Real Sociedad are back on top of the second division after a 0-1 victory at Celta. The locals were on a roll after seven games without defeat and having knocked Villarreal out of the cup midweek. But they were unable to convert early chances, and were left with ten men when Iago Aspas was sent off for a second bookable offence on the stroke of half time. Nsue headed what was to prove the only goal from Xabi Prieto's cross with just under an hour gone, but the Galicians could have saved a point when Joselu hit the post late on. Earlier in the evening Betis moved up to fourth after beating Salamanca 1-0, their first win in over a month. It was a close thing though, Toti hitting the post for the visitors before Carlos García headed in a corner ten minutes after the restart. In the end however they could have won by more, Dani missing the sitter of the season right at the end.
Otherwise though Saturday's games mainly involved teams down in the lower reaches of the table. Bottom club Castellón are now ten points away from safety after they were held to a 0-0 draw by neighbours Levante, even though Palanca did rattle the woodwork a couple of times for the home side. A 0-0 draw as well between Cádiz and Huesca, Enrique coming closest to scoring when he hit the post for the locals, now managed for the third time by Víctor Espárrago after he took over from Xavi Gracia last week.
Murcia clocked up only their third win of the season, beating Las Palmas 0-3, goals by Pedro, Iñaki Bea and Natalio in the first twenty minutes handing the Canary Islanders their first defeat in six games. José González's side are now only four points behind Girona, who threw away a two goal lead and ended up drawing 2-2 with Albacete. Galán opened the scoring early on and Peragón made it two from the penalty spot after Calle was fouled by Pablo Gil. But four minutes after the restart Galán put through his own net, and Hidalgo saved a point for the visitors late on. (16.01.10)
An amazing match in Vallecas on Sunday lunchtime, where Rayo Vallecano and Hércules drew 4-4. At half time Rodríguez's early header from a Farinós cross was the only goal on the scoreboard, but two minutes after the restart Farinós put the visitors two up from the penalty spot after Cuadrado pulled back Tiago Gomes. Piti got one back a minute or so later though, and Aganzo got two in two minutes around the hour mark to turn the match around, the first with another penalty after Michel was brought down, and the second with a header. Everything changed again in the last ten minutes when Cuadrado put through his own net and Delibasic ran on to put the Alicante based side in front, but with the game already in injury time Coke headed past Calatayud (who before this game had only let in 10 goals all season) to make it all square once again. Hércules end the weekend two points behind Real Sociedad in second spot, with Rayo still three points off the promotion spots pending Numancia's game later on.
Cartagena are back up to third in the table after a 1-0 win over Recreativo later in the evening. Veteran forward Víctor won a penalty which he himself converted with just under a quarter of an hour gone to leave the visitors without a league win in eight games. The newly promoted club climb back above Numancia after they lost 1-0 to Villarreal B. All the action in Soria happened in the last few minutes, visiting striker Goiria getting himself sent off for a second bookable offence and then Musacchio heading the winner after Eduardo saved from Gerard Bordas. The youngsters are now up to sixth, just two points behind their opponents in the table.
Gimnàstic drop down the rankings to eighth though after they could only draw 2-2 against nine man Elche. José Marí blasted the visitors in to the lead, but Juli made it all square minutes later. And although Wakaso and debutant Charpanet were both sent off shortly before half time, Saúl put the home side in front before a late equaliser from Alex Cruz saved a point for the Catalans. Córdoba are two points behind Nàstic after they beat Real Unión 2-3. The Basque side twice took the lead, first of all through Juan Domínguez, and after Luque had equalised from the penalty spot, again from Eneko Romo. But two goals in four minutes from substitute Pepe Díaz late on sent the home side down to next to bottom spot. (17.01.10)