Second Division A - Day 35

Only two points separate the top three clubs after this weekend's games. Leaders Sevilla scraped an undeserved draw against Racing Ferrol with an injury time goal from Michel. The match started in a torrential downpour, with Zalayeta and Olivera returning for the leaders and Razov and Pavlicic passing late fitness tests for Racing, and it was Pavlicic who gave the home side the lead with a header in the 20th minute after Pazolo set him up. At the start of the second half Sevilla's keeper Notario was sent off after giving away a penalty, but with Olsen taking over, Pazolo put his kick over the bar. Sevilla are now only a point ahead of Tenerife who are trying to get Barata reregistered as a non-EU player after his licence was revoked in the passport scandal. With Luis García, Pier and Mista in the side it is difficult to see where he would fit in, and it was a double strike in the second half by Mista which gave them their 0-2 victory against Elche. The defeat leaves Elche firmly down in the relegation zone, now three points adrift of Racing, and caretaker manager Marcial Pina, in charge at the Martínez Valero stadium for the first time, will have his work cut out to save them.

Everyone is saying that 70 points should be enough to win promotion this season, and Betis moved a step closer after a comfortable 4-1 victory over bottom club Lleida. They move on to 62, one behind Tenerife, and now have a five point lead over the chasing pack. Amato opened the scoring for them from the penalty spot after Oscar Alvarez handled in the area, and Casas added a second from Denilson's pass before Moreno pulled one back with a header just before half time. However the Argentininan strikers combined to score a goal apiece again in the second half to complete the rout and move to within a point of leaders Sevilla. Amato has now got thirteen goals since he joined the club in winter. Fourth placed Recreativo Huelva lost ground on the leaders after being held at home to a 1-1 draw by Sporting Gijon. Referee Moreno Delgado allowed a first half goal by Soto to stand even though he punched the ball into the net with his hand, and he also turned down two valid appeals for penalties by the home side late in the match. He did however send off Sporting keeper Valencia in another incident, and Recreativo managed to equalise through half time substitute Bodipo to salvage a point.

Atlético Madrid suffered a serious setback in their fight to get back to the top flight after losing surprisingly at home to Murcia on Saturday evening. Kiko, Salva and company were ineffective in attack and they were surprised by a Zárate header halfway through the first half after keeper Sergio hesitated. Further defensive mistakes let in Loreto and then Luis Gil after the break for the final 0-3 scoreline. After the match angry fans attacked the players and watching journalists, and manager Marcos Alonso appears to be on the way out, with his assistant Emilio Cruz tipped to take over early next week. Albacete's promotion hopes also took a dive as they lost 3-0 to Jaén. Pepelu scored from a free kick in the first minute and Sierra and Jurado added two more in the second half. The visitors ended the match with ten men after Edu García got himself sent off near the end, and they are now nine points away from the promotion spots. Jaén's recent form takes them back up to a relatively safe eleventh place.

Salamanca kept their very slim hopes of promotion alive with a 0-1 victory away at Badajoz. Toedtli got the only goal in the second half after keeper Baines failed to hold on to a previous shot, giving them their first victory in six games. They now have 51 points, two behind Albacete, and with only seven games to go time is running out. Badajoz drop to fifteenth, level with Murcia and Eibar on 45 points, which short of disaster should be enough to see them safe. Eibar lost away 2-0 to Córdoba, who are now five points above their opponents on 50 points, level with Sporting. Marcos Márquez returned to the side to score the first fifteen minutes from the end and lay on the second for Montenegro in time added on.

Compostela and Leganés are both fighting to avoid the drop zone, and they cancelled each other out with a 1-1 draw. Puñal scored from the penalty spot for the visitors in the first half after Makukula was brought down, but Ohen equalised ten minutes from time to save a valuable point for the Gallicians. Leganés move up to 42 points and are now eight points clear of the bottom four, with Compostela three points behind them on 39. Racing have 37, and then come Getafe and Elche on 34. Getafe drew 3-3 at Levante in a high scoring match, with the lead changing hands twice. Salillas scored two and made another for Kaiku for the home side, giving him fifteen for the season, with Trigo, Dika and Maikel replying for the Madrid based side. Universidad Las Palmas scraped a last minute victory over Extremadura to keep alive their possibility of staying up. Things looked grim for the Canary Island side when they were reduced to ten men just before the interval after Yeray was sent off for a second bookable offence, but Alexis got the goal in the ninetieth minute with a shot which bounced awkwardly to beat Gaspercic. They are however still four points behind the two teams above them, but they open up a seven point gap over bottom club Lleida, who are surely doomed already.