One second division match on Monday evening this week, with Real Madrid Castilla and Hércules sharing the points in a 1-1 draw. The Alicante based side needed a win to have any hope of saving themselves from relegation this season, and midway through the first half Nacho González headed in a David Cortés centre to open the scoring. Some twenty minutes in to the second half the visitors were left with ten men when Pamarot was shown a second yellow card for giving away a penalty on Morata, but Falcón guessed correctly and saved Jesé's spot kick. And a few minutes later the action was repeated, Falcón keeping out a second Jesé penalty after Peña fouled Casado in the area, the sixth spot kick that the keeper has saved this season. He was finally beaten however by Mosquera with a shot from the edge of the area following a corner, and with eight points now between Quique Hernández's side and eighteenth placed Mirandés, they look doomed to a spell in the second division B next season. (11.03.13)
Villarreal celebrated their ninetieth anniversary with a last minute 2-1 win over Sporting Gijón on Sunday lunchtime, a result which took them up to fourth in the table pending the rest of the day's matches. Uche missed an early chance and then had a penalty appeal turned down before he latched on to Musacchio's deflected pass to open the scoring with a spectacular volley shortly before half time. The Asturians had done little in the first half, but after the break Bernardo and Trejo went close before Trejo put Sangoy through to equalise. However with a draw seemingly on the cards, Uche controlled Bruno's through ball before forcing a shot in off Cuéllar's post, and the final whistle went seconds later.
Later in the evening third placed Alcorcón closed the gap on Almería to one point after a 2-1 victory over Recreativo. This game too went down to the wire, the locals turning the scoreline around with two goals in injury time. Alexander put the Andalusians ahead against the run of play in the eleventh minute, and after that they sat back to defend their lead. Riolfo got himself sent off though for a second bookable offence just six minutes in to the second half, and the visitors were left with nine men when Alexander limped off the field near the end. with all three substitutions made. That finally let in the home side, and they scored twice in three minutes to take the three points, the first a speculative ball in to the area from Castaño which bounced past everyone in to the net, and the second a shot from close to goal by Dani Nieto after Fernando Sales crossed in from the right wing.
Girona moved back past Villarreal to fourth after they too won 2-1 against Huesca on Sunday evening. All the goals came in the first half, with Borja scoring first for the visitors after good work by Nacho Novo. Jorge came close to a second when he hit the post, but almost immediately Felipe Sánchón equalised, and with the half time whistle approaching Acuña headed in José's cross to give the Catalans the lead. Both keepers had work to do after the break though, in particular Girona's Dani Mallo, who saved a Camacho penalty after Migue was sent off for a foul on Novo. It was the first penalty that the midfielder had missed in thirty spot kicks, and the defeat leaves his side five points away from safety in twentieth place.
Curiously all four matches on Sunday ended with the same result, Racing Santander beating Murcia 2-1 to move a point above Huesca in the table. New coach Alejandro Menéndez saw substitute Koné miss a sitter just seconds after coming on on the hour mark, but a couple of minutes later Gullón headed the Cantabrians in to the lead from a Ferreiro corner. Matilla crashed home an equaliser for Onésimo's team with fifteen minutes left on the clock, but with six minutes to go Koné picked up a long clearance from Mario Fernández and slipped the ball past Jiménez for Jairo to score the winner. (10.03.13)
Surprises in the second division on Saturday, with the top two teams both losing at home. Leaders Elche had taken 37 points out of 39 in their Martínez Valero stadium this season, but they were beaten 0-1 by a Mirandés side struggling to avoid relegation. Díaz de Cerio scored what was to prove the only goal of the match on the stroke of half time, controlling a long ball before beating Manu Hernández with a shot on the turn in off the post. That was about their only attempt at goal throughout the ninety minutes though, and otherwise visiting keeper Goitia was the man of the match with a string of saves, the last and probably the best in injury time from Angel. Both teams ended with ten men when Generelo and Iribas both picked up second bookings late on.
Elche remain twelve points above second placed Almería though after Xavi Gracía's side lost 2-3 to Las Palmas. The Canary Islanders raced in to a two goal lead, Murillo heading the first after a corner came across to him, and Christantus picking up a return pass from Thievy to make it two midway through the first half. Charles fired a penalty wide of the mark some five minutes in to the second half, but the Brazilian striker made up for his mistake when he headed in Gunino's cross a few minutes later, the eighth game in a row that he has found the net. Rubén Suárez made it all square with an impressive shot from outside of the area, but with a draw seemingly on the cards Murillo headed home his second of the evening in injury time from a Francis Suárez corner to take his team up to sixth in the table.
Barcelona B are now in fourth spot after they beat promotion candidates Córdoba 4-3. Deulofeu picked up a Luis Alberto pass to open the scoring on the half hour mark, and Luis Alberto made it two with an angled shot soon after the restart. López Garai headed one back from a corner soon afterwards, but Dongou scored a third with a shot across Alberto García with an hour on the clock, and Araujo ran through to score his side's fourth. However with three minutes to go Bañuz let a long shot from Pedro through his hands, and after Xisco scored again for the Andalusians, Pedro almost saved a point for the Andalusians when he fired a shot over the bar in the last minute of time added on.
Barcelona B's neighbours Sabadell drop out of the play-off places after they lost 0-3 to a Ponferradina side who move above them in the table. The Catalans had won their last four home games, but they went behind when Saúl turned in Juande's cross from the left by-line ten minutes before the interval. With twenty minutes to go keeper Nauzet was sent off for bringing down Yuri inside the area, and with all three changes already made, left back Samu had to go in goal. The referee incorrectly awarded a free kick outside of the area which was deflected past the post, but ten minutes from the end Jonathan Ruíz got on the end of Carpio's cross to make it two, and Yuri scored a third with a shot in off the post in the last minute to give Claudio Barragán's team their first win since the start of the year.
Further down the table bottom club Xerez are even closer to relegation after they lost 0-1 to Guadalajara, their ninth defeat in a row. Second half substitute Kepa got on the end of Vicente's cross to score the only goal of the game just five minutes after coming on, and Razak and his defence held on after that for a win which takes them five points clear of the bottom four. Lugo are now three points ahead of Guadalajara after they drew 0-0 with Numancia. Despite the result, keepers Yoel and Herrerín had work to do, the former saving in particular from Pita and the latter keeping out efforts from Ripa and Natalio. De Coz could have won it for the locals though had his shot not been cleared off the line from Jaio late on. (09.03.13)