez was hardly troubled, although the visitors could have saved a point had the referee accepted a penalty claim when Túñez handed in the area near the end.
Almería are up to third, just a point behind Celta, after coming from behind to beat promotion rivals Córdoba 2-1. Ulloa went close a number of times early on, but the Andalusians took the lead shortly before half time when Borja García fired a shot past Esteban. The game was stopped for twelve minutes or so due to a power cut, but when play resumed Corona equalised after Fernández failed to clear a ball in to the area from Goitom. A draw seemed on the cards though until injury time, when Juanma Ortíz, just back from Rangers, beat Alberto García to ensure an important win for his side.
Elche stay in touch with the leaders as well, a 1-0 victory over Girona keeping them two points behind Almería. Pepe Bordalás's side had lost their last three matches, but they dominated the first half, Angel firing a shot against the crossbar on the half hour mark and Palanca shooting wide close to half time. Eight minutes after the restart ex-Girona midfielder Xumetra finished off a quick passing move, beating Dani Mallo with a shot on the turn, and the visiting keeper had to be at his best to save an Angel header later on. Despite the inclusion of several new signings the Catalans hardly troubled Juan Carlos in the local goal, and they ended the day still down in the relegation spots.
The top seven open up a four point gap over the rest, with Numancia now in eighth spot after a 2-0 win over Alcoyano. The temperature in the Pajaritos stadium was below zero, but the locals warmed up the crowd with a series of attacks which culminated with Natalio controlling Nano's high centre before beating Maestro midway through the first half. Julio Alvarez hit the bar a coupel of minutes later, and Díaz de Cerio had a strike ruled out by the referee before half time. Local keeper Zabal was hardly troubled all night, and Díaz de Cerio wrapped things up when he got on the end of a Julio Alvarez free kick with just over an hour on the clock.
Alcorcón drop a point below Numancia after they were held to a 2-2 draw at Xerez. The Madrid based side dominated the opening minutes, Quini going close a couple of times before Fernando Sales beat Doblas in the tenth minute with a shot from a wide angle. Half time substitute Iñigo Vélez headed the equaliser from Rueda's corner on the hour mark, but the visitors took the lead again soon afterwards when Cordero turned the ball in to his own net after Doblas pushed an effort from Borja Pérez on to the post. Iñigo saved a point for the Andalusians in the end though with another header, this time from a Rueda free kick.
Las Palmas move back to within a point of Alcorcón after a nerve wracking 3-2 victory over Guadalajara. Vitolo put the Canary Islanders ahead in the fifth minute after Saizar could only push out a shot from Quiroga, but an Ernesto free kick and a shot from Iván Moreno either side of half time turned the scoreline around. Javi Guerrero missed a couple of chances in the second half, and the game appeared to be lost until David Rodríguez levelled the scores from the penalty spot in the first minute of time added on after defender handled in the area. The game carried on though, and six minutes later Jonathan Viera won it with a free kick which hit the post and went in off Saizar. Viera and Antonio Moreno were both sent off before the game finished, both for second bookable offences as nerves got the better of them.
Freezing temperatures and high winds throughout Spain this weekend though, and nowhere more so than in Huesca, at the foot of the Pyrenees, where the locals stay in the relegation spots after they could only draw 0-0 with Sabadell. The Aragón based side had not picked up a single point since the turn of the year, and Quique Hernández gave a run out to all of his new signings. Chances were few and far between though on an icy pitch, and other than a shot from Camacho which De Navas kept out, and a couple of efforts from Florian and Hidalgo, the 1,500 or so brave fans who turned up had little to keep them warm. (04.02.12)
The Friday night battle of the B teams ended all square after the match between Villarreal B and Barcelona B ended 0-0. Despite the result it was a lively game, with Montoya clearing from Juanto and Oier saving from Bordas early on, and Diego Mariño having to save from Marc Bartra and Kiko Femenía later in the first half. The locals were left with ten men when Jaume Costa was sent off for a second bookable offence with twenty minutes to go. But with several key players on first team duty Eusebio's team were unable to find the route to goal, and Oier had to save the day with a last minute stop from Lejeune's header. (03.02.12)