Tenerife moved back to the top of the second division, and at the same time they saw off a direct promotion rival when they beat Real Sociedad 1-2 on Saturday evening. Abreu headed the Basque side in to the lead early in the second half, but Nino equalised from the penalty spot a couple of minutes later after referee Lizondo Cortés ruled that Carlos Martínez had fouled Kome. And the striker intercepted a bad back pass to fire home the winner later on to take his side back above Xerez in the table.
Rayo Vallecano put in their claim for promotion as well with a 4-1 victory over Celta, and they are now in third spot pending Sunday's games. Coke got the first in only the seventh minute after Michel set him up, and Aganzo headed in two Jofre crosses to put the Madrid based side three up in the first quarter of an hour. Collantes made it four ten minutes in to the second half, and a spectacular strike from Ghilas a few minutes later was scant consolation for the Galicians.
Zaragoza stay a point behind Rayo after they beat Gimnàstic 1-0, although they left it late before Ayala headed in a corner. The locals had two goals disallowed and also came up against keeper Rubén Pérez and the woodwork, but N'Gal also tested Doblas a couple of times before Ayala connected with Jorge López's corner to put the fans' minds at rest.
Salamanca kept their slim hopes of promotion alive, and they move up to sixth after a 3-1 win over Albacete. Quique Martín started things off with a well struck free kick in the tenth minute, and Miku hit the post before adding two more after the break, the first from Dañobeitia's pass and the second a header from Botelho's cross. Merino got one back for the Manchegans from the penalty spot in the last minute.
Levante stay three points behind Salamanca after beating Huesca 1-0. The rainy conditions made play difficult, but only Miguel Pérez gave the crowd anything to shout about. Pérez set up Pedro Vega for the only goal with a quarter of an hour to go, and the locals ended with ten men when Ballesteros was red-carded in injury time.
Elche also moved up safely to mid-table after a 2-0 victory over bottom club Sevilla Atlético. Santos headed them in to the lead midway through the first half, but the second goal didn't come until Capriari beat Vargas with three minutes to go. Caballero saved a penalty after that to maintain his clean sheet, and Armenteros and Olmo were sent off during the second half.
Further down the table Las Palmas are closer to safety after a 1-0 win over struggling Eibar. The Basque side actually had the better chances but they were unable to beat Santamaría, and Nauzet scored the only goal late in the first half after a passing move with Marcos Márquez. The Canary Islanders held on though despite having Miguel García sent off near the end. (18.04.09)
Hércules stayed in touch with the leaders thanks to a 3-0 win over Girona on Sunday lunchtime. The visitors put up a good fight before second half substitute Sendoa opened the scoring with a free kick just minutes after coming on. Sendoa also had a hand in Rubén Navarro's second goal, and he rounded off an excellent if brief performance, combining with Tote and Aguilar to score the third with a few minutes left on the clock.
Victories for the top five this weekend, and although there are still nine games to go, it appears that the three promotion spots will be between those sides. Xerez stay in top spot after coming from a goal down to beat Alavés 1-2, a result which leaves the Vitoria based team further down in the drop zone. Javi Guerra gave the locals the lead on the hour mark after Cuevas set him up. But Calle equalised just two minutes later, and Momo fired a shot in to the top corner of the net soon afterwards to turn the scoreline around.
It was a good weekend for Córdoba, who beat next to bottom club Alicante 2-1 to move seven points clear of the relegation spots. Pierini put the Andalusians ahead in the twentieth minute and Asen got the second on the hour mark, although Fernando got one back a minute later to set up a nail-biting last half hour. Córdoba ended with ten men after Javi Flores picked up a second booking in the final minute.
Elsewhere Murcia and Castellón drew 2-2 to remain safely in mid-table. The visitors went two up in the first half, Ulloa volleying home a Víctor Salas cross and Mario Rosas converting a penalty. But the locals fought back to save a point, with Bruno scoring a second penalty close to half time and De Lucas levelling the scores after good work by Movilla midway through the second half. (19.04.09)