Betis opened up a six point gap over their closest rivals after a 5-1 victory over Lugo on Sunday evening, and the Andalusians are just a couple of wins away from a quick return to the top flight. Top scorer Rubén Castro picked up a N’Diaye assist to open the scoring in the eleventh minute, and although Alvaro Peña took advantage of a hesitant defence to equalize soon afterwards, Molina restored the lead after a wide Varela free kick fell to him shortly before the break. Just five minutes after the restart Molinero made it three after José Juan could only push out Castro’s header, and Castro himself got the fourth on a quick counterattack which was initiated by N’Diaye. And with the game coming to an end substitute Rennella connected with Molinero’s cross to complete the rout. Earlier in the day second placed Girona dropped points after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Zaragoza, and they are now level with Sporting in the table. Diego Rico put the visitors in front in only the second minute with an impressive shot following a quick breakaway, and Jandro wasted a chance to equalize when he fired a spot kick against the upright after Pedro fouled Mata in the area with ten minutes to go. However Carles Mas saved a late point for the Catalans with a header past Bono after Richy had headed Granell’s wide free kick against the post.
Zaragoza hold on to sixth spot, now three points clear of Llagostera, who continue to surprise with a 0-1 victory at Ponferradina. The Catalans started the day two points behind their hosts in the table, and they seemed to be up against it when Aimar was sent off for pulling back Sobrino as he advanced on goal with twenty minutes left on the clock. However in the fourth minute of injury time Perea picked up Querol’s short pass and ghosted past three defenders before clipping a shot past Kepa to win the match. It was a fifteenth game without defeat for Lluis Carrillo’s side, although all their efforts may still be in vain if they can’t raise the €2 million capital increase they need under league rules to be able to stay up for another season. Alcorcón meanwhile are now three points behind Llagostera after they drew 1-1 at Tenerife in the last game of the weekend. Nagore headed the opener for the visitors following a short corner with only two minutes gone, but on the stroke of half time Vitolo made it all square from the penalty spot after Héctor Verdés picked up a second booking for bringing down Maxi Pérez in the area. The Canary Islanders could not find a way past Javi Jiménez and the ten men after that though, and they end the day just three points above the relegation spots. (17.05.15)
Sporting Gijón are back up to second pending Girona’s game on Sunday after beating Racing Santander 3-1 on Saturday evening. The visitors took the lead though early on, Juanpe getting above the defence to head in Iñaki’s corner with just ten minutes gone, but five minutes later Mario mis-punched a high ball into the area, and Guerrero was on hand to head the rebound into the net. A quarter of an hour or so into the second half Bernardo headed a second for the Asturians after Juanpe could only head back a long Luis Hernández throw-in, and five minutes later Guerrero got on the end of an Alex Menéndez cross to turn a shot past Mario for the third. The defeat leaves the Cantabrians still down in the bottom four, now two points away from safety.
Five teams are still in the running for the two direct promotion spots though, Las Palmas staying six points behind Sporting after beating bottom club Recreativo 3-0. Jonathan Viera got on the end of Javi Castellano’s pass to open the scoring midway through the first half, and Viera then set up Vicente to net the second some ten minutes before the break. With an hour on the clock Angel ran through to make it three and keeper Raúl Lizoain saved from Menosse and Antonio Domínguez after that to hand the Andalusians a sixth loss in a row. The Canary Islanders are now up to fourth, ahead of Valladolid on goal difference after Rubi’s team were held to a 1-1 draw by Osasuna. The visitors put out an ultra-defensive line-up, and they held on until Miguel Flaño turned Oscar Díaz’s cross into his own net with some twenty minutes to go. Just four minutes later though the defender (whose twin brother Javier was playing alongside him) headed a wide free kick past Javi Varas to equalize, and Nino felt himself unlucky to have a last minute strike ruled out by the referee, even though television pictures showed that his shot had bounced down over the line after hitting the crossbar.
The top five have opened up a ten point gap over the rest, but up to seven sides are battling it out for the last play-off spot, Alavés moving to within three point of current incumbents Zaragoza after beating Albacete 2-3. Rafa García gave the visitors the lead in the seventh minute after Dorronsoro could only push out a shot by Lanzarote, but just before the break Portu deflected Laguardia’s attempted clearance back into the net, and with twenty minutes left to go Rubén Cruz latched on to Keko’s assist to turn the scoreline around. However just five minutes later Toti connected with Juli’s cross to make it all square once again, and with the game in injury time Toti got his second of the evening to tie up the three points for his team. Alavés are now two points ahead of Leganés, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Sabadell earlier in the afternoon. Postigo headed the locals in front from corner in the tenth minute, and visiting keeper Nauzet had to make a couple of saves after that. However Eguaras equalized at the start of the second half with a low shot after Aníbal laid the ball back to give the Catalans their seventh draw in the last eleven games.
Numancia and Mirandés distanced themselves from the play-off spots however after both lost on Saturday. Numancia were beaten 1-2 by Mallorca, who themselves are now seven points above the drop zone. Javi Ros gave the islanders the lead on the quarter hour mark after Marco Asensio put him through, but just a minute later Julio Alvarez equalized after Vicente’s cross fell to him. The locals were left with ten though when Pedraza picked up a second booking a quarter of an hour in to the second half, and Xisco (who was also sent off in injury time for a push on Cicinho) lobbed the winner a few minutes later after latching on to a Ros through ball. Mirandés meanwhile lost 2-3 to Barcelona B, who are now just four points away from salvation. Juan Cámara headed in Adama’s cross to give the visitors an early lead, but the locals scored twice either side of half time from set-piece corners, the first a Cantero header, and the second an acrobatic shot on the far post by Urko Vera. Patric turned in Adama’s cross to level it soon afterwards however, and substitute picked up Patric’s square pass to fire home the winner just a minute after coming on. (16.05.15)