Second Division A - Day 10

Last season the second division was a very close race between several sides, and this year appears no different up to now. Seven teams are only separated by one point at this stage with ten games gone, with Tenerife moving up into top spot to end the reign of the Andalucian teams. Simutenkov opened the scoring and Barata added one in each half to beat Badajoz 3-0, and with the teams above them failing to win, the Canary Island side rule the roost, level on 17 points with Córdoba and Sevilla. Córdoba looked like they would stay top right up until the end of their match with Elche, when Dennis Serban scored the only goal of the tie on a counter-attack to end the leaders' run of six unbeaten games. Sevilla have not won now in four games after heading the table for the first few weeks, and their 0-0 draw with Recreativo was another disappointment for their fans. Recreativo were reduced to ten men after David was sent off shortly before half time, but their keeper César has only let three in all season and his defence put up the shutters for the rest of the game.

The real drama of the day though came in Las Palmas, where Atlético Madrid lost to bottom club Universidad, a team who were only formed six seasons ago and who had yet to win in the second divison A. With an annual budget of 300 million Pesetas, only one thirtieth of their opponents, they took a 2-0 lead shortly after the break, with goals by Jonathan and Prieto. The referee helped the Madrileños later on giving them a penalty which Correa converted, but that was all they could do. After the match, club president Jesús Gil made some very ugly comments about his players on a national radio programme, and using foul language accused them of being a travelling circus, telling manager Marcos Alonso to let them swim home. Later on he fired technical secretary Miguel Angel Ruiz and threw Kiko out of the club, although he repented later and readmitted him.. Atlético are currently lying in seventeenth place only one above the drop zone, and Paulo Futre has been named the new general manager in an attempt to put things back on track.

Four teams are tied for fourth place a point behind the leaders. Levante came back from behind twice against struggling Lleida in an exciting game which finished 3-3. Peragón scored twice for the visitors, and Lima salvaged a point in injury time. Murcia kept up their good recent run under new manager Pep Mel with a 2-0 victory over Compostela, Loreta getting his fourth of the season, and Albacete also won by a two goal margin, beating Sporting Gijon 3-1 with two goals from Javi Guerrero. Jaén however lost 1-0 against Salamanca, with a goal from Toedtli in the second half, and they drop down to sixth. Betis are point behind the quartet after drawing 0-0 at Eibar, thereby ending their run of three victories in a row, and Recreativo and Salamanca a point behind them on fifteen points, with Elche in eleventh spot on fourteen.

Extremadura are finally getting their act together, and their 1-0 victory against Racing Ferrol takes them up to thirteenth on 13 points. Nothing unlucky about their performance however, with Gaspercic saving a penalty near the end after David Karanka had given them the lead. Ferrol drop into the relegation zone, and they are hoping that the arrival of American international striker Ante Razov from Chicago Fire in December will spark off a revival. Talking of sparks, the local derby between the two Madrid based team did see some fireworks after an extraordinary performance from the referee Eleicegui Uranga. He awarded three non-existent penalties, the first to visitors Getafe and then two to the home side Leganés, and ended up sending off three players, Fede and Parrado after an off the ball incident, and Getafe reserve keeper Lampón at the end. He also showed the red card to Lozano, Getafe's physical trainer in the near-riot which followed the double sending off, and on top of that he managed to produce 10 yellow cards. And all that after the clubs had organised a mutual lunch to seal the brotherly love between them before the game. Then again, some brothers do hate each other. Miguel Angel's two goals from the penalty spot for Leganés takes him top of the goalscorers' chart with six, but it was little consolation as Cabezas scored in injury time to snatch a 2-3 victory for the visitors.