Villarreal moved back to second spot after a nail-biting 3-2 victory over bottom club Xerez on Monday evening. Wins by Almería and Girona earlier in the weekend had taken Marcelino's side down to fourth, but with only eight minutes on the clock Bruno headed them in to the lead from a Canteros cross. However Canteros got himself sent off for a hard tackle on José Vega a few minutes later, Perbet had a headed goal disallowed for a dubious offside, Marcelino was sent to the stands for protesting, and twenty minutes in to the second half Bodipo headed the equaliser for the visitors. Suddenly things were looking serious, but with ten minutes to go Mellberg got on the end of a Trigueros free kick to head his team back in front, and soon afterwards Pereira crossed in for Uche to make it three. It was still not over though, and Bodipo headed in Redondo's cross to set up an agonising last few minutes for local supporters. A win in the end though which takes Villarreal level on points with Almería, who still have to visit the Madrigal stadium on the last day. (27.05.13)
Girona are back in contention for the direct promotion spots after a 1-0 victory over regional rivals Barcelona B on Sunday lunchtime. Two defeats in a row had left the Catalans outside of the top two, but they went ahead when Acuña got on the end of Juncà's cross to beat Oier with just under half an hour on the clock. Rafinha went close with a long shot and Kiko Femenía hit the post after the break, but Rubi's side held on for a win which takes them to within a point of Almería, who they visit next weekend. One other match at mid-day on Sunday, Recreativo making sure of another season in the second division after a 2-1 win over neighbours Córdoba. Alexander turned in Jonathan Valle's cross to put the locals in front in the eighteenth minute, but with the first half coming to a close López Garai equalised with a long shot which hit the post and went in off the back of keeper Rubén Ramos. However with the game seemingly heading for a draw Alexander headed in a Dimas centre to hand the visitors a defeat which ends any hope they had of making it in to the play-offs.
Later in the evening Elche made sure of the second division championship after picking up the point they needed in a 1-1 draw against Real Madrid Castilla. Fran Escribá's side have been leading the table since the first day of the season, a record in itself, and a 20,000 crowd turned up to celebrate their return to the top flight. Etxeita and Angel went close early on, but Fabinho momentarily silenced the home fans when he beat Diego Rivas to open the scoring with ten minutes to go to the interval. Pelayo hit the woodwork at the other end though before the half time whistle, and soon after the restart Generelo headed in Edu Albacar's cross to make it all square. Fidel came close to winning it later on when he hit the post twice in succession, but in the end both sides settled for a point. The fans were happy with that though, knowing that next year it will be the Real Madrid first team who will be visiting the Martínez Valero stadium, not their reserves.
Ponferradina are having their best ever season at this level, and they are now evening dreaming of a place in the first division after moving above Las Palmas in to the play-off spots following a 0-2 win over struggling Murcia. The locals had only won three games since Onésimo took over in week 25, and they were desperate for a win to keep alive their hopes of staying up. Visiting keeper Santamaría and his defence kept them at bay though, and with five minutes to go two goals in quick succession by Yuri and Acorán on rapid counterattacks ended the contest. The defeat leaves Murcia five points away from safety, and Racing Santander are only a point above them after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Guadalajara. The Cantabrians were unable to break down a well-organized defence, and there were serious protests by the fans at the end of the match as their team head for a second relegation in a row.
Today's results mean that only Mirandés can be caught by the sides in the relegation spots, and all others are safe. Lugo made sure though with a 2-0 victory over Sabadell, Oscar Díaz opening the scoring with an impressive strike midway through the second half, the forward deftly controlling a long punt out of defence before lobbing the keeper. And Rubén Durán made it two with seven minutes to go to tie up a first win for the Galicians in eight games. Numancia and Hércules kicked off their match later in the evening knowing that they were in no danger of going down, and the atmosphere was relaxed as the locals ran out 3-2 winners. Portillo lobbed keeper Biel Ribas to give the visitors an early lead, but with two minutes to go to the break Nagore equalised from the penalty spot after Cabrera was sent off for bring down Bedoya, and a minute after the restart Natalio headed the home team in front. Portillo made it all square again a few minutes later, but Julio Alvarez got the winner with a quarter of an hour to go after Falcón saved from Bedoya. (26.05.13)