Second Division A - Day 13

Games played on Sunday, 1st November:

Zaragoza moved up to top spot for the first time this season after a 0-4 win at Badajoz, their ninth game in a row without defeat. The first chances fell to the home side, with Rodri heading wide right from the start. However Aragón gave the visitors the lead with a long free kick midway through the first half and ex Blackburn Rovers striker Yordi made it two from the penalty spot when Baines brought down Galletti in the area. The keeper was sent off in the incident. Soriano headed a third before the break from Galletti's corner, and Yordi scored his second penalty in the second half when the referee ruled rather harshly that Rodri had fouled Soriano.

Promotion candidates and neighbours Albacete and Murcia cancelled each other out in a 0-0 draw on Sunday lunchtime. Both managers accepted that it had been a dull match with the defences on top, and scoring chances were few and far between. The away side struck first, with Roa punching away a Tito free kick, and at the other end Reinke tipped away an effort from Irazoki for a corner. Perera and Irazoki both had pots at goal in the second half for the hosts, but otherwise there was no action to speak of. Even so, with none of the teams below them managing to win, Albacete ended the day still in third place. The visitors remained three points behind them in sixth spot.

Last week's leaders Levante also drew 0-0 at Poli Ejido later in the day, and they drop a place to second. Despite the lack of goals it was a lively match, with Congo bringing a good save out of local keeper Quique in the first minute, and Rafa stopping another effort from Sierra two minutes later at the other end. Both sides created numerous chances after that, the best of which was a long shot from Congo after the break which struck the bar and a reply from Sabino soon after which he should have scored from. Ejido rise a place to fourth.

A disappointing 0-1 home defeat at the hands of Compostela for Bernd Schuster's Xerez. The visitors went close twice through Sequeiros early on, and eventually the ex Las Palmas striker won a penalty when brought down by Cañizares which Fabiano converted. The home side fought back after the break with Deus hitting the post, but even when Cabarcos was sent off for the visitors they could not get the ball past Tito. After four games without a win, Xerez drop to fifth. Compostela move away from the bottom four up to seventeenth place.

After losing their first game in almost six months last week at Zaragoza, Terrassa were beaten again. This time though it was a 0-2 defeat at home to lowly Almería, a side who had not won away all season The home fans were hopeful when Monty hit the post ten minutes in to the second half, but Bilic put the visitors in front only two minutes later. Later in the half the Croatian striker was sent off after picking up a second booking, but even so Almería scored again, Francisco heading home Cervián's free kick.

Elche left Oviedo down at the bottom of the table after a spectacular last minute goal from Raúl Ivars gave them a 2-1 victory. Visiting keeper Jonathan saved well from Meca in the opening minutes, but could do nothing about Serrano's header from Melgar´s cross soon afterwards. The lead only lasted three minutes though before Raúl headed over the defence after a mix up, and Geni went close to putting the Asturians ahead before the interval. Oviedo sat back though in the second half to defend the point, and thought they had done so until the late strike.

Getafe beat Numancia 1-3, leaving the Soria based side down in the relegation zone. Either side could have scored in the first half before the referee awarded a penalty to the visitors on the stroke of half time after Fagiani brought down Vivar Dorado. Luis López scored from the spot kick. Visiting keeper Pindado was sent off on the hour mark though after ringing down Suffo outside of the area, and Unai Exposito levelled the scores from the resulting free kick. Two minutes later though Fagiani was sent off after getting a second yellow card, and although Cuéllar hit the bar for the home side, late goals from Rivas and Luis López, both on counterattacks, left Manu Sarabia facing a bleak future.

Having not won once all season in their Helmántico stadium, Salamanca have now recorded back-to-back home victories. Their 2-0 defeat of Córdoba sank the Andalucian side to next to bottom place, and having not scored once in their seven outings, Iosu Ortuondo's side are having another hard season. The home side took the lead in the eighth minute with a Quique Martín penalty after Welliton pulled down Redero, but the goalscorer got himself sent off midway through the first half for kicking Sandro. Even then Córdoba could not score, and Redero added a second for the locals from a Tomás free kick. (01.12.02)

Games played on Saturday, 30th November:

It was not a happy weekend again for the Canary Island sides. Hard up Las Palmas left out captain Orlando after he reported the club to the players' association for non-payment of wages, and ended up losing 0-1 to Eibar. Rubén should have scored for them in the third minute but allowed the keeper to recover, and they paid the price when Garitano put their opponents into the lead at the second attempt just before the break after his header from Kortina's cross hit the bar. The home side ended the game with ten men after Angel Sánchez picked up two yellow cards in the second half and they have now gone six games without a win. Eibar´s Eneko Romo swallowed his tongue in a clash with an opponent in the first half and had to be rushed off to hospital. The Basque side record their first away victory of the season which takes them into the top half of the table.

Tenerife are also struggling this season, and they could only scrape a 1-1 draw at Leganés. The Madrid based side took the lead with a Miguel Angel penalty after Edu Moya fouled Villa in the tenth minute, and should have gone further ahead before Paunovic levelled the scores shortly before the break against the run of play with a delightfully weighted chip. Visiting keeper Valerio saved from Villa early in the second half, and Tenerife held on for their ninth draw of the season despite having Corona sent off for a second bookable offence ten minutes from the end.

Players and staff at Sporting Gijon celebrated the fact that they had just collected two months' back wages with a 3-1 victory over Racing Ferrol on Saturday. The hero of the night was Spanish under 21 international David Villa, who scored a hat-trick and was given a standing ovation as he was substituted at the end. Villa got the first just before half time after Burle failed to cut out a cross from Pablo Alvarez, but Cuéllar headed an equaliser soon after the restart when Pezzarossi knocked back a long cross. However the Asturians came back with two Villa goals from dead ball kicks, the first a penalty after Raúl López handled in the area and the second a well struck free kick to take Sporting off the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone. Ferrol felt hard done by though, especially when a shot from Burle in the second half hit both posts before bouncing out with the score at 2-1.