El Centrocampista


The summit of the Liga Adelante was annexed to the autonomous community of Galicia as Week 24 finished with Deportivo and Celta occupying the top spots. The similarities were uncanny, both teams won by a 4-1 margin, aided by two late goals apiece, both teams had a player score a brace and each finished the week with 41 goals for the season.

Celta kicked off the weekend’s action on Friday night as they welcomed Recreativo to Balaidos and sent Alvaro Cervera’s men packing. Iago Aspas was the Celtinas hero as he netted twice. Recre actually took the lead shortly before half-time through Pablo Sanchez, but a Martinez own-goal evened up proceedings ten minutes after the interval. Aspas struck either side of a Fabio Orellana goal to complete the rout.

Deportivo contined to flex their muscles in the title race, putting four past Hercules on the road, who entered the game in fifth. Riki found the net in each half and was joined by Bruno Gama and Diogo Salamano on the scoresheet, while Urko Vera got the solitary reply for the visitors.

Up until Saturday, Valladolid had been pitching their case as Depor’s closest rivals. Sitting three points behind the league leaders, Miroslav Djukic’s men had been matching their rivals stride for stride. Having not conceded a goal in their last three games, and scored seven, Pucela were the hot favourites in their trip to Alcorcon. However, Juan Antonio Anquela’s men proved too much for the visitors and ran out comfortable 2-0 winners thanks to efforts from Javier Patino and Borja either side of half-time. This could turn out to be a very telling week in the race for the title.

Talking of favourites struggling, Almeria were spared the embarrassment of failing to overcome second-from-bottom Girona during their trip to Catalonia. It took until twelve minutes from time for the Andalusian side to break down their plucky hosts, with a goal coming from the unlikely source of Jose Ortiz who found the net for the first time this season.

Elche are beginning to steady the ship after a period of losing their way in the mist. They recorded their second consecutive win on Saturday as they ventured to Murcia and returned on the back of 2-0 win. As with Almeria, they welcomed goals from less than prolific scorers. Ruper grabbed his second of the campaign and David Generalo scrabbled his way onto the scoring ladder with his first.

Another new-entry on the scoring charts, David Torres, helped Alcoyano to a 2-0 home win over Las Palmas. Things went pear-shaped for the visitors in the space of ten minutes, conceding two goals and losing Pignol to dismissal. David Torres showed his namesake Fernando the way to goal with a tap in from a mistake by Las Palmas keeper Barbosa.

The islanders had completed a thrilling win at home to Guadalajara last week, with two late goals, but could not convert that energy into this match and, less than ten minutes after Torres had breached their goal, they found themselves 2-0 down courtesy of Alvaro Garcia’s impressive strike.

Fine goals were also the name of the game at the Mini Estadi. Barcelona B have not had any problems finding the net of late, unless you count last week’s unexpected stalemate against Villarreal B. A 4-0 thrashing of Cartagena helped them rise two places in the standings to ninth, with an impressive haul of eleven goals in their last five fixtures.

It did not take them long to put last week’s lacklustre display behind them, Gerard Deulofeu crashing in the first after only two minutes. Marc Muniesa and Rafinha chipped in with fine efforts of their own, before Deulofeu capped an overpowering display with his second of the afternoon. Villarreal B continue to teeter on the brink of the relegation zone.

Sabadell kept up Catalonia’s strong showing this week with a 3-1 win over Villarreal B at the Nova Creu Alta. This game did not come alive until the second half when Simon Hector grabbed his first goal of the season, and this was closely followed by a long-range free kick from Manuel Lanzarote which found it’s way into the net thanks to some less than convincing goalkeeping from Diego Marino.

The Saballuts’ third was slightly contentious as Baha bundled a defender off the ball and the Villarreal keeper threw his hands up for a freekick which never came and was beaten at his near post.A textbook example of why you should play to the whistle perhaps? Manu Trigueras got a consolation for the visitors with a monsterous freekick, but that was all the joy the Yellow Submarine could muster. Even this was short-lived as Lucas Porcas found himself in the referee’s bad books with a late dismissal.

Staying in the north-east, rock-bottom Gimnastic hosted Numancia who were looking to challenge for a playoff place. The home side were coming off a thrashing by Valladolid last week, but had been minutes away from forcing a draw at home to high-flying Almeria a fortnight ago. They started brightly and went ahead through Pavon’s cutback which went in off a defender. However, Nastic were left to rue missed chances and with ten minutes to go Del Pino bundled home a leveller to deny the Nou Estadi side a valuable win in their quest to get out of the drop zone.

Elsewhere, there were wins for ten-man Xerez who knocked off Guadalajara 2-1 on the road and two goals in the last eleven minutes helped see Alcorcon rise two places to eighth as they beat Huesca at home.

Looking ahead to Week 25, my pick of the action comes on Sunday as Elche entertain Celta at the Martinez Valero. Celta have now won their last three games straight and are unbeaten in their last nine. Logic would dictate that they have enough to see off Elche, but the Franjiverdes are putting together their own run of form and are looking more like the team of prior months.

Other action includes Celta’s Galician counterparts, number one ranked Deportivo, hosting free-scoring Barcelona B who have found the net eight times in their last three games. Depor are looking more and more like champions material, but this will be a strong test against the boys from the Mini Estadi who are finding goals from throughout their lineup.

Valladolid look to put their surprise result against Alcorcon behind them as they take on Girona who are only off the bottom place by way of goal difference. Pucela must show they are capable of overcoming bumps in the road if they are to challenge the north-western strangehold on the top spots.


  1. Heath Chesters

    17 February, 2012 at 19:50

    Fabio Orellana is doing well at Celta, on loan from Granada, who took over his contract from Udinese. He was a cracking player last season for Granada, though never really got on with former manager, Fabri.

    Granada fans would be happy to see him back next season, but talented as he is, I have to wonder if he’s got quite enough ability to make it in the top flight.

  2. FCB1899

    17 February, 2012 at 22:44

    I’ve been impressed with Depor and Celta so far this season when I’ve seen them. Is there any news on Orellana’s future at Granada now Resino is in charge Heath?

  3. Heath Chesters

    19 February, 2012 at 18:06

    Nobody knows for sure at the moment.

    Celta Vigo are said to be interested in making the move permanent. How willing Granada will be to sell, will depend on what price they set and if whether or not Resino thinks he would fit into his plans.

    I have the feeling Orellana was snapped up on a free from Udinese as more of an “investment” signing.

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