Second Division A - Day 39

Málaga climbed back up to second spot in the table pending Sporting's game on Sunday after beating Sevilla Atlético 0-1. The Andalusians had only won two of their last nine games, but they went ahead when Calleja connected with Baha's cross to beat Javi Varas midway through the first half. And when half time substitute Juanjo was sent off with eight minutes to go, the home side's hope of saving the match disappeared. Málaga stay a point ahead of Real Sociedad, who kept up their push for promotion with a 1-2 victory at Tenerife. Martí opened the scoring for the Basque side early on, but Oscar Pérez headed the equaliser for the Canary Islanders later in the first half. Substitute Víctor won it for the visitors though with his first touch after coming on with a quarter of an hour to go, taking his side up to third in the table.

More emotion in the fight to avoid relegation, with Albacete winning 0-2 at Castellón to move out of the bottom four. Noguerol put them on their way with a first minute strike, and David Bauza headed the second from Barkero's cross with ten minutes to go. The locals ended with ten men after Mora was shown the red card near the end. Granada 74 stay in the drop zone though after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Celta. Luque put them ahead from the penalty spot just a minute in to the second half after Agus fouled Falcón. But even though the Galicians were left with ten men when Lequi picked up a second booking, Michu got on the end of Canobbio's corner to equalise. Granada could have won it though when Luque missed a second penalty in the last minute. (24.05.08)

Only one point separates the three teams battling for the two remaining promotion spots after Sporting Gijón were held to a 0-0 draw at Alavés on Sunday. With the home side down in the relegation zone it was a tense match, with chances few and far between. The Asturians were left with ten men after Gerardo was sent off with a quarter of an hour remaining, but even so Barral could have won it for them had Bernardo not produced the save of the night late on. Leaders Numancia made sure of going up last weekend, but with the pressure off they fell to a 3-2 defeat at Córdoba. Arthuro headed the Andalusians into an early lead, and Boris put through his own net just a quarter of an hour later. Rafa Jordà got one back before the break, but substitute Pineda restored the two goal cushion on the hour mark. And Carmelo's late strike for the visitors was unable to prevent the locals from clocking up their third victory in a row.

With three matches to go, nobody else has even a mathematical chance of promotion. However any one of the sides in the lower half of the table could be relegated in one of the closest finishes on record. There are only seven points between eleven teams, and the usually safe target of 50 points is no longer a guarantee of staying up. Bottom club Poli Ejido are now only three points away from escaping the drop zone after a 2-0 win over Elche, Usero and Jorge Molina getting the goals in the second half of the match. Xerez stay in the bottom four though after they drew 0-0 at Eibar, who held on for a point despite playing for the last quarter of an hour with outfielder Txiki in goal after keeper Cuéllar was sent off with all three changes made.

Cádiz are now only a point above the drop zone after they lost 0-2 at home to Gimnàstic. Goals in the last quarter of the game from Moisés and Calle were enough to keep up the Catalans' eight match unbeaten run, taking them three points above their opponents in the table. Cádiz coach Raúl Procopio was replaced by Julián Rubio the following day. Racing Ferrol are level with the Andalusians after they lost 2-1 to Salamanca, David Rodríguez getting a late winner for the locals after Carlier had equalised Quique Martín's first minute strike. Las Palmas are completely safe though after a 1-2 win at Hércules, Marcos Márquez winning it with a penalty three minutes from the end to take his side up to seventh in the table. Márquez himself had opened the scoring early in the second half, but Ismael levelled the scores a few minutes later. (25.05.08)