Ponferradina moved out of the relegation zone, for a few hours at least, after beating Zaragoza 4-2 in the Sunday mid-day game. Both teams have been struggling recently, the locals having gone five games without a win and the Maños six, but the home side struck first, Yuri intercepting a bad back pass and running on to beat Leo Franco in only the second minute. Five minutes later though the visitors were level, César Arzo sweeping an angled shot past Santamaría after a Diego Rico cross was headed on, but Jonathan Valle restore the lead on the hour mark following a Javi Lara corner, and ten minutes later Marquitos connected with a Yuri assist to fire home the third. Young substitute Juan Esnaíder (son of the mythical striker) got another one back just minutes after making his first team debut, but with six minutes to go Yuri wrapped things up with his second of the day after Rico set him up on a rapid counter-attack. The defeat left Zaragoza just two points above their hosts in the table, and coach Paco Herrera is not expected to last out the week after several ultimatums to improve results.
Leaders Eibar failed to take full advantage of further slips by all three of the teams below them on Saturday, although they stay in first place after picking up a point in a 1-1 draw against Hércules on Sunday evening. .The Basque side had the better of the first half, Falcón having to save from Raúl Navas and Jota, and then pushing another shot from Yuri against the post. Some five minutes in to the second half the locals took the lead, Capi setting up Jota on a quick counter-attack for him to beat the visiting keeper. However some twelve minutes later Jota himself gave the ball away for Ferreiro to run on and equalize, the first goal that Irureta had let in after 634 minutes of football. There were sone nervous moments for the home fans after that, but in the end the point was enough to keep them at the top of the table for a sixth week in a row.
Things are changing every week though, and Murcia now find themselves in the play-off spots after a 0-1 victory at bottom club Girona. The Catalans changed their manager again this week, Pablo Machin replacing Javi López after only eleven weeks in charge, but it was the same old story, and they ended the weekend three points adrift of the rest after only one win in the last seventeen games. They did have a chance to take the lead though when Jandro was brought down in the area with twenty minutes to go. However Casto saved Timor’s spot kick, and twelve minutes later Malonga fired home the winner after picking up a pass from Dorca. Murcia move above Numancia, who were beaten 0-1 by Alcorcón later in the evening. The Madrid based side had dropped down in to the bottom four after a string of poor results, but they started well, and Oscar Plano put them in front on a quick breakaway with less than a quarter of an hour gone. Julio Alvarez and David González rattled the woodwork either side of half time for the locals, but even after Bitón was sent off for a second bookable with fifteen minutes to go, the visitors held on for a vital win.
Tenerife also remain outside of the top six after they were beaten 2-0 by Mallorca. Results earlier in the weekend meant that the Balearic Islanders started the match down in the bottom four, but with teams so closely bunched together they ended it in tenth position! The locals had not won in seven games, but youngster Marcos Asensio latched on to a deflected cross to open the scoring midway through the first half, and with twenty minutes to go Thomás picked up a short Gerard Moreno pass to fire home the second, giving new coach Lluis Carreras his first win since taking over from Oltra a couple of weeks ago. Mallorca are level on points with Lugo, who drew 1-1 at Chapi Ferrer’s Córdoba. The Andalusians had not won at home in two months, but they took the lead twenty minutes in to the second half when Mendi beat José Juan with a shot from outside of the area. However Víctor Díaz levelled it following a corner with eight minutes to go, and he could have won it for the Galicians when he headed against the crossbar in the dying minutes. (16.03.14)
The second division has been as tight as ever this year, but in the last few weeks four teams had distanced themselves from the rest. However last weekend none of them managed to win, and this Saturday three of them failed again, throwing the promotion places wide open with only twelve games to go to the end of the season. Deportivo were in fact the only one of the three to even pick up a point, although they will be disappointed with a 0-0 draw at home to Barcelona B. With new signing Ifrán not yet available, Fernando Vázquez put out a defensive line up, five defenders and Toché alone up front. The early chances though fell to the visitors, Patric and Denis Suárez testing Lux, with Alex Bergantiños and Juan Carlos replying for the locals later in the first half. There were some whistles from the disgruntled home fans at half time, but nothing really changed after that, and Sandro came closest to scoring with a shot just wide of the far post after the restart. The draw does at least though take the Galicians level with leaders Eibar pending their game on Sunday.
Depor move three points clear of third placed Recreativo though after the Andalusians were beaten 2-3 by Real Madrid Castilla. With Raúl de Tomás suspended, new signing Willian José was given the centre forward role, and he put in his claim for a more regular place in the side scoring all three of the goals, the first with only a minute on the clock after Mascarell set him up. Joselu equalized for the locals on the half hour mark, beating Pacheco with a shot from the edge of the area, but with the first half coming to a close Willian José restored the lead with a low shot which went in off Cabrero’s near post. Recre were left with ten men when Alex Pérez was red-carded for bringing down José Rodríguez as he advanced on goal some twelve minutes in to the second half, but even so Joselu got one the end of an Alvaro Antón cross some four minutes later to level the scores once again. However a minute after that Willian José completed his hat-trick after turning Burgui’s cross in to the net, and the youngsters held on for a win which takes them safely up to mid-table.
Fourth placed Sporting Gijón also lost 3-2 at Jaén on Saturday, and they remain a point behind Recre as a result. The Asturians went ahead in the first minute when Scepovic latched on to a loose ball to beat René, but Jona made it all square after connecting with an Oscar Rico cross later on in the first half. Visiting keeper Cuéllar had to be at his best to save from Jona and Fran Machado soon after the restart though, and midway through the second half Oscar Rico gave the Andalusians the lead with an individualist goal. Three minutes later Scepovic scored his second of the evening to level the scores once again, but with eight minutes to go Jona got on the end of a Víctor Curto centre to head home the winner.
Las Palmas are now only a point behind Sporting after they thrashed Sabadell 5-0 later in the evening. Masoud got on the end of Aranda’s cross to open the scoring fot the Canary Islanders in only the second minute, and the Iraniain international made it two with an acrobatic shot past Nauzet after Asdrúbal set him up later on in the first half. With half time approaching Aythami Artiles got on the end of a long Masoud free kick to loop a header over the keeper, and Asdrúbal scored his side’s fourth after Nauzet could only push out an angled shot from Masoud later on in the second half. The Catalans did have a couple of strikes ruled out for offside, but Héctor Figueroa connected with a cross from the right to complete the scoring with six minutes to go.
Further down the table, Mirandés moved a step closer to safety after beating relegation rivals Alavés 0-2. Ríos and Pablo Infante went close for the visitors before Alvaro Corral got on the end of a Goiria cross to fire an impressive volley wide of Goitia midway through the first half. Viguera and Stevanovic tried their luck for the locals either side of half time, but the Vitoria based team were left a man short when Guzmán was sent off for a foul on Infante early on in the second half, and Carlos Terrazas’s side wrapped things up in injury time when Díaz de Cerio beat the local keeper for a second time following a quick breakaway. (15.03.14)