Second Division A - Day 41

With only a week to go to the end of the season, all second division matches were ordered to take place on Saturday evening. Real Murcia made sure of the second division title with a convincing 5-0 win over Racing Ferrol, a result which leaves the Gallicians back down in the bottom four. It was a festival atmosphere, with fireworks included to celebrate their return after 14 years out of the top flight, and the players got into the rhythm quickly, David Karanka scoring twice after Ramis had headed past his own keeper to take a three goal lead at the break. Ismael made it four from a low free kick and Loreto headed a fifth into an empty net in the second half to end Ferrol's five match unbeaten run with a vengeance.

The other two promoted sides took their feet off their respective accelerators after ensuring their places in the first division last week. Zaragoza were held to a 0-0 draw at Poli Ejido, who are now mathematically safe for another year. It was a dull game though, with the only action coming in the first half when Tevenet hit the crossbar directly from a corner and David Pirri responded with a long shot which also rattled the woodwork. After the break both sides settled for a point, and the local supporters whistled at their own side for their lack of ambition.

An unmotivated Albacete lost 0-1 at home to an Almería side who were fighting for survival. The visitors took the lead in the fourth minute when Luna headed on Esteban's corner, and only a couple of spectacular saves by Cano from Francisco kept the locals in the game. Leading scorer Perera did have a chance to equalise, but after the break Almería could have extended their lead further. They move two points clear of the drop zone, and are now well placed to avoid relegation.

In fact the only thing at stake now is who will go down, with six teams fighting to avoid the last two spots at the last weekend. Córdoba are still not out of the woods, but their 1-0 win over Oviedo puts them in a strong position and also confirms that the Asturians will be playing in the second division B next season. After an even first half in which Moisés for the home side and Geni for their opponents could have scored, Oviedo were left with ten men when Paredes picked up a second booking. Two minutes later Moisés got on the end of Serban's cross to head the opening goal, and it was all over. Numbers were evened up when Ramzi was also sent off, but the fight had gone out of the visitors and they go on to an uncertain future.

Terrassa scraped an important point in a 0-0 draw at Sporting Gijon, and a similar result in their last game at home to Leganés will mean they are safe. With the Asturians also needing one point for safety in this game, nobody was taking any risks, and the crowd booed off the players at the end of the game for their lifeless performance. Only a header from visiting striker Keko early on and a free kick from Juan later in the first half tested either keeper, and the last 45 minutes were soporific.

After a run of three wins in a row, Leganés are suddenly back in the fight to avoid relegation after losing 0-1 to fellow strugglers Eibar. The Basque side came into the game on the back of seven games without a win, a run which cost manager Blas Ziarreta his job midweek. But joint caretakers Pérez and Arrieta made several changes, and in the fifth minute they were rewarded when Garitano headed Aitor's free kick past Raúl. First half substitute Villa tested Riesgo, but when Carcedo was sent off for the locals twenty minutes from the end their challenge came to a halt. Eibar host Albacete next week, and a win together with a defeat for Leganés would mean they could pull off a miraculous escape.

Compostela made sure of safety after coming from two goals down to win 3-4 at Levante. The home side were looking to consolidate their fourth position, and looked well on the way to doing so when they took a two goal lead at the break, Limones connecting with Sérvulo's through ball and then Pinillos turning Amato's shot into his own net. But Fabiano pulled one back from the penalty spot on the hour mark, and after Oliver saved another penalty from Amato at the other end, Cabarcos levelled the scores. Rivera put the Valencia based side back in front, but Cabarcos levelled it again with a shot which went through Aizpurúa's hands and Maikel struck the winner seven minutes from the end.

Elche and Numancia also made sure of another year in the second division with a 1-1 draw. The home side took the lead in the second half with an effort from Nino which the referee ruled crossed the line, even though Octavio cleared the ball away from under the goalposts. Cuéllar made it all square though twenty minutes from the end, and as news came in from other grounds confirming that a point each would be enough, the game slowed to walking pace.

The Canary Island sides Tenerife and Las Palmas played out a 0-0 draw in a match in which neither had anything to play for other than local pride. The home side really wanted to win though to break a run of fourteen years since their last victory in Santa Cruz over their opponents, but even when Las Palmas had José Antonio sent off ten minutes into the second half they were unable to beat Orlando in the visiting goal.

There were goals though in Jerez de la Frontera, where Xerez beat already relegated Badajoz 5-3. Zárate gave the home side a two goal lead with two headers early on, and although Leandro got one back, strikes either side of half time from Calle and Cachorro seemed to have wrapped things up. However Leandro and Xavi Moro closed the gap to one goal, and the locals were reduced to nine men after Selu and then Rubiales both picked up second yellow cards. Del Pino scrambled a fifth though for the Andalucians to give his side the three points.

Salamanca extended their unbeaten run to eight games with a 3-1 victory over Getafe, taking Jorge D'Alessandro's side up to seventh in the table. The game was almost without incident until Escoda converted Cacá's pass just before half time, and Cacá added a second after the break after good work by young substitute José Rivas. Juan Carlos pulled one back a few minutes later, but Roberto Fresnodoso finished things off to send the fans back home happy.