Second Division A - Day 5

Atlético Madrid held on to first place with a more difficult than expected 2-1 victory over Levante on Saturday evening. Correa headed the first from a Stankovic corner early in the game, but despite dominating midfield, with Movilla once again commander-in-chief, they were unable to add to their scoreline. Then against the run of play the visitors equalised, Josemi bundling the ball over the line at the second attempt despite the best efforts of Burgos. The fans were concerned remembering the 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Valencia based side in the opening day of last season, but only a minute in to the second half García Calvo re-established lead, heading home another Stankovic corner which Correa flicked on. Atlético now have thirteen points from their first five matches.

Two of the newly promoted teams Xerez and Burgos kept up the pressure on the leaders with victories against clubs relegated from the first division. Xerez came from behind to beat Numancia 2-1, keeping up their 100% record at their temporary home, the El Palmar stadium in Sanlucar in front of almost 5,000 fans. Octavio gave the visitors the lead five minutes before half time, but Pineda scored from the penalty spot just after the restart when Culebras fouled Moreno and then set up the winning goal for Mena a few minutes later. Referee Moreno Delgado managed to show 13 yellow cards without repeating the same name twice, and upset visiting manager Celestino Vallejo with his decisions.

Burgos also recorded their fourth victory of the season, this time 0-2 at Racing Santander. Racing dominated the match, but the visitors defended well and scored twice on breakaways in the second half through Isailovic and Merino. As with other grounds this weekend, the match was stopped for around 20 minutes due to floodlight failure. The job of Racing's manager Gustavo Benítez is once again on the line after fans booed their side off at the end, although club president Santiago Díaz has given him his support up to now.

At least one of the relegated teams is doing well. Oviedo kept within a point of Xerez and Burgos and two of leaders Atlético Madrid with a narrow 1-0 victory over a combative Eibar. The Basques put up their usual defensive wall from start to finish, but the Asturian side eventually got their just rewards with a goal from Rubén six minutes from time. Another Rubén, Rubén Reyes, substituted Iván Ania who was transferred to Tenerife just before the deadline closed to raise funds to pay off debts. Ania was reluctant to go, but claimed he was threatened with being left out of the side if he refused.

The top four have opened up a three point gap over four teams, including Ferrol, Albacete, Salamanca and Recreativo. Racing Ferrol do have a game in hand though as their match with Gimnastic Tarragona on Saturday night was abandoned after 20 minutes when the floodlights failed twice in a thunderstorm. Nástic were winning 2-0 at the time, with goals from Deus and Pinilla, and the competitions committee now has to decide when the remaining 70 minutes will be played. Albacete beat the always difficult Badajoz 2-0 with a headed goal from a corner in the first half from Mikel and a late breakaway from Jesús Pereda as the visitors threw everything forward.

Salamanca picked up a point in an exciting 3-3 draw at Murcia. The home side had not scored in six hours of football, but having signed Peternac from Zaragoza, it was one of the old boys Loreto who starred with a hat-trick. It was not enough to give them a first victory though, as the visitors levelled the scores through Nan Ribera (from the penalty spot) and Makakula after Pepe Domingo had given them an early lead. Murcia's Vaqueriza was sent off in the penalty incident. Recreativo Huelva also came behind to draw 1-1 at Elche thanks to a late penalty converted by David after Noguerol had held back Raúl Molina. Nino opened the scoring for the East coast side, but once again they failed to pick up the three points, and they, Murcia and Leganés have all recorded four draws and one defeat in five games.

Leganés only just made it though, with a penalty from Miguel Angel in the 96th minute securing a 1-1 result at Poli Ejido. Having thrown away a victory in the last minute last week at Ferrol the Andalucian side thought they had got their first win ever in the second division A when Polish international Trzeciak, just signed from Osasuna, came on as substitute and scored three minutes into injury time. However another of their ex Osasuna players Vidakovic handled in the area and they had to settle for their second point of the season, which leaves them next to bottom above Nástic, who have a game in hand. The game was surrounded by controversy, with referee Pérez Lima sending off Gámiz for the visitors at the end of the first half and Arturo for the home side at the end of the second for two bookable offences, and at first allowing a "hand-of-god" goal by Sergio Cruz before changing his decision three minutes later at the intervention of a linesman

With the exception of Xerez, the Andalucian teams had a hard time of it this weekend, with Jaén and Córdoba both losing. Córdoba's change of manager and also of goalkeeper did them no good this weekend as they fell 1-2 at home to Sporting Gijon. All three goals came in the first half, with Pablo Alvarez and Michel beating number two keeper Sebas to give the visitors a two goal lead and Manolo pulling one back with a header. Sporting held on in the second half despite playing with ten men after Aira was sent off with twenty minutes to go. A depleted Jaén were on the end of the biggest thrashing of the season so far, losing 5-0 to Extremadura on Saturday evening. Juan Carlos Moreno scored two in the second half, his first from the penalty spot when Manuel was pulled back by Luis López, with the others coming from Jorge Pérez and Manuel headers in the first half, and a David Cortés cracker from 30 metres in the second.