El Centrocampista



The Galician status quo was maintained at the top of the Segunda as the curtain came down on Week 25 in Spain’s second tier. Deportivo and Celta were both victorious in their encounters and there were further wins for the remaining members of the top eight in the chasing pack. The relegation zone remained the same too, but far from being business as usual there were more than a few surprises thrown up.

Deportivo welcomed Barcelona B to the Riazor in front of a 29,000 strong crowd. Those who attended saw Depor maintain their winning streak with a 2-1 win over the Catalans. The game came alive in the second half with Bruno Gama netting for the second time in as many matches. He was the recipient of a cut-back across the box and made no mistake when he stroked the ball home. Another Depor man in fine scoring form is Riki, and he added to an impressive haul with his fourth goal in his last three appearances. He twisted and turned to earn some space despite the close attention of two Barcelona defenders before finishing past Oier. Despite a reply from Armando, following some less than convincing defending of a freekick from Aranzubia in the Depor goal, Barcelona were unable to fashion an equaliser and a late sending off of Jonathan compounded the defeat.

The league leaders will see their neighbours from Galicia in second place when they look over their shoulders. Paco Hererra’s Celta kept pace with Depor following an intriguing tussle against Elche at the Martinez Valero, which saw the home side finish the game with seven (yes, seven!) men. Not many in the Valencian town will have referee Jorge Valdes Aller on their Christmas card as he flashed the tarjeta roja four times to Franjiverde players, and needed a police escort from the field at the end of the game. Miguel Linares, Javier Flano, David Generalo and Jose Henri Beranger all encountered the whistler’s wrath. Celta took full advantage of their numerical superiority with late goals from Enrique de Lucas and Alex Lopez as their opponents’ numbers dwindled. Not content with their post-match vociferous disapproval of the officiating, Elche fans plan to protest before their next home encounter by holding up red placards across the stadium.

Another game where the referee’s notebook was fuller than a club president’s stomach at the half-time break, was Huesca hosting Guadalajara. The Aragones secured a 2-1 win with goals from Roberto and Tariq Sevilla, but they went on to have Luis Helguera and Josetxo dismissed. Ernesto replied for the visitors through Ernesto, but they too finished the game lacking the full compliment of players following Collado’s late sending-off.

If goals are your thing – and let’s face it, if they’re not … you’re in the wrong place! – then Numancia’s blowout of Cordoba would be right up your calle. The visitors made the trip to Soria bouyed by their dispatching of title-chasing Valladolid the previous week, while Numancia had been held by the bottom club Gimnastic at home. However, Pablo Machin’s side took out their frustration on the Andalusians by rattling in five without reply thanks in large part to a lacklustre defensive display from their opponents. The game was relatively even in the opening exchanges and it took until the closing moments of the first half before Juanjo headed the hosts in front. However, the Cordoba back four seemed to not emerge for the second half as chance after chance fell to Numancia. The visitors’ defensive frailties were exposed time and again as the Numantinos peppered Alberto’s goal, with goals from Miguel Bedoya, Sunny, Nano and Julio Alvarez dispatched Cordoba with a heavy defeat.

There were more netbusters aplenty in Almeria as the hosts showed that not all Andalusian teams were going to be outplayed. They welcomed Murcia, and the score-keepers were almost as busy as the unfortunate soul who has to paint the sign at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos as Lucas Alvarez’s side ran out 4-2 victors. Goals did not come any more spectacular than Molinero’s stunning opener on ten minutes, driven in from distance and angled sufficiently to beat Estaban in the Almeria goal. Ortiz got his side back on level terms before a dipping freekick from Corona and a Jorge own goal stretched the Almeria lead. Jose Ulloa edged further ahead at the top of the scoring charts when he converted a low cross-ball and increased the margin to three. Pedro’s penalty gained an air of respectability for the visitors but in truth they were no match for their hosts who finish the week in fourth, level on points with Valladolid.

Valladolid put last week’s disappointing loss to Cordoba behind them with a 1-0 win at home to second-from-bottom Girona. The home team claimed all three points, but it was not the free-scoring performance one may have expected from the side nineteen places above their opponents. Victor Perez gave Pucela the lead from the penalty spot after ten minutes, but they failed to make any further impression on the score sheet as the visitors stood resolute. Josu Uribe’s side are fighting for their second division status and may well feel hard done by that they could not have gained any points from a defiant performance. From Valladolid’s perspective, it was mission accomplished in gaining maximum points from this encounter to keep pace with second placed Celta, however the display was cagey and smacked of caution following last week’s defeat.

Alcorcon visited Villarreal and made light work of their hosts with an assured performance which saw them run out 3-0 winners. Borja shot high past Diego Marino after receiving a clever flick on in the box inside quarter of an hour and fifteen minutes later Javi Hernandez volleyed home from a headed assist to put the visitors up by two. In the second half, Quini added a third with a simple tap-in after a slick passing move had unlocked the Villarreal defence.

A solitary goal in each of the three remaining four fixtures were enough to settle affairs. Xerez saw off Alcoyano through Jose Mari’s well-taken finished after he latched onto a perfect through-ball. Nicolas Raimondi’s header was enough to earn Cartagena a home victory over Sabadell and Jordi Matamala fired past Falcon after a good run which lifted Recreativo past Hercules, who have dropped three places in recent weeks. However this win was not enough for the Recre board who announced that coach Alvaro Cervera’s contract would not be renewed at the end of the season. Las Palmas went ahead early courtesy of Jonathan Viera and weathered the sending-off of Enrique Corrales to squeeze past Gimnastic who continue to prop up the rest of the league. Gimnastic fans’ moods will not be improved by the news that mercurial frontman Berry Powell injured himself in a nightclub and may well have made his last appearance for the Catalan club.

Looking ahead to Week 26, Barcelona B open proceedings on Friday night against Hercules who need a win to get their promotion bid back on track. Celta entertain Almeria on Sunday in my pick of the week’s games as both sides bid to keep the heat on Deportivo who should see off Sabadell. Valladolid travel south-east to tackle Murcia and Elche will attempt to put last week’s horror show against Celta to rest when they welcome Recreativo.


  1. FCB1899

    25 February, 2012 at 16:44

    Great to see Depor and Celta topping the table in this segunda – will be great to see them back in the primera next season if they can keep it up.

  2. Jaffa

    25 February, 2012 at 16:58

    Agreed. Depor were great when they had Valeron etc – it was sad to see them go down last year.

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