A hat-trick from "Loco" Abreu was enough to give Real Sociedad a 1-3 victory over leaders Xerez on Saturday evening. Mario Bermejo gave the Andalusians the lead in the eleventh minute with a header from Momo's free kick. But Abreu equalised with just under half an hour gone, and the Uruguayan striker added two more either side of the break to hand Esteban Vigo's side their first defeat in eleven games. Real themselves move to within four points of the top three.
Otherwise though it was evens all round, with Zaragoza coming back from two down to draw 2-2 at Alavés. Javi Guerra gave the Vitoria based side the lead on the stroke of half time, and Emilio Sánchez made it two just ten minutes after the restart. But Moreno got himself sent off for a second bookable offence five minutes later, and Ewerthon and Arizmendi scored two for the visitors in the last five minutes.
Castellón and Rayo Vallecano could both have moved in to the top three with a win later in the evening, but they cancelled each other out in a 0-0 draw. It was a festival day in the home town, and a good crowd enjoyed themselves despite a boring match. The locals remain two points behind their visitors, who are now level with third placed Hércules who play on Sunday.
Status quo down in the lower reaches as well, with bottom club Sevilla Atlético drawing 2-2 against Las Palmas after going behind twice. A Nauzet free kick midway through the first half gave the Canary Islanders the lead, but Pouga headed the equaliser soon after the restart. Juanpa put the visitors back in front a couple of minutes later, but Redondo made it all square with a second header near the end.
Córdoba stay level with Las Palmas and a point above Alavés after a 2-2 draw at Gimnàstic. Cristian Alvarez opened the scoring for the visitors in the seventh minute with a well struck free kick. But Víctor levelled the scores midway through the first half, and Jandro appeared to have given the Catalans the three points until Natalio equalised in injury time.
And a fourth 2-2 draw as well between Celta and Elche, a result which keeps the visitors a point above their opponents in the table. David Rodríguez's two goals at the start of each half for the Galicians were not enough to give new coach Eusebio a first win, an angled shot from Saúl and a Zubiaurre free kick momentaneously giving Claudio's side the lead at half time. Diego Costa may be on for a long ban though after threatening the referee after he was sent off later on. (14.03.09)
Hércules moved up to second in the table after a 3-2 win over Murcia on Sunday lunchtime. Rubén Navarro put the locals ahead after good work by Abel and Tuni early on, and although Bruno equalised from the penalty spot after César fouled Capdevila, Abel Aguilar picked up Tote's pass to restore the lead midway through the first half. Both sides were left with ten men when Nuñez and then César were shown second yellow cards by an overzealous Teixeira Vitienes either side of half time, César's second booking for hands in the area allowing Bruno to score a second penalty. Delibasic won it in the end though somewhat against the run of play after running on to Dani Bautista's long clearance to beat Elía late on.
Hércules move above Tenerife on goal difference after the Canary Islanders were held to a 1-1 draw by Albacete later in the evening, ending a run of six home wins in a row. Alfaro opened the scoring for the locals on the half hour mark, heading in a centre from Juanlu. But Toché equalised from the penalty spot minutes later after the referee ruled that the ex Numancia striker had been fouled by Ricardo, and that was the way it stayed.
Salamanca are back in the running for promotion after a 1-2 victory at struggling Eibar. The Basque side's new coach Yosu Uribe saw Alaña deflect Raúl García's clearance past his own keeper Pampín in the first minute of the second half. And although Robles headed the equaliser from Sutil's corner later on, Isaac got the winner near the end from Miku's quickly taken free kick to take his side up to sixth.
Girona and Levante ended the weekend in mid-table after they played out a 0-0 draw, the fourteenth time the Catalans have shared the points this season, and the seventh time in a row. Igor wasted a couple of chances for the locals before the break, and had a goal disallowed for offside after the restart. But after Cañas was sent off for a second bookable offence, both sides settled for a point.
Alicante's late revival continued with a 0-1 win at Huesca, although they are still nine points away from safety. Català got the only goal for the visitors from a free kick midway through the first half for a second away victory in a row, something of a revenge for coach José Carlos Granero, who was sacked a few months ago after losing at home to the same rivals, but who has now returned to take charge of the club once again. (16.03.09)