Deportivo stay in second spot, now two points behind Eibar, after a last minute 1-1 draw at home to Sporting Gijón on Sunday. Some 7,000 travelling fans formed part of the 35,000 who turned up for the mid-day kick-off, and they were rewarded when Bernardo turned the ball past Fabricio following a corner midway through the first half. Just a couple of minutes later though Rabello’s cross hit Bernardo’s arm in the area, and although the referee let the defender off what would have been a second booking, he did award a penalty to the locals. Borja fired his spot kick wide however, and despite dominating the second half, it looked as if the Asturians were going to come away with three points until the very last minute of injury time, when Toché headed in another corner to save a draw. The result left Sporting still a point behind Deportivo, and they dropped to fourth later in the day after Recreativo beat Mirandés 1-0 to draw level with the Galicians in the table. Sergi Barjuán’s side appear to have recovered their early season form, and they went in front with just under half an hour gone when Morcillo headed in a wide Alvaro Antón free kick. Jonathan Valle came close to a second when he hit the post after the break, and keeper Cabrero made important saves from Díaz de Cerio and Garmendia late on to give his team a third win in a row.
The top four have opened up a five point gap over the rest, Numancia moving up to fifth spot after a 3-0 win against Córdoba. All the goals came after the break, Julio Alvarez getting his team’s first goal in five games when he converted a penalty after Juan Cruz fouled Natalio in the area. A quarter of an hour later though Vicente made it two with an individualist effort, and Regalón headed the third from an Alvarez corner late on. It was a first defeat for caretaker coach Luis Carrión, who is due to hand over to Chapi Ferrer in the next few days. Lugo drop out of the play-off spots though after they were thrashed 6-0 by Girona. The Catalans started the day at the foot of the table after a run of twelve games without a win, but by half time they were two up, Ortuño beating ex Girona keeper Dani Mallo with a shot on the turn, and Migue heading the second from a corner. After the restart Juanlu and Ortuña missed chances before Juanlu set up Iván López for the third, and Gerard Bordas picked up an Ortuño pass to score the fourth on the hour mark. A quarter of an hour later Pavón turned a cross from the left wing past his own keeper, and soon afterwards Timor fired a sixth past the unfortunate keeper after connecting with a short pass from Eloi.
The win takes Girona off the bottom, in a four way tie with Mirandés, Castilla and Alavés, who return to the relegation spots after a 0-1 defeat against Murcia. Kike García gave the visitors the lead some ten minutes before the interval after running through to beat Goitia, but just four minutes later they were left with ten men when Alex Martínez picked up a second booking. Substitute Stevanovic had a penalty appeal turned down and then headed against the crossbar in injury time, but Julio Velázquez’s side held on for a victory which takes them to within a point of the play-off spots in this topsy-turvey league. Alcorcón are out of the bottom four once again though after they won 0-2 at Ponferradina, a first victory under returning coach Pepe Bordalás. Babín headed the Madrid based side in front following a corner early on, but Dani Giménez had to make a string of saves, in particular from free kicks either side of half time by Robusté and Rueda (who also hit the bar), as the locals dominated for most of the game. Antonio Martínez wrapped things up though with a second goal on a quick breakwat with a couple of minutes to go, and Ponferradina ended with ten men when Berrocal was sent off in the last minute. (16.02.14)
Eibar will continue at the top of the second division for another week at least after they beat Sabadell 1-0 on Saturday evening. The two keepers were the stars of the game, Nauzet saving from Jota, Mainz, Yuri and Bóveda before the break, and Irureta keeping out Longás and Gato later on in the second half. Arruabarrena got the only goal though from the penalty spot after Longás handled in the area on the hour mark to keep the Basque side on track for a first ever promotion to the top flight. Another disappointment though for Zaragoza, the Maños dropping further away from the leaders after a 1-1 draw at Tenerife. Both sides had chances before Juanjo headed the Canary Islanders in to the lead from Suso’s cross midway through the first half. However with six minutes to go César Arzo got on the end of a centre from Rico to save a point which keeps Paco Herrera’s team in the top six pending Sunday’s games.
Despite the result Herrera’s job seems safe for now, but two managers are on the tightrope after their sides failed again to get back in the promotion fight, Sergio Lobera and José Luis Oltra. Lobera’s Las Palmas were beaten 3-0 by Jaén, who themselves close to within a point of their hosts as a result. Honduras international striker Jona headed in an Oscar Rico cross to give the Andalusians the lead, and Fran Machado made it two later in the first half with a shot in to the top corner of the net. Local keeper René had to make a couple of saves after that, but with a quarter of an hour to go Jona scored his second of the evening with a lob over Barbosa after Machado set him up. Meanwhile Oltra’s Mallorca were also beaten 0-1 at home to Hércules, who climb back out of the relegation spots after a first win in six games. Visiting keeper Falcón had to make a couple of early saves from Gerard Moreno, who also hit the crossbar soon afterwards, but Eldin brought a good stop out of Rubén Miño before picking up a pass from Sissoko to fire a shot past the keeper with half an hour gone, and after that the Balearic Islanders hardly troubled the away side defence.
With this year’s cup final between Real Madrid and Barcelona confirmed, attention switched to the second division “mini-clásico” between their reserve sides, Real Madrid Castilla and Barcelona B. The locals had dropped back to the foot of the table last week, and they went behind some ten minutes prior the interval when Denis Suárez ran through to fire a shot past Pacheco. However before half time Manolo Díaz’s side had turned the scoreline around, Burgui picking up a return pass from José Rodríguez to fire a shot past Masip, and Aguza heading a second after Lucas crossed in from the right wing. With just under an hour gone Omar Mascarell made it three from the penalty spot after a cross hit Edu Bedía’s arm inside the area, and although they had Aguza and Rodríguez sent off for second bookable offences in the last ten minutes, Castilla held on for a 3-1 win which takes them up three places in the table. (15.02.14)