Second Division A - Day 36

Second placed Albacete's run of 18 games without defeat came to an end when they lost 2-1 at struggling Racing Ferrol. The home side took the lead in the fourth minute when veteran striker Cuéllar headed home a cross from David Pérez, and could have gone further ahead with efforts from Uche and Burle. Jandro hit the post at the other end, but the Gallicians went further ahead after the break when Roa brought down Uche in the area, Pablo transforming the resulting penalty. A few minutes later the visitors were left with ten men after Oscar Montiel picked up a second yellow card, but they did get a goal back in injury time when Ramis fouled Perera, the striker clocking up his twentieth of the season from the penalty spot. Ferrol move to within a point of safety pending Sunday's games.

Fourth placed Levante failed to take advantage of Albacete's slip though, themselves losing 1-2 at home to Córdoba on Saturday. It was a game surrounded by controversy, Zaragoza based referee Clos Gómez apparently telling a Levante player at the break that they would not be going up and eventually needing a police escort off the pitch. However Clos was not entirely to blame for the defeat, and even awarded a penalty to the home side in the first half after Berruet had brought down Congo in the area which Amato transformed (the home side players did protest that Berruet should have been sent off though). Montenegro had given the visitors the lead in the second minute after Moisés set him up, and Ramzi scored the winner after the break, his half-hit shot fooling keeper Aizpurúa.

Fifth placed Xerez lost out on the chance to close up on the leaders after losing 2-1 at Getafe on Sunday lunchtime, and their push for promotion appears to be over. The home side have been in excellent form recently, and they took the lead in the ninth minute when Nano got on the end of a free kick from captain Luis López. Craioveanu and Vivar Dorado both had chances to increase the lead, but it was not until ten minutes from the end that Juan Carlos finally beat Mora for the second time to put the result beyond doubt. Deus did put a sting in the tail though with a goal in the last minute, but by then it was too late and Getafe held on to stay in seventh spot, their best ever season to date in the second division. Both sides had a man sent off in the second half, visiting midfielder Jesule being shown a direct red card midway through the half and Diego Rivas following soon afterwards for a second bookable offence.

A bad tempered match between local rivals Oviedo and Sporting Gijon was lucky not to end in tragedy after a fence collapsed as the home side were celebrating the winning goal. With Oviedo languishing deep in the relegation zone the pre-match build up was tense, and supporters clashed in the streets before kick off. The visitors were unlucky not to take the lead early on, with Cristian Díaz hitting the bar during a series of attacks. Díaz turned villain though on the half hour mark when he brought down Oli in the penalty area, Geni converting the kick, but only a minute later Sporting were awarded their own penalty after Serrano fouled Pablo Alvarez, and Villa levelled the scores from the spot. Oli headed the winner though from a Pablo Díaz cross, and after substitute Paredes provoked the sending off of Pablo Alvarez the game was over. Oviedo stay next to bottom, but are now only three points away from safety.

With six games still to go, the three promotion spots are virtually tied up already. After the weekend's games were over, Murcia, Zaragoza and Albacete had opened up a seven point gap over the chasing sides, and the only interest at the top of the table is who is going to end up champions. Leaders Murcia were held to a 1-1 draw by Salamanca on Sunday evening, although Albacete's defeat the day before means they stay on top. David Vidal's side took the lead from the penalty spot midway through the first half after Redero handled the ball in the area, David Karanka converting the kick, and should have extended their lead later in the half. However the visitors equalised after the break when Roberto Fresnedoso pounced on a loose ball to beat Reinke, and the German keeper had to make some important saves later on to ensure the point.

Zaragoza took advantage of their rivals' slip ups to move up to second spot, only a point now behind Murcia, after beating Elche 5-2. The hero of the day was ex Blackburn Rovers striker Yordi, who came on at half time and scored a hat-trick in the first thirty minutes of the second half, the last of which was a great solo effort. Aragón had given Paco Flores's side the lead in the third minute with a lob from outside of the area, but Cuéllar levelled the scores four minutes later from Santamaría's cross. The visitors were left with ten men though when Ricardo picked up a second booking late in the first half, and their resistance collapsed. Galletti added a fifth a quarter of an hour from the end, and Sena got a late consolation goal in the dying minutes.

Good results for both Canary Island sides, although they came too late in the season to give them any real chance of promotion back to the first division. Las Palmas beat Terrassa 0-1, sending the Catalans down to within three points of the relegation spots. Josu Uribe's side had not trained all week, his players joining the rest of the Las Palmas staff who were striking in protest about not being paid for several months, but they put that behind them with a professional display. The home side had a chance to go ahead on the hour mark when Lima was controversially sent off for blocking Rodri's shot with his arm, but Orlando saved Monty's penalty kick. And then five minutes from the end Reggi beat Maestro with a header to keep his side in sixth place.

Tenerife move up to eighth after a convincing 4-0 win over Poli Ejido. The Islanders had gone five games without a win, but they silenced their critics with a Paunovic penalty a quarter of an hour into the match after the Yugoslavian had been pushed over by Arturo. Antonio Hidalgo rounded Kike to score a second before the break, and Paunovic set up Barata for his first goal in four months midway through the second half. Mazzoni hit the woodwork at the other end, but in the last minute Quique Torres rounded things off with a fourth goal.

Compostela stay level with Tenerife in ninth place after a 2-0 win over Leganés. The Gallicians are another club in financial difficulties, but their players keep on winning despite not being paid by the club all season. Maikel gave them the lead in the fifth minute, beating the offside trap to connect with Aguado's through ball, and could have scored a second before the break. A thick fog enveloped the ground in the second half, but Fidalgo saw enough of the ball to beat Vera for a second time after the defence failed to clear Rodri's cross.

The fight to avoid relegation is hotting up, with all of the last three sides winning. Badajoz won 1-2 at Eibar, dragging their opponents down into the struggle. The Extremadurians took the lead with a quarter of the match gone when César got on the end of Gatti's corner, but the locals equalised five minutes later, Romo beating Baines with a half-hit shot from Lediakhov's cross. The Basque side were left with ten men though in the second half when Fagoaga was shown a second yellow card, and Jorge Zafra set up Zé Tó for the winner soon afterwards.

The only one of the bottom four to lose was Almería, who were defeated 1-2 by Numancia. The Soria based side took the lead ten minutes before the break from the penalty spot, Unai converting the kick after Octavio was obstructed by Olivares, and could have gone further ahead when a strike by Ojeda was ruled out for offside. Miguel Angel Nuñez did make it two though in the second half from Kome's pass, and although Juanlu got a goal back in the last minute the result was never in doubt.