Second Division A - Day 18

Atlético Madrid could only draw 0-0 at home to Oviedo on Sunday lunchtime, but still maintain their five point lead at the top of the second division. The first half belonged to the visitors, with Burgos saving well from Oli early on and Oscar Pérez going close a couple of times. Atlético's only reply was a Stankovic free kick which Esteban stopped just before half time. Both sides settled for the draw as the second half wore on, with Aragonés taking off his two strikers Fernando Torres and Diego Alonso to bring on two midfield players, and the 55,000 supporters went home somewhat frustrated.

It was a weekend full of draws, with seven of the eleven games ending all square including matches involving the top seven clubs. Bernd Schuster's Xerez drew 1-1 at Salamanca to stay in second place, still six points above Oviedo. Pineda gave them an early lead from Mena's pass, his ninth goal of the season, and they looked to be in a good position when the home side's Raúl Gañan got himself sent off for a second bookable offence soon after. However Robert made it all square, and Moreno missed an easy chance for the visitors after the break.

Racing Santander and Burgos both lost the chance to move up to third in the table in the two games played on Saturday. Racing came from behind to draw 1-1 at Elche, who took the lead through Israel on the hour mark. Bodipo equalised from close range a few minutes later and substitute Mazzoni put a shot wide in the last minute which would have given them victory. The draw does mean that the Cantabrians keep up their eight game unbeaten record, and they stay in fourth place, a point behind Oviedo.

Burgos drew at Córdoba by the same score, again with both goals coming in the last 45 minutes. Nigeria's Lawal hit the bar for the home side in the third minute, but Jauregui was called on to save from Burgos full back Lucio before the break. Lawal broke the ice though just after the restart, putting the home side in front with another spectacular shot from well outside of the area. However the Andalucians were reduced to ten men when Miguel Angel Soria picked up a second caution, and Zubizarreta levelled things up midway through the second half with a header from close range.

Recreativo were another side who could have gone back to the top three on Sunday, but in the end they missed out, drawing 0-0 against struggling Levante. It was a disappointment for fans, with the team playing their last game after 44 years at the old Colombino stadium in Huelva before moving on to their new home (originally called the New Colombino stadium). The visitors played over half the match with ten men after Roa was shown a second yellow card, but Recre could not capitalize and the Valencia based side almost snatched victory in the end..

The winners of the day were Albacete and Badajoz, who both recorded victories to move up behind Recreativo within two points of Oviedo. Albacete beat Jaén 4-0 in a match which was stopped twice due to floodlight failure. All four goals came in the second half, with Duré hitting a superb shot from outside of the area and Basti putting the lights out literally with the second goal. Jaén's Milosevic got himself sent off with a direct red and then José and Duré again added two more goals when someone put a hundred pesetas in the meter. Jaén are dropping rapidly down the table, and their manager Francisco could be the next to go.

Badajoz made it a record breaking seven wins in a row since Portugal's Carlos Alhinho took over, beating Racing Ferrol 2-1. It was a close thing though, with Bracamonte hitting the winner past Aizkorreta in the third minute of injury time after Fran Nogueira had equalised Molist's earlier strike. Earlier in the game Badajoz keeper Baines saved a penalty from Uriz after Xavi Moro had handled in the area.

Poli Ejido won the relegation battle with Gimnastic Tarragona thanks to a single goal from Sergio Cruz in the second half. It was Ejido's first win at home since being promoted in the summer, and only their second of the season. Nàstic drop down to next to bottom, only three points above their opponents, not a good result given that they are taking on Real Madrid in the Spanish cup next Wednesday.

Extremadura are also in trouble after losing 2-1 to Murcia, who fired manager Pedro Braojos during the week. Godino gave the home side the lead, their first goal in four games, and set up Loreto for the second before the break. Jesus pulled one back for the visitors after the restart, but the home side held on to give their new caretaker boss Chato González a good start.

Extremadura stay in nineteenth place, and are now two points adrift of Leganés, who drew 1-1 at Sporting Gijon. The home side were reduced to ten men when keeper Valencia was sent off for handling outside the area in the third minute, and Gámiz put the visitors ahead with a volley from outside of the area soon afterwards. However Dani Borreguero equalised with a shot through a crowded goalmouth later in the half, and they hung on for a point despite ending with nine players after Lozano also got his marching orders in the second half.

Numancia and Eibar are only two points above Leganés after they cancelled each other out in another 1-1 draw. Antonio López, on loan from Valladolid, scored his first goal for his new club directly from a free kick in the second half, but Cabrejo equalised for the visitors five minutes later. The Numancia fans started to get impatient near the end, and new manager Sánchez Duque has yet to find the right combination to get them away from the danger zone.