With first division teams off duty this weekend, the second division took centre stage in Spain. And Elche and Valladolid gave an early signal to the rest that, after missing out in the play-offs last season, they didn't intend to do so this year. Both top the table on maximum points after winning their second matches, Elche beating the newly promoted Murcia 1-0 in the first round of games on Saturday. Both sides had chances in an even first half. But Nicki Bille went close a couple of times after the restart, and with twelve minutes to go Pelegrín scored what was to prove the only goal after Etxeita headed across an Edu Albacar corner. The two teams ended with ten men after Mantecón and Iván Amaya were sent off in injury time.
Valladolid went one better though later in the evening, a 2-0 victory over Córdoba taking them to the top of the table, above Elche on goal difference. They didn't have it all their own way though, Charles in particular causing some problems for the local defence before the break. However twenty minutes in to the second half Alberto Bueno headed in a cross from Tekio to open the scoring, and with five minutes to go the ex Real Madrid B and Derby County forward rounded Alberto García to score his second of the night and his fourth in the opening two games.
Elche and Valladolid are not the only two on maximum points though, newly promoted Sabadell joining them at the top after a late 3-4 win at Villarreal B. Lucas Porcar had a goal disallowed and Kike López hit the post for the locals before Airam opened the scoring following a corner. But Florian equalised before the break after charging down Jorge's attempted clearance, and with twenty minutes to go Aarón Bueno gave the Catalans the lead. Joselu equalised two minutes later, and although Lanzarote put the visitors back in front, Iriome levelled the scores again in the ninetieth minute. Florian won it for Sabadell though with his second goal in injury time, and Joselu just missed out on a fourth equaliser when he hit the bar seconds before the final whistle.
Xerez had also started with a victory in their opening game, but they were surprised by newly promoted Guadalajara in their own Chapín stadium, the side from Castilla-La Mancha running out 0-2 winners in the end. Barral and Arriaga both had shots blocked before Ernesto set up Anibal to give the visitors the lead in the twentieth minute. Visiting keeper Saizar had to save from José Marí, Oscar Díaz and Iñigo either side of half time, but Ernesto beat Chema again with a shot from outside of the area early in the second half, and that was how it stayed.
Guadalajara's first victory ever in the second division takes them on to four points, level with Las Palmas, who clocked up a late 1-0 win over Alcoyano. The Canary Islanders were up against it from the seventeenth minute when Diego Herner was sent off for a hard tackle on Gato. However the visitors failed to take advantage of the extra man, and with two minutes to go Jonathan Viera picked up a bad clearance and ran through to score the winner.
Almería have not got their new campaign off the mark though since going down last season, and for the second week they were only able to share the points. Lucas Alcaraz's side seemed to have things wrapped up against Girona at half time, Bautista opening the scoring with a shot which deflected in off José, and Ulloa converting a penalty on the stroke of half time after the unfortunate José was sent off for bringing down Soriano. But the ten men rallied, Saizar converting a second penalty which Carlos García gave away, and Moha making it 2-2 in injury time after picking up an assist from Nieto.
Girona's point saves them from dropping to last spot of the table, a position currently occupied by Huesca after they lost 0-3 to Alcorcón. The visitors dominated throughout, but although Miguélez hit the post in the first half, the opener didn't come until well after the break, when Sergio Mora took advantage of some slack defending to beat Bernardo. Mora scored a second with a well struck free kick a few minutes later, and Migélez rounded things off with a third goal near the end. (03.09.11)
The match of the day on Sunday was between two of the sides relegated from the first division last season, with Hércules running out 0-1 winners against Deportivo in the Riazor stadium to join the group on maximum points. Despite maintaining the block of players from the first division, the Galicians hardly got going, and Abel Aguilar headed in Callejón's cross to give the visitors the lead five minutes before the break. And it was only in the last ten minutes that Depor woke up, Lassad going close with a header and Ze Castro hitting the post. Not the best of starts for the favourites.
Curiously all three clubs who lost out in last season's play-offs have won both their opening games, with Celta joining Valladolid and Elche at the top of the table after a late 1-2 win at Recreativo later in the evening. Alex López put the Vigo based side ahead on the quarter hour mark after De Lucas set him up, but Alex Quillo equalised five minutes after the restart following a good team move. The Galicians were the better side though, and with three minutes to go De Lucas won the ball off Fidel and put Iago Aspas through to put his side back in front. Even so Juan Villar could have saved a point for the locals when he fired a last minute penalty in to the stands after he was fouled by Jonathan Vila.
Recre are one of four teams to have lost both matches, and they are down in the relegation zone together with Murcia, Huesca and also Cartagena, who were beaten 0-4 by Barcelona B earlier in the day. Despite having five players on international duty, Eusebio's side dominated the match, Kiko Femenía picking up Rodri's assist to open the scoring in the seventh minute, and Rafinha (brother of Thiago) heading in the second from a corner later in the first half. The locals were left with ten men when Josemi was sent off for a vicious tackle on 15 year old left back Grimaldo twenty minutes after the restart, but the youngster picked himself up to set up Rafinha for a third goal minutes later. And with Cartagena down to nine after Manolo Gaspar was also given a straight red card, Isaac Cuenca scored the fourth after Reina could only push out a shot from Deulofeu.
Gimnàstic move out of the bottom four after picking up their first point of the season in a 0-0 draw at Numancia, a game which kicked off in Soria in the heat of the mid-day sun. With several players missing, Juan Carlos Oliva put out a defensive line up, and most of the play was in their half. Natalio in particular though wasted a couple of chances before the break, and after the restart visiting keeper Rubén Pérez made a couple of top class saves to keep the scoreline unmoved. (04.09.11)