Almería return to second spot in the table after a 0-2 victory at Xerez on Sunday evening. Xavi Gracia's side had been overtaken by Girona the night before, but they were on top right from the start, with Jonathan Zongo in particular going close a couple of times. Xerez new signing Ogbeche hit the post with an over head kick a few minutes before the break, but Corona caught Raúl Navas out with a long shot soon afterwards to open the scoring, and before the half time whistle Charles connected with Gunino's cross to make it two. The Andalusians have now gone eleven games without a win, and the defeat leaves them down in the bottom four of the table.
Alcorcón stay a point behind Almería though after a 1-0 win against Ponferradina. Nagore headed the only goal from Juli's free kick soon after the restart. The Madrid based are still two points ahead of Barcelona B. who won the "mini-clásico" against Real Madrid Castilla 3-1. Morata headed the visitors in to the lead from Juanfran's cross ten minutes before the break, but Alex got himself sent off in an off-the-ball incident with Araujo soon after the restart. And the Argentinian striker scored twice in a four minute period midway through the second half, the first with a shot on the turn past Mejías, and the second after combining with Luis Alberto. That virtually wrapped things up, and Deulofeu completed the scoring from the penalty spot after Morata handled in the area to make it nine games without defeat for Eusebio's team. Further down the table,
Mirandés and Huesca both clocked up important victories in their fight to avoid the drop. Mirandés beat Recreativo 2-1, mistakes by the visiting defence allowing Iribas and Díaz de Cerio to put the home side two up in the first seven minutes. Matamala got one back on a quick breakaway close to half time, but the locals held on for three points which takes them above Xerez and out of the bottom four. Huesca also won 1-2 at Numancia, a result which keeps them a point behind Mirandés in the table. All the goals came in the last twenty minutes, with Juan Carlos and Borja putting the visitors two up. Substitute Lago Junior got one back for the Soria based side, but even though Borja was sent off near the end after picking up a second caution, Jorge D'Alessandro's side held on for a vital win. (27.01.13)
Leaders Elche took another step towards their return to the top flight after a 2-0 victory over regional neighbours Hércules on Saturday evening. As expected it was a one sided affair, with Xumetra picking up a pass from Generelo to open the scoring shortly before the break. Two minutes after the restart Xumetra combined with Coro for the ex Espanyol forward to make it two, and Fidel had a couple of chances to extend the lead later on. This was Elche's eleventh straight home win, and with a solid defence which has only let in twelve goals all season, they increased the gap at the top to twelve points. Hércules though are still floundering in the relegation spots despite a plethora of new signings in the winter transfer market.
Girona are up to second pending Almería's game on Sunday after beating Guadalajara 2-0. The Catalans had gone four games without a win, and it was not until the last five minutes or so that they broke down the visitors' defensive wall, Jandro heading Jofre's cross past Razak to open the scoring. And with the game in injury time Benja made it two on a quick counter-attack to hand Carlos Terraza's side their first defeat in nine games. Las Palmas suffered a set-back though in their push for promotion, a 3-1 defeat at Lugo leaving them down in seventh spot. The Canary Islanders went ahead on the quarter hour mark when Nauzet won the ball off keeper Yoel to set up Thievy, but strikes by De Coz and Oscar Díaz turned the result around at the break, and Víctor Díaz rounded things off in the dying minutes.
Córdoba are back up in to the play-off spots after a 1-3 victory at bottom club Racing Santander. Marcos Gullón headed the locals in to the lead from a corner with a quarter of an hour gone, but Abel levelled the scores ten minutes later with a well struck free kick. Over-zealous referee Sureda Cuena sent off Racing's Francis and Juanmi for second bookable offences though early in the second half, and left the Cantabrians with eight men after showing a red card to Dorca later on, and Pedro and López Silva took advantage to give the Andalusians the three points. Complaints from the home side against referee Pérez Pallás as well in the match between Murcia and Sporting Gijón, which ended in a 1-1 draw. An Emilio Sánchez free kick put the locals ahead midway through the second half, but Oscar and Emilio Sánchez were both sent off in the last ten minutes for second bookings, and Bilic saved a point for the Asturians with two minutes to go. Murcia's Nafti was reported by the referee for threatening behaviour after the final whistle. (26.01.13)
Villarreal are back up in to the play-off spots pending the rest of the weekend's games after beating Sabadell 3-0 on Friday evening, a good start for new coach Marcelino in his first game in charge at the Madrigal stadium. Youngster Gerard Moreno took advantage of a run out with the first team to open the scoring in the twelfth minute after an attempted clearance from Ciércoles fell to him in front of goal, and Cani made it two midway through the second half after Trigueros set him up. And with three minutes to go new signing Jonathan Pereira cut in from left of the area to beat Nauzet for a third time, taking his side two points above the Catalans in the table. Marcelino's influence is already starting to show! (25.01.13)