Eibar’s push for a first time ever promotion to the top flight must now be taken very seriously after they comprehensively beat Sporting Gijón 3-0 on Sunday lunchtime. Although leaders for the last two weeks, the newly promoted Basque side were not expected to last the pace, especially against a team which started the weekend just a point below them in the table. However the Asturians were hardly allowed a look at goal, and with four minutes to go to the break Gilvan headed in a Morales cross to put the locals in front. Six minutes in to the second half the visitors were left with ten men when Carmona picked up a second booking, and just a minute later Jota headed in the second from another Morales centre. With an hour on the clock Albentosa made it three after Cuéllar could only push out a Jota free kick, and five minutes after that the visiting keeper was also sent off for handling outside of the area.
Deportivo stay level on points with Eibar after they beat Hércules 3-2 later in the evening. The Galicians raced in to a two goal lead in the first twenty minutes, Juan Carlos setting up Toché for the opener and then scoring the second himself following an assist by Rabello. Half time substitute Portillo beat Lux though with a well struck free kick soon after coming on, and after Luisinho got himself sent off for insulting a linesman, Sissoko got on the end of a Juamna Ortíz cross to volley home the equalizer. Yusté hit the post soon afterwards, but with five minutes to go Toché headed in Seoane’s cross to give his team the three points. Las Palmas drop to sixth though after they were held to a 0-0 draw by a Lugo team which had let in nine goals in their last two matches. The Canary Islanders had the better of the first half, although they only tested José Juan late on, the keeper saving from Tana and Valerón putting the rebound wide. Rennella went close for the visitors a couple of times after the restart, and Víctor Marco was lucky to be let off a penalty appeal for hands, but in the end both coaches settled for a point apiece.
The last match of the weekend saw Numancia beat Murcia 1-0 to move back up to fifth in the table, albeit still four points behind fourth placed Sporting. Both teams having drawn half their games this season, it looked as if a stalemate was on the cards, and honours were shared in the first half, Julio Alvarez causing problems for Casto and his defence with a couple of dangerous free kicks, and local keeper Biel Ribas making good saves from Kike García and Saúl Berjón. A couple of minutes in to the second half Alvarez opened the scoring with another free kick which took a deflection off the defensive wall, but Murcia had a chance to level it with two minutes to go when they were awarded a penalty after Isidoro brought down Silva in the area. However Ribas saved Kike García’s spot kick to extend his unbeaten run to a record six games. Meanwhile Córdoba revived their own campaign to make it in the top six after beating bottom club Girona 0-1, their first victory in six matches leaving them just a point outside of the top six places. The game was overshadowed though by a serious injury to local keeper Isaac Becerra, who was stretchered off in a neck-brace after a clash of heads with Arturo in only the eighth minute (later recovering well in hospital). Substitute Xisco got the only goal midway through the second half, beating replacement keeper Palatsi with a low shot from outside of the area, to give new coach Chapi Ferrer a first win.
Further down the table, Sabadell moved up from twentieth to fourteenth place after a 0-1 victory at Jaén. Both keepers were in action in the first half, Nauzet saving from Kitoko and René keeping out Collantes. Anibal got his team’s first goal in four matches though, controlling Cristian García’s centre before firing an angled shot past the local keeper with a quarter of an hour to go, and Nauzet made late saves from Joselu and Víctor Curto for a win which takes the Catalans level with their hosts in the table. Mirandés stay down in the drop zone however after they drew 1-1 at Ponferradina. Both goals came in the last quarter of an hour, Yuri getting on the end of an Acorán through ball to turn a shot past Prieto, and Mújika saving a point for the visitors with an acrobatic volley close to goal after a corner fell to him some five minutes later. Claudio Barragán’s side ended the weekend just a couple of points above their opponents in the table having only picked up two points from their last four matches. 02.03.14)
Recreativo are back at the top of the second division, at least overnight, after a 2-2 draw against Zaragoza on Saturday evening. They needed a last gasp penalty to save even a point though after the visitors had overturned an early strike by Linares, who combined with Montoro and Joselu to beat Leo Franco in the eleventh minute. Luis García picked up a pass from Montañés to fire home the equalizer some twenty minutes later, and Rico gave the visitors the lead with a quarter of an hour to go, his shot following an indirect free kick taking a deflection off a defender. With the game in the third minute of injury time however the locals were awarded a penalty for a foul by Abraham on Gallegos, y Morcillo stepped up to level the scores once again. The point takes Zaragoza up to sixth, just ahead of Tenerife on goal difference after the Canary Islanders drew 2-2 at Real Madrid Castilla. Aridane headed the visitors in to the lead from a second minute corner, but Aguza fired a long shot in off the post on the hour mark to make it all square, and Raúl De Tomás picked up a Burgui assist with twenty minutes to go to put the home side in front. However ten minutes later Ayoze ran on to beat Pacheco for a second time, leaving the locals once again just two points above the drop zone pending Sunday’s games.
Many eyes though were on Mallorca, who had eventually agreed on a change of manager after a week of in-fighting in the boardroom. Lluis Carreras was finally confirmed as the replacement for José Luis Oltra, but the new boss couldn’t have had a worse start as keeper Dudu Aouate got himself sent off against opponents Barcelona B in the sixth minute for handling the ball outside of the area. Some five minutes later Sandro ran on to a Denis Suárez through ball to turn a shot under replacement keeper Rubén Miño, and ten minutes after that a long shot by Espinosa hit a defender and deflected in to the net for a second. With half time coming up the referee got in on the act, waving away a good penalty claim by Hemed but then sending off Iriney a minute later for insulting a linesman, and Mallorca went in at the break two goals and two men down. Even so Kevin García ran on to make it 1-2 with a couple of minutes to go to save some pride for his team, but the frustrated home fans called for the resignation of the board at the end of the game. Further down the table Alavés moved out of the relegation zone after a 1-0 victory over Alcorcón. The Vitoria based side had not won at home in five matches, but some four minutes in to the second half Guzmán fought his way past three defenders to beat Dani Giménez for what was to prove the only goal. The result takes Juan Carlos Mandiá’s team a point above their opponents, who themselves are now down in the bottom four in place of their hosts. (01.03.14)