Girona beat Numancia 2-0 in this week's Friday night game to move to within two points of their opponents in the table. Despotovic gave the Catalans the lead midway through the first half after Chechu played in a corner, but after the restart Cedric, Barkero and Iñigo Vélez could all have levelled the scores with a bit more luck. However with the game coming to an end Borja set up Chechu on a quick breakaway for him to score the second and ensure a much needed three points. (14.01.11)
Leaders Betis ended the day six points clear of their nearest rivals after a 3-0 victory over Alcorcón on Saturday afternoon. The visitors put up a good fight though, and they were unlucky to have a couple of penalty appeals turned down in the first half. However a couple of minutes before half time Betis were awarded a penalty of their own after Rubén Castro was brought down in the area by Nagore, Castro himself drilling home the spot kick. And after that the Andalusians took control, Jonathan Pereira (making his first appearance after a seven month injury lay-off) scoring just three minutes after coming on following a quick passing move with Castro. Then with four minutes to go Miki Roqué got on the end of a Salva Sevilla corner to head the third and ensure the honorary tile of winter champions with one game still to go to the mid-point of the season.
Celta stay in second spot, although they dropped a further two points behind the leaders after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Xerez. The visitors were looking to close the nine point gap on their promotion rivals though, and they had the better of the opening minutes. But with just over half an hour gone Trashorras and Català combined to set up De Lucas to open the scoring. Trashorras rattled the woodwork twice with well struck free kicks either side of half time, but with the Galician fans already celebrating victory, Mario Bermejo got on the end of José Marí's headed pass to poke home a last minute equaliser.
Rayo Vallecano moved up level with Celta in the table after a 3-1 win over fourth placed Cartagena. The Madrid based side raced in to a two goal lead within the first ten minutes, Armenteros heading in the rebound after a Javi Fuego shot was blocked, and then heading a second over the advancing Casilla a few minutes later. However with just over half an hour on the clock Rafa García was sent off for bringing down Botelho inside the area, and Víctor converted the resulting spot kick to close the gap to one goal. Midway through the second half though Armenteros rounded off a great evening setting up Delibasic for a third, and after that Rayo held on to increase the lead over the visitors to eight points.
Barcelona Athletic stay in sixth spot after a 2-3 victory over Salamanca, their first win in nine games. The locals started strongly, Héctor Yuste heading against the bar before heading the opener from Zamora's free kick in the ninth minute. After that though Biel Ribas had to make a string of saves before Sergio Roberto finally beat him with just over half an hour gone. The forward injured himself in the play, but his substitute Rafinha (younger brother of Thiago) came on to score a second and then set up Jonathan Soriano for a third in a six minute period midway through the second half. Brian Sarmiento got one back with ten minutes to go, but it was not enough to prevent a sixth defeat in a row for Oscar Cano's side.
Valladolid clocked up their first win under new coach Abel Resino, beating Huesca 2-0 to end a run of seven games without a victory. On recent form the visitors were favourites after a run of eight games without defeat, but Onesimo's side went behind against the coach's old club after Javi Guerra got on the end of Peña's cross to beat Andrés. The visitors came close to equalising with a couple of dangerous free kicks after the restart, but Peña and Guerra combined again midway through the second half for the striker to score his second of the evening, taking his team back to within a point of the play-off spots.
Further down the table, Gimnàstic moved to within two points of safety after a 0-1 win at Albacete. Honours were shared in the first half, but the Manchegans came close to scoring when Powel deflected a shot from Fragoso on to his own post just before the interval. The home side (who had gone six games without defeat) included their four new signings in the team, but it was Nàstic's new boy Viguera who made the difference, the ex Real Sociedad striker coming on to pick up the ball outside of the area and fire a shot wide of Keylor Navas to give his new side their second one goal victory in a row.
Córdoba moved away from the danger zone though after a 0-1 victory against a Las Palmas side who have now picked up one point from their last six matches. Jonathan Viera and Aythami went close for the Canary Islanders early on, but with twenty-five minutes gone Alberto Aguilar got on the end of Callejón's cross to head past Barbosa from near to goal. Oriol and Jonathan Sesma could have increased the lead after the break, but Lucas Alcaraz's team had done enough to tie up three valuable points which takes them two points above their hosts in the table. (15.01.11)
Elche and Granada started the day level on points in mid-table after they cancelled each other out in a 0-0 draw on Sunday lunchtime. Chances were few and far between, the first falling to Ripa, who fired a shot over the top for the locals midway through the first half. A few minutes later though Elche were left with ten men after Wakoso picked up two bookings in quick succession, and after the restart Perera shot wide and Pelegrín cleared off the line at the other end from Carlos Calvo with the keeper beaten. Numbers were evened up late on though when Calvo was shown a straight red card for elbowing Generelo.
Later in the day Recreativo moved out of the relegation spots after a 2-0 victory over Villarreal B. The Andalusians had lost their last two games, but they took the lead on the half hour mark after a shot by Dani came back off the post, Fidel picking up the rebound and crossing in for Lamas to head past Diego Mariño. Nicky Bille and Marquitos both wasted opportunities to equalise after the restart, but with a quarter of an hour to go a defensive mistake let in Kepa to score Recre's second.
Ponferradina and Tenerife stay down in the bottom four though after drawing 1-1 in the Toralín stadium. The home side's new coach Claudio Barragán arrived too late to take over the team, but he was in the stands to see Pablo Sicilia put the Canary Islanders ahead following a corner on the half hour mark. Ricardo could have increased the lead when he hit the bar soon after the restart, but a few minutes later Francis Suárez set up Máyor for him to level the scores. Later on Aragoneses had to be at his best to keep out De Paula, and Mackay tipped an effort from Nino on to the bar at the other end, but finally both sides had to settle for a point. (16.01.11)