Third placed Cartagena closed to within three points of the two leaders pending their weekend fixtures after beating Cádiz 4-1 in the Friday night game. Abraham put the visitors ahead with a well struck free kick early on, but the hosts came back with four goals after the break to overpower their opponents. Half time substitute Víctor set up Toché for the equaliser from his corner, and then headed the second himself from a Longás centre. Toché got his second of the night a few minutes later to take him level with Jorge Molina at the top of the Pichichi chart, and De Lucas wrapped things up after another assist from Víctor. (12.03.10)
The top three are going strong, but if any of them do slip up, several sides are waiting to pounce. Betis stay within three points of Cartagena after a 1-3 victory at Real Unión on Saturday, their seventh game without defeat under coach Víctor Fernández. Strikes from Emaná and Jonathan Pereira put the Andalusians two up, but Eneko Romo won a penalty which he converted himself on the stroke of half time, and Gorka Brit came close to equalising before Capi wrapped things up in injury time. Levante are level on points with Betis after thrashing Gimnàstic 6-1, a bad start for visiting manager Luis César who took over from César Ferrando this week. Juanlu opened the scoring in the second minute and added a second half an hour later, and by the interval the locals were four up after Jorge Pina and Javi Guerra beat Rubén Pérez two more times. Luis César made three changes at the break, but Xisco and Rafa Jordà added two more before a late consolation from Alex Cruz.
Numancia are two points behind Betis and Levante after beating Huesca 1-0. The Soria based side had not won in a month, and the local fans whistled them off at half time. Twenty minutes in to the second half though Iñigo Vélez finally made the breakthrough following a corner, and they held on even though Gilmar came close to equalising late on. Villarreal B stay within a point of Numancia after a 0-2 victory at Rayo Vallecano, a first win for Paco Herrera since he took over from Juan Carlos Garrido. The locals had several chances before the away side were awarded a penalty after a tussle between Salva and Marco Rubén, the striker converting the spot kick himself. And Piti and Aganzo both hit the woodwork before Jefferson set up Cristóbal for the second later on. Rayo have now lost five of their last six games.
Murcia moved away from the danger zone after a 0-1 victory at Córdoba, who are now only two points above their opponents in the table. Chando headed the only goal in the twentieth minute from a Bruno Herrero free kick, and although Lucas Alcaraz's side improved after the restart, they were unable to beat visiting keeper Elía. The league table is still very tight though, and Girona moved up seven places to ninth after beating bottom club Castellón 0-1 later in the evening. Moha scored the winner for the Catalans after Peragón put him through on the hour mark, and after Pedro was sent off, the locals hardly troubled Jorquera in the visiting goal. Girona have now taken thirteen points from their last five matches. (13.03.10)
Leaders Hércules lost 0-1 to Las Palmas on Sunday lunchtime, a second defeat in a row for the Alicante based side. Esteban Vigo's team started well but were unable to score, Pindado saving from Sendoa and Del Olmo firing a shot against the post. And three minutes after the restart Rondón got on the end of Cejudo's cross to give the Canary Islanders the lead, the referee turning down appeals for a possible foul on Calatayud. Javi Guerrero and Rondón came close to putting the visitors further ahead after that, but Tote felt himself unlucky not to have a penalty at the other end after Miguel García brought him down in the area late on. The win takes Sergio Kresic's side safely up to mid-table, seven points clear of the bottom four pending the evening's matches.
Hércules's defeat left the door open for Real Sociedad, and the Basque side took over top spot after a 0-0 draw at Salamanca later in the evening. Despite the result the two keepers had a busy time, Claudio Bravo saving from Salva Sevilla and Toti before the break and Biel Ribas responding with a couple of stops from Agirretxe. After the restart the visitors took over, but Aranburu, Labaka and Bueno were unable to convert their chances. Real end the weekend a point ahead of their rivals, and their hosts stay six points above the drop zone, having not won at home since December.
Only two other games on Sunday evening, with Elche losing ground on the chasing bunch after a 2-1 defeat at Recreativo. Alvaro Antón opened the scoring after picking up a pass from Javi Fuego early in the second half, and Carmona got the second for the locals after a quick passing move with Antón. Usero got one back in injury time, but too late to prevent the Andalusians from closing to within a point of José Bordalás's side. Further down the table Celta clocked up an important 0-2 win over fellow strugglers Albacete. Iago Aspas started things off for the Galicians on a rapid counter-attack a few minutes after the interval, and after local midfielder Alberto was sent off for a second bookable offence, Trashorras fired home the second. Celta move four points clear of their opponents, who remain in the relegation spots after eleven games without a win. (14.03.10)