Las Palmas are up to third place after beating Sporting Gijón 2-1 on Sunday lunchtime! The Canary Islanders started the game a point behind their opponents in the table and they were pushed back early on, Lekic hitting the bar and Sergio Alvarez firing a shot just wide. Valerón replied with a shot over the bar just before the break, and Lekic came up against an excellent Barbosa early on in the second half, but just a minute later Aranda picked up a pass from Javi Castellano and forced a shot under Cuéllar to open the scoring. With twenty minutes to go Scepovic set up Lekic to level the match, but a quarter of an hour later a shot from Javi Castellano came back off the bar, and Masoud fell under a challenge by Mandi as he picked up the rebound. Despite the protests from the visitors that the Iranian midfielder had dived, the referee awarded a penalty, and Momo stepped up to drill the spot kick past the visiting keeper to give his side a fourth win in a row.
Most of the games on Sunday evening involved teams in the lower reaches of the table, bottom club Girona keeping alive their hopes of survival with a 3-1 victory over fellow strugglers Alcorcón. The Catalans had lost their last five matches, but Gerard Bordas headed them in to the lead after Migue headed on a corner some five minutes before the break. Timor got the second on the hour mark with an impressive shot from outside of the area, and although Chema headed one back from another corner, Juanlu got the third in injury time to give new coach Pablo Machin a first win.
Girona are now just a point below Alavés, who saved a 2-2 draw against Zaragoza thanks to a late header by Quiroga. The Vitoria based side were also under new management, Alberto López taking over from his boss Juan Carlos Mandiá midweek, and they went ahead via a well struck Viguera free kick in the fifth minute. Roger got on the end of a quickly taken Luis García free kick before the break to equalize though, and when Samuel deflected a Montañés shot in to his own net some ten minutes in to the second half it looked as if the visitors were going to pick up a first win since the end of January. However
Still only seven points separate the play-off spots from the relegation places, with Jaén and Hércules ending the weekend (together with Córdoba and Zaragoza) just two points above the bottom four after they drew 1-1 in the Nuevo Victoria stadium. Eldin put the visitors ahead in the twentieth minute after the defence failed to clear a Juanma Ortíz cross, but José Cruz levelled it some ten minutes later following a good team move. Sabadell are pulling away from the danger zone however, and a 1-0 victory over Lugo took them above their opponents and in to the top half of the table. Japan’s Sotan Tanabe got the only goal in the first minute of the match after Anibal’s shot was blocked, but keeper Nauzet had to make some important saves after that to ensure a fourth win in five games for the Catalans. (30.03.14)
Five out of the six Saturday games ended all square, with Eibar and Deportivo remaining in the top two spots after both picked up a point their respective matches. Leaders Eibar were held to a 0-0 draw by Barcelona B, an eleventh game without defeat for the Basque side. Only a brilliant performance by Masip though prevented them from winning, the visiting keeper pushing a header by Eizmendi on to the post in the first minute, then making vital saves later on from Albentosa, Raúl Navas and Mainz, amongst others. The Catalans’ best chance was a deflected shot by Denis Suárez which Irureta just managed to stop from crossing the line. Later in the evening Deportivo could only draw 1-1 at home to Tenerife, who hold on to sixth spot pending Sunday’s games. The Galicians have only won six times in their Riazor stadium this season, but they took the lead in the fourth minute when Lopo headed in a Rabello free kick. However substitute Marchena gave away a penalty on Ayoze Pérez just minutes after coming on in the second half, and Ricardo León converted the resulting spot kick to save a point for his side.
The match between Mallorca and Recreativo also ended without goals, a result which kept the Andalusians in fifth place and their hosts still four points below them in the table. Juanlu and Antón went close for the visitors either side of half time, but otherwise the best chances fell to the locals, Cabrero having to save from Marco Asensio and Martí after the break. But even when Zamora was sent off for a foul on Geijo with ten minutes to go Lluis Carreras’s team were unable to find the goal they needed for a third win in a row. Mallorca stay a point outside the play-off spots, level with Murcia, who drew 1-1 at Cordoba. There were serious protests from the local fans before and during the game, and the Andalusians were lucky not to be behind at the break after Eddy hit the bar early on. Just a minute in to the second half López Silva headed Chapi Ferrer’s team in front, but Malonga headed in a Wellington Silva cross to make it all square a few minutes later, and the home side had to hold on after López Silva got himself sent off near the end.
A third 0-0 draw as well between Ponferradina and Real Madrid Castilla further down the table, leaving the home side still in the bottom four, and their opponents just a point above them in the rankings. Most chances came after the break as the two defences tired, local striker Yuri coming up against Pacheco a couple of times, and Cabrera heading against the post and Raúl De Tomás shooting wide with the goal at his mercy at the other end. Mirandés moved clear of the relegation spots though after a 0-1 victory at Numancia in the last match of the evening, the win taking them right up to twelfth, albeit that they are still only three points above Ponferradina in the table. Once again Pablo Infante saved the day, the team captain beating the offside trap to score the only goal of the game with twenty minutes to go. Up to that point the home side had come the closest to scoring, but only a couple of late saves by Biel Ribas prevented Díaz de Cerio and Infante from adding to the leadin the final minutes. (29.03.14)