Leaders Deportivo opened up a gap of five points over second placed Eibar and nine over the third placed teams after beating Mallorca 0-3 on Sunday lunchtime. The locals had the better of the opening minutes, Lux having to save from Alex Moreno and Nsue, but with five minutes to go to the break Kevin gave away a penalty on Ifrán, and Sissoko stepped up to convert the spot kick. Nsue got the ball in the net a couple of minutes later on for the strike to be ruled out for the offside of Hemed (who felt he should have had a penalty himself in the play), but just a couple of minutes after the restart Luisinho made it two after the defence failed to clear Laure’s cross. Midway through the second half substitute Borja ran on to score a third on a quick breakaway, and after that many of the home spectators decided to leave, tired of seeing their team lose again in a disappointing season which has left them just three points above the drop zone.
The play-off spots are headed up by the two Canary Island teams, Tenerife joining Las Palmas on 54 points after an exciting 3-2 victory over Numancia on Sunday evening. Aridane opened the scoring for the locals late on in the first half, turning a shot past Biel Ribas after good work by Ayoze Pérez, but some ten minutes in to the second half Sergi Enrich picked up a Vicente pass to equalize, and a quarter of an hour later Juanma headed in a long Julio Alvarez free kick to put the visitors in front. A minute after that however Juanjo controlled Moyano’s lofted pass on his chest before volleying a shot past the keeper, and with ten minutes to go Rivero drove home the winner from the edge of the area after Suso’s cross was only partly cleared.
The other two play-off places are currently occupied by Recreativo and Murcia, although neither were able to win this weekend. Recreativo were beaten 0-2 by Alavés, who move off the bottom of the table after a first victory in six games. Manu García gave the Vitoria based side the lead with just under half an hour gone following a long throw-in, and Viguera latched on to a Ion Vélez assist to make it two just a couple of minutes in to the second half, his 22nd of the season making him the second division’s top scorer to date. Murcia meanwhile drew 0-0 against the team immediately below them in the table, Sporting Gijón, who may be in for a change of manager after a string of poor results has left them down in eighth place. The visitors came closest to scoring when Cuéllar pushed Malonga’s shot on to the post at the start of the second half, but substitute Lekic got the ball in the net for Sandoval’s side only for the play to be ruled out for a previous hand ball, and the Asturians felt they should have had a late penalty when Alex Martínez handled in the area.
Zaragoza kept alive their hopes of a shot at promotion after a last minute 1-0 victory over Jaén, the win taking them to within four points of Recre and Murcia in the table. Machado and Jona went close for the visitors, and Luis García and Montañés both hit the bar for the locals, but the game appeared to be heading for a score-less draw before Hugo Alvarez turned a Montañés cross past his own keeper under pressure from Roger. The defeat leaves the Andalusians further down in the relegation zone after Alcorcón beat Sabadell 3-1 in the last game of the weekend. The Madrid based side began the weekend level on points with Jaén and Castilla, but with just over a quarter of an hour gone Dani Pacheco opened the scoring with an impressive shot from outside of the area. Ten minutes later the ex Liverpool forward won a penalty off Tanabe which Juli converted, but with the first half coming to a close Anibal got one back with a second penalty after the Mexican striker was fouled by Serrán in the area. Pacheco made it three though with a well struck free kick after the interval, and he came close to a hat-trick when he hit the post later on. (20.04.14)
Eibar hold on to second spot for another couple of weeks at least after beating Real Madrid Castilla 0-1 on Saturday evening. The Basque side had lost their last two games, but they took the lead in the twelfth minute when Capa beat Pacheco with a long shot. Later in the first half Cabrera headed in a Lucas Vázquez free kick only for the strike to be ruled out for a non-existent offside, but otherwise Irureta and his defence held fast to leave their opponents further down in the drop zone. The biggest threat to Eibar’s first ever promotion to the top flight now seems to be the Liga’s requirement for the club to carry out a capital increase of €1.7 million by 6th August to meet their financial criteria, even though they are one of the few teams who are economically sound, debt free and up to date with all their payments. If they don’t do so they will be relegated back to the second division B, from whence they came only a season ago.
Eibar now have a four point cushion over the rest after third placed Las Palmas were beaten 2-1 by Mirandés, Garmendia putting the locals ahead on the quarter hour mark after Díaz de Cerio set him up. Some ten minutes later Momo levelled the scores after picking up a pass from Aranda, but midway through the second half team captain and day-time bank manager Pablo Infante beat Barbosa to give his side three points which takes them safely up to mid-table. The Canary Islanders drop to fourth, behind Barcelona B on goal difference after Eusebio’s team came from a goal down to beat local rivals Girona 2-1. Sandro fired an early penalty against the post after Migue brought down Dongou in the area, but Ortuño got on the end of a Juncà cross to put the visitors in front on the half hour mark. Both keepers made saves early in the second half, but Sandro got on the end of Adama’s cross to equalize some twenty minutes after the restart. Dongou and Migue both hit the woodwork later on, and with three minutes to go young substitute Munir El Haddadi (whose goal gave Barça the youth Champions League title) picked up a return pass from Denis Suárez to fire home the winner.
With seven games to go though the promotion spots are still up for grabs, and Lugo and Córdoba moved back to within a point of the play-off places after both won their respective matches. Lugo beat Ponferradina 3-0, Sergio Rodríguez chesting the ball in to the net to open the scoring on the half hour mark after Moldovan failed to clear a Pablo Sánchez cross. Iago Díaz took advantage of a hesitant defence to make it two midway through the second half, and Rennella ran on to a long ball from midfield to ensure a third home win in a row with two minutes to go. Córdoba meanwhile won 0-1 at Hércules, Xisco scoring the only goal of the match in the sixth minute, turning the rebound in to the net after Falcón could only push out a shot by Gunino. The local keeper had to save from Raúl Bravo and Abel Gómez either side of half time, and Juan Carlos kept out Portillo at the other end shortly before the final whistle to give his team a third win in a row. Ponferradina and Hércules ended the day on 41 points each, just a point above the relegation spots pending Sunday’s games. (19.04.14)