Girona stay in third spot after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Alavés on Saturday evening. The Catalans were looking for their first win in four games, and they took the lead when Richy’s wide free kick took a slight deflection off Juli and flew past Manu Fernández in to the net. Galán headed the equalizer from Xabi Castillo’s free kick shortly before the break, but Lejuene and Mata went close after the restart, and with a couple of minutes to go Sandaza headed the locals back in front after Jandro’s free kick came back off the post. That appeared to have won it, but in the second minute of injury time Juli poked a shot past Becerra after Manu García headed across yet another long free kick to save a point for his side. Zaragoza meanwhile drop out of the play-off spots after they too could only draw 1-1 at Mirandés. The Maños had the better chances throughout the first half, and soon after the restart Pedro volleyed them in to the lead from a long Fernández cross. Jaime Romero was sent off though after picking up a second booking for diving in the area with ten minutes to go, and with the game in the last minute Urko Vera made it all square with an acrobatic shot from a centre by Igor Martínez, thereby extending his team’s unbeaten run to seven matches.
Ponferradina climb above Zaragoza to sixth spot after a 3-1 victory over Mallorca. Yuri got on the end of an Acorán cross to open the scoring for the locals midway through the first half, and Gurdiel made it two with an impressive first time shot after a free kick came back out to him some ten minutes after the interval. Ten minutes after that Yuri got his second of the evening from the penalty spot after Bigas blocked a shot with his arm inside the area, and although Vallejo got one back late on after Fofo’s free kick deflected to him off the defensive wall, the goal came too late to prevent a third defeat in four games. Mallorca drop to sixteenth, now two points below Tenerife after the Canary Islanders beat struggling Sabadell 1-0. The only goal came eight minutes before the break when visiting keeper Nauzet spilled a long shot close to goal and then picked up the rebound. The referee awarded an indirect free kick, and Suso touched the ball on for Ifrán to blast a shot in to the net. The Catalans had the better chances after the break, Eguarás driving a long shot against the upright, but in the end it was a third defeat in a row and a seventh game without a win for them, and they ended the day still in joint bottom spot.
The other match on Saturday though produced a result which has never happened before in the entire history of the second division, Numancia and Lugo drawing 6-6! Iago Díaz lobbed Munir to put the visitors ahead in the tenth minute, but Julio Alvarez equalized from the penalty spot after Sergi Enrich was pulled down in the area shortly before half time. Pelayo headed the Galicians back into the lead though after the break and Aganzo connected with Irome’s cross to make it three, and although substitute Aranda picked up an Alvarez assist to reduce the gap soon after coming on, Iago Díaz got his second of the night after Peña set him up soon afterwards. Enrich turned Natalio’s cross past José Juan two minutes later, but when Pelayo headed in a wide free kick and David López drilled in the sixth with only ten minutes left it seemed to be all over. However the locals took advantage of some tired defending to come back with strikes by Enrich, Aranda and Natalio, and they could have won it had López not cleared a last gasp effort by Braian Rodríguez off the line in injury time. (20.12.14)
Two games at mid-day on the last Sunday of this year’s league programme, Betis closing in on the top two after a 2-0 victory over Racing Santander. With returning coach Pepe Mel in the stands, caretaker Juan Merino was in charge for the last time, and he saw his side go ahead in only the second minute when N’Diaye crossed in for Dani Ceballos to steer a shot inside the near post. Neither keeper was particularly troubled after that, although the result was in doubt until the second minute of injury time, when Jorge Molina picked up Adán’s long clearance to lob a shot over the head of Mario. Merino returns to the B team having won four out of four, and the result leaves the Cantabrians further down in the bottom four, now two points below Llagostera after the Catalans beat Albacete 0-2 to make it two wins in a row. Imaz headed Sergio León’s headed pass over Dorronsoro to open the scoring with a quarter of an hour gone, and the midfielder netted his second of the day from the penalty spot after Nuñez brought down León early on in the second half. Pulido headed against the post and Chumbi and Jorge Díaz tested Moragón after that, but they couldn’t avoid a defeat which leaves the Manchegans at the bottom of the table, still below Sabadell on goal difference.
Las Palmas and Sporting Gijón end 2014 level at the top of the table after the former lost and the latter won later in the evening. Las Palmas were beaten 1-2 by Osasuna, a second victory in a row taking some of the pressure off visiting coach Jan Urban after his side had dropped into the relegation spots just a fortnight ago. On paper this was a home banker, the locals not having lost at their Gran Canaria stadium and the visitors yet to win away, and with ten minutes to go to the break Momo put the Canary Islanders ahead with an inswinging corner which Santamaría could only help in to the net. De las Cuevas had hit the bar with a free kick before that though, and with an hour gone Nino turned Cedrick’s cross past Casto to equalize. Ten minutes later Merino headed in a Roberto Torres corner to give the Pamplona based side the lead, and they held on despite having Miguel Flaño sent off for a second bookable offence with a quarter of an hour still remaining. Sporting Gijón meanwhile beat Alcorcón 2-1 to join Las Palmas on 36 points, three ahead of third placed Betis. The Asturians had not lost all season, and once again they went two up within half an hour, Jony getting on the end of a long Luis Hernández throw-in to head the first, and then setting up Isma López for the second. Bobley Anderson got one back though with a low shot some quarter of an hour from the end, and there were some nervous moments for the home fans before the referee blew the final whistle.
Valladolid are also back in the promotion race, a massive 7-0 win over Barcelona B taking them up to fourth, just a point below Betis in the table. Rubi’s side had only won one of their last six matches, but by half time they were already four up, Oscar heading in the first after Marc Valiente headed on Jeffren’s corner midway through the first half. Mojica fired in the second and then crossed in for Macky Bagnack to turn the ball in to his own net, and Oscar headed his second of the evening in a carbon copy of the first goal, this time Rueda heading on Jeffren’s corner. The rout continued after the break, Jeffren turning Peña’s cross past Ortolá, and Mojica beating the keeper at the second attempt after his first shot was saved. And with five minutes to go substitute Bergdich turned past his marker to make it seven, leaving Eusebio’s side just a point above the drop zone after only winning two of their last 14 games. Recreativo are also level with Barça B as well as Mallorca after losing 2-0 at Leganés, their fifth defeat in a row. Braulio and Roberto Ríos wasted chances early on, but with just over half an hour gone Velasco latched on to a loose ball outside of the area to drive a shot past Dani Sotres, and soon after the restart Eraso beat the keeper for a second time after Aguirre’s cross came to him to take the Madrid based side three points above their opponents in the rankings. (21.12.14)