|Second Division A - Day 16|
A low scoring weekend in the second division, with ten teams failing to get on the scoresheet and only 19 goals in all, with six of them coming in one game. Seven of the eleven matches were settled by a single goal, starting with Atlético Madrid who made hard work of beating bottom side Poli Ejido. In the end though they recorded a victory to move even further ahead at the top of the table. The only goal came from Uruguay's Correa with a quarter of an hour gone after good work by Luque. However Mono Burgos saved the day closing down Vizcaino before half time, and even though the visitors were reduced to ten men after Francis picked up a second yellow card shortly after the restart, Atlético were unable to add to their scoreline and were grateful when the final whistle went.
Second placed Xerez kept up the pressure on leaders Atlético with a 0-1 victory at Levante on Sunday lunchtime. Bernd Schuster's side sat back and waited for their chance, which came halfway through the second half when Mena got away on a counterattack. The goal gave them confidence, and only a good performance by home side keeper Veiga kept the scoreline as it was. Levante's Juvenal got sent off late in the match for a second bookable offence. Off the field of play Xerez president Luis Oliver successfully defended a court case brought by the mayor of Jerez to restore ownership to the local council. Oliver also turned down an offer by them to use another stadium in the town, preferring the 30 kilometre haul to El Palmar for the time being.
Xerez stay five points behind Atlético and five above Burgos, who move back up to third after a 1-5 thrashing of Numancia. Last season the two sides were two divisions apart, but it was the home side who appeared to be the second division B outfit as they failed to put up a fight. José Mari put the visitors ahead, and although Merino put through his own net to equalise, Cuéllar did the same at the other end after César Esteban had scored with a free kick to establish a two goal lead. A second half Iñaki penalty and a goal by Merino, this time in the right net, left Numancia down one place above the relegation spots having gone five games without a win. Fans called for the head of manager Cellestino Vallejo and he was fired a day later, with Sánchez Duque taking over with immediate effect..
Recreativo move back up to fourth, just behind Burgos on goal average after a 1-0 victory over Racing Ferrol. The home side took the lead through Cheli ten minutes before the break with a solo effort. However Ferrol came back in the second half and were unlucky not to level the scores in the end. This was Recreativo's first home win in four games, and gives them hope once again of first division football.
Last week's third placed team Oviedo dropped two places after losing 2-0 away at Elche. Both goals came in the last quarter of an hour of the match, with Raúl Ivars opening the scoring with an individualist goal and Nino getting the second in the last minute. Oviedo's Onopko was sent off for the third time this season for a high kick on Moha in injury time. This was Elche's third win in a row, and they move safely up to the top half of the table.
Racing Santander have not looked back since Quique Setién took over, and they moved up to within two points of the promotion spots with their first away win in 19 months. They beat promotion rivals Albacete 0-1 thanks to a late headed goal by central defender Neru, moving a point ahead of their opponents into sixth place. This was Albacete's first home defeat of the season and they ended the day in tenth place, albeit only three points away from the third placed team.
Racing lead a group of four teams on 24 points, including Ferrol, Elche and Salamanca, who defeated Leganés 1-0, their first victory in five weeks. Their young forward Robert got the only goal of the game in the first half, his second in a row after only coming in to the side last week. This was a first loss for the visitors under new manager Carlos Aguiar, and they drop back to seventeenth, only three points above the relegation spots.
Badajoz set a new club record with their fifth straight win in a row, and they have not lost since manager Carlos Alhinho took over six weeks ago. Their match against Jaén was another which finished 1-0, with Pepín getting the winner with a magnificent volley from outside of the area on the stroke of half time. When Alhinho took over they were bottom of the table, but with 16 points in six games they are now a respectable thirteenth, a point behind their Andalucian opponents and only five away from third place Burgos.
The same score as well at Gijon, where Sporting defeated Eibar to earn themselves a much needed three points. Michel got on the end of David Pirri's free kick to score the only goal with twenty minutes on the clock against the run of play. However the Asturians got their act together after their goal and held on to move within a point of Eibar in the middle of the table.
Córdoba's new manager Pepe Murcia started with a victory, beating Extremadura 2-0. Murcia became the Andalucians' third manager of the season when Crispi was fired at the start of the week, and his side showed a major improvement after five games without a win. Lawal got the first from Whelliton's pass in the twentieth minute, and Alfonso added the second shortly after half time. Extremadura have yet to win away, and they stay down in the relegation zone.
Talking of Murcia, the team with the same name are close to changing their manager Pedro Braojos after his side lost 0-2 to Gimnastic. Pinilla and Prieto got the goals for the visitors in the last minute of the first and second halves respectively. After a long directors' meeting Braojos was given another chance, but a bad result next weekend and he will be gone. They drop to sixteenth, just four points above the Catalans, who rise above Levante and Extremadura to nineteenth. Their caretaker manager Jaume Bonet, a pharmacist by trade, was finally convinced to stay on after Duarte and others were rejected for economic and technical reasons.