Elche took another step towards a return to the top flight after a 0-2 win at Sporting Gijón on Sunday lunchtime. Coro put the visitors ahead with a quarter of an hour gone following an Edu Albácar corner, and both sides were left with ten men before the break after an over officious referee sent off Aarón and Trejo, the former for a second booking and the latter for a straight red card. With twenty minute to go Coro got his second of the day after Mantecón put him through, and the ex Espanyol forward could have completed a hat-trick had Cuéllar not kept him out later on. The result extends Elche's unbeaten run to fourteen games, and with keeper Manu Herrera having only let in twelve goals in twenty-six games, it is hard to see anyone stopping them this season.
Recreativo are also looking for a way back to the first division after an absence of four years, and they moved up in to the play-off spots pending the evening games after beating struggling Racing Santander 1-0 in their mid-day kick-off. Both teams came in to the game looking for their third win in a row, but the locals took control, and Jonathan Valle hit the post before Chuli deflected in a shot from Arana to open the scoring on the half hour mark. Visiting keeper Mario did well to save from Valle and Alexander after that, but the Andalusians were left with ten men when Morcillo went off with all three substitutions made, and in the end Cabrero had to be at his best to keep out Marcos Gullón in the dying minutes.
Later in the evening promotion candidates Córdoba and Alcorcón cancelled each other out in a 1-1 draw. The visitors were looking to overtake Almería and move up in to second place, and they had the better of the game before Oriol Riera picked up an assist from Kike lópez to open the scoring on the hour mark. Fede Vico had hit the bar a few minutes before that though, and Rennella had an effort cleared off the line before Joselu fired home the equaliser with a couple of minutes to go.
Fourth placed Girona drop further away from the direct promotion spots though after they were beaten 5-2 by Las Palmas. There was a carnival atmosphere in the Gran Canaria stadium, and the fans celebrated as Nauzet opened the scoring with a shot from outside of the area early on. Thievy and Vitolo scored two more either side of half time after Becerra could only push out shots from Chrisantus, and strikes by Tato and Vitolo equalled the 5-0 scoreline from the first meeting between these two teams this season. The Canary Islanders were left with ten men though when Hernán went off injured with all three changes made, and Acuña and Jandro took advantage to get two back in the last ten minutes.
The weekend ended with the local derby between Hércules and Villarreal, with honours shared after the game ended 1-1. Both teams had been improving recently under their new managers, but it was Marcelino's side who dominated the opening minutes, with no less than eight corners in the first quarter of an hour. The locals could have gone ahead though midway through the first half when they were awarded a penalty after Musacchio brought down Sardinero in the area, but Portillo fired a soft penalty against the bar. And before the half time whistle Farinós put the visitors in front with a shot from the edge of the area. After the restart however Quique Hernández urged his side forward, and Pamarot equalised with a long shot which bounced past Juan Carlos. A point each which doesn't really help either side achieve their diverse objectives, but derbies are often like that!
Further down the table Xerez remain firmly anchored to bottom spot after a 3-0 defeat at Numancia. The Andalusians had not won in thirteen games, and they found themselves two down with less than ten minutes gone, Juanma heading in Bedoya's free kick, and Nagore converting a penalty after Mendoza fouled Cedric inside the area. Herrerín had to save from Patiño a couple of times, but David Prieto got himself sent off with a quarter of an hour to go, and Cedric wrapped things up late on to give his team their first win in six games. Xerez coach Esteban Vigo was fired the following day.
Mirandés also fall back into the relegation places once again after a 0-1 defeat against Murcia. Matilla took advantage of some slack defending to beat Goitia in the sixth minute, handing the locals their first defeat in their Anduva stadium in four months. It was a first win for Murcia coach Onésimo, who took over from Siviero two weeks ago. Huesca are out of the drop zone for the first time in 14 weeks however after a 3-0 victory over Lugo. Nacho Novo opened the scoring for the Aragón based side with less than a minute on the clock, and Camacho made it two midway through the first half with a well struck free kick. The Galicians were left with ten men when Pita picked up a second booking with twenty minutes to go, and David López rounded things off with a third goal in injury time. (17.02.13)
Second placed Almería were held to a 2-2 draw at Guadalajara on Saturday evening, although they will be grateful for a point in the end after coming back from two goals down. The locals took the lead with under a minute gone on the clock, Javi Barral heading in Alvaro Antón's free kick, and twenty minutes later Azkorra got on the end of Cristian's cross to make it two. However the turning point came with the first half coming to a close when Charles went in hard on Razak, and the keeper responded with a mild clip around the ear of his attacker. The Brazilian striker exaggerated the incident, and the referee sent Razak off and awarded a penalty which Charles himself converted. After the restart Carlos Calvo hit the bar for the visitors, and a few minutes later Christian Fernández equalised with a brave header after substitute keeper Toño could only push a Rafita centre back across goal.
Barcelona B are now seven points behind Almería after they were beaten 3-2 by Ponferradina. Deulofeu battled through to put the youngsters ahead midway through the first half, but ten minutes later a bad clearance by Oier gifted the equaliser to Jonathan Ruíz. Iván Moreno added two more for the locals in a five minute period early on in the second half, the first after the keeper could only punch out a high cross, and the second after running on to a long ball out of midfield. And although Deulofeu converted a late penalty after he was held back by Carlos Ruíz, any hope of saving a point ended when the forward was given a second yellow card for coming back on to the pitch without the referee's permission after he went off injured.
Barça B's neighbours Sabadell are level with them on points after a 3-1 victory over Real Madrid Castilla later in the evening. Anibal opened the scoring for the Catalans in the seventh minute after good work by Lanzarote, but local keeper Nauzet had to save from Borja and Mosquera before the break. Five minutes in to the second half though Eneko got the second from a Toni Lao cross, and although substitute Oscar Plano got one back for the visitors with a shot on the turn, Anibal restored the two goal cushion a minute later with a header from another Lanzarote cross. (16.02.13)