Celta moved back up to second in the table after a 0-2 victory at promotion rivals Elche on Sunday lunchtime. The goals though didn't come until the last five minutes, with the home side down to eight men at the time. Referee Valdés Aller had already shown a red card to local forward Linares shortly before the break for protesting while still on the subs bench, and with an hour gone he sent off Flaño for a hard tackle on an opponent, at the same time producing a second yellow card for his captain Generlo for protesting the decision. Elche held on with nine men until ten minutes from the end, when Beranger was also red-carded for a second bookable offence. Five minutes later De Lucas finally beat Juan Carlos with a well struck free kick, and Alex López made it two right at the end on a quick counter-attack. The referee needed a police escort off the pitch, and he produced two more red cards in the tunnel after he was assaulted by Elche's assistant manager and physical trainer.
Celta are now six points clear of Elche, who nevertheless hold on to fifth spot after the team below them Hércules lost 1-0 at Recreativo later in the evening. It was a dull match, the only chance in the first half a shot off target by local striker Pablo Sánchez. With an hour on the clock the Andalusians took the lead, Matamala cutting in from the wing to fire a shot past Falcón. Gilván responded with a header wide, but Enrich wasted a good chance late on to extend the lead. A good win for Recre, who end the weekend safely in mid-table.
Las Palmas stay two points above Recreativo after a 1-0 victory over struggling Gimnàstic on Sunday afternoon. Jonathan Viera fired the Canary Islanders in to an early lead with a shot from outside of the area in the eighth minute, and Quiroga went close soon afterwards. The locals were left with ten men though when Corrales picked up a second booking on the half hour mark, and Barbosa had to save from Peragón as Nàstic came looking for the equaliser. After the restart however David Rodríguez hit the post for the home side, and the visitors were unable to prevent another defeat which leaves them back at the bottom of the table. (19.02.12)
Leaders Deportivo made it a club record nine wins on the trot after beating Barcelona B 2-1 on Saturday evening. They didn't have it all their own way though, the youngsters dominating a first half in which Deulofeu hit the post and Rafinha had a shot blocked by Colotto. Soon after the restart though Bruno Gama controlled a cross from Laure to beat Oier and open the scoring, and a few minutes later Riki picked up a pass from Valerón cut across past a couple of defenders to make it two. Salomao rattled the crossbar soon afterwards, but Jonathan Dos Santos hit the post at the other end in reply. And with eight minutes to go Dos Santos hit the upright again with a free kick, Aranzubia blocked Deulofeu's shot, and Armando fired the rebound back in to the net. Barça B's challenge ended three minutes later though when Dos Santos was sent off for a second bookable offence, and Depor had opened up a six point gap at the top.
With Celta playing on Sunday, second place was up for grabs on Saturday afternoon. Valladolid had first shot at it though with their early afternoon kick off against Girona, and Djukic's side duly obliged with an albeit narrow 1-0 victory. The goal came early on, Víctor Pérez converting a tenth minute penalty after Acciari handled in the area. The visitors came back though Jaime having to save from Jandro and Garmendia before the break. Manucho came on for Javi Guerra after the restart and caused some problems for the visiting defence, and Dani Mallo made good stops from Peña and Sisi. But in the end it took a couple of important saves by Jaime from Jandro and Nieto to ensure the three points.
Almería kicked off later in the evening against Murcia needing to win by a margin of three goals to leapfrog Valladolid. And for a quarter of an hour or so near the end they were there before a last minute Pedro penalty made it 4-2 at the final whistle. The visitors started strongly, Sutil hitting the bar before Emilio Sánchez put Molinero through to open the scoring. Five minutes later though Juanma Ortíz got on the end of a Corona corner to equalise, his third goal in consecutive games after returning from Rangers, and with the first half coming to a close a Corona free kick bounced past everyone in to the net to give the locals the lead. After the interval Jorge turned another Corona corner in to his own net, and a few minutes later Aleix Vidal set up Ulloa for the fourth.
Alcorcón are back up to eighth, just four points off the play-off spots, after a comfortable 0-3 at Villarreal B. Borja hit the crossbar before scoring the first in the eleventh minute after a good run down the wing by Paco Montañés. And a quarter of an hour later Javi Hernández made it two with a looping shot over Diego Mariño following a corner. With half time approaching the visitors were awarded a penalty when Lejeune fouled Fernando Sales inside the area, Mariño doing well to save Quini's spot kick. But the striker made up for his miss with a third goal midway through the second half following a quick passing move, and Anquela's side could have won by an even bigger margin had they been able to convert their chances after that.
The rest of Saturday's matches involved teams down in the bottom half of the table, with Cartagena on the verge of escaping the relegation spots after a 1-0 victory over Sabadell. It was a dull match though, the only real chance in the first half coming early on when Navas had to save from Braulio. A few minutes after the restart Manolo Gaspar had to clear off the line following a rare Sabadell attack, but minutes later Raimondi got on the end of a Dimas cross to head home what was to prove the only goal of the game. Navas had to keep out Dimas and Alvaro Antón after that, but the locals had done enough to put an end to run of three defeats in a row.
Cartagena are now level on points with Villarreal B, with Huesca a point behind after they beat Guadalajara 2-1. The Aragón based side had not won in 2012, but Roberto headed them in to the lead somewhat against the run of play midway through the first half. Local keeper Luis García had to make a couple of important saves either side of half time from Javi Soria and Anibal, and Jonan hit the post for the visitors after the restart, but Tariq scored a second for Huesca after connecting with Camacho's assist just two minutes after coming on as substitute. Five minutes later though Luis Helguera was sent off for a second bookable offence and Ernesto scored from the resulting free kick, giving rise to a nervous finale in which Collado and Josetxo were sent off for fighting.
Xerez move further away from the danger zone though after a 1-0 victory over Alcoyano, their second win in a row. The Andalusians started the game just a point above their opponents in the table, and chances were few and far between until late in the first half, when local keeper Doblas had to save from Gato. Lombán brought a good stop out of Maestro in reply with a well struck free kick, and Carrión had to clear off the line from Pablo Redondo with the keeper beaten. After the interval Maestro did well to keep out José Marí, but with twenty minutes to go Capi and Iñigo Vélez combined to set up the veteran forward to score the winner. (18.02.12)
Córdoba came in to their Friday night game at Numancia looking for a win which would take them back up in to the play-off spots, but in the end they went home with their tails between their legs after they were thrashed 5-0. It was another intensely cold evening in Soria, and the first goal didn't come until a minute before half time, when Juanjo headed in a Julio Alvarez free kick. Bedoya made it two soon after the restart, and then set up Sunny for the third, and with the Córdoba players slipping about on an icy pitch, Nano and then Julio Alvarez ran through to score two more later on. A game to forget for the visitors, who up to now had the best defensive record in the second division. Numancia are now just three points behind their opponents, in eighth spot pending the rest of the weekend's games. (17.02.12)