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Arch Bell On May - 14 - 2012

Segunda Focus: A Sinking Feeling

The ripple effect took effect just shy of 10pm Spanish time on Sunday as Villarreal were officially relegated to the Segunda. It was one of those shocking realizations that happened in rapid-fire succession which prompted a collective ‘Oh my God, Villarreal is relegated” around the Twitterverse. I know I speak for many in saying that I did not want Villarreal to go down. A club that has traditionally played in Europe the last eight seasons or so almost doesn’t belong in the Segunda, but that’s how the system works. The clubs know the rules and there’s no avoiding it. Unlike 99% of the teams that do go down though, this relegation affected the fates of a slew of other teams.

Namely of course Villarreal B who are now automatically relegated to the Segunda B. The Baby Submariners were 0-1 winners at Xerez over the weekend but now their season is an afterthought. It’s a cruel way to go for sure. The flipside is that several clubs now suddenly have been thrown a lifeline.

And none more so than Girona who went from being in the drop to ‘permanencia’ on Sunday evening. The Catalans took care of business on Saturday slaying Alcoyano to give themselves a four point cushion over the boys from Alcoy. It was a 5-1 win in front of the home fans with Coro again running rampant. A hat trick last week and another two goals on Saturday. Dani Nieto added a hat trick of his own on Saturday. That’s now nine goals for Girona in the last two weeks. My question is this: Where the hell has this team been all year? They look fantastic. I really don’t see Alcoyano, Cartagena or Gimnastic running them down.

That’s not to say the relegation race is over. Guadalajara could still have something to say about that. With Carlos Terrazas’ bunch at 40 points (Alcoyano at 34) after coughing up a late lead at Murcia to draw 2-2, Guadalajara could very well drop back toward the bottom three.

If there is one of the bottom three that could make a run, it might well be Cartagena who impressed out in the islands beating Las Palmas 1-2. Juan Carlos Rios was all but dead in the water as a manager but if he can somehow pull Carta out of the drop, he’d be hero in those parts.

Gimnastic are now bottom of the table after losing on Friday night at Cordoba. It was a 4-2 win for Paco Jemez’s gang who ae now three points up on Almeria for the fourth and final playoff spot.

As mentioned last week, Barcelona B is the last team you wanna have to face in the final weeks of the season as evidenced by their 1-2 win at Almeria. Sergi Roberto scored but it was Deulofeu who put on a show. If you get a chance to watch this team, have a look at the work that the youngster is doing off the ball. He gets better with every game. Also scored a golazo that ended up being the gamewinner.

Manucho giveth, Manucho taketh away. Afetr being the hero last week saving Valladolid with a point at the Riazor, it was Manucho again scoring in second half stoppage time…. Only problem was that it was an own goal and it gave Hercules a last minute 1-1 draw at Valladolid. It was a huge pinchazo for the Pucelete who are now back in third place, level on 72 points with Celta.

That’s because the celeste took care of business at home cooling off red-hot Alcorcon 3-0. Iago Aspas with two solid goals. Aspas is now the second leading scorer in the Segunda. More importantly, Paco Herrera’s prediction from last week (“Valladolid will fail at some point”) came true. Celta now in second place and in the automatic promotion spot.

You could have mistaken Los Pajaritos for being Depor’s home ground over the weekend as 2,000 away fans showed up to support Depor in their 0-3 win at Numancia. Sadly, it was the most people to have seen a game this year in Soria. Numancia are down in the dumps but still safe.

Nicki Bille scored but it was not enough to beat Sabadell as the Ilicitanos drew with the Catalans at home 1-1 all but ending Elche’s playoff hopes. They are now seven points off of Cordoba.

Rounding out the weekend, Recreativo went up to northern Aragon and beat Huesca 0-2… That’s all I got on that one.

Follow me on Twitter! @ArchBell

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Arch Bell

A longtime lover of Spain's often-ignored Liga Adelante, Arch started writing about second division in 2008 on a blog called 'Bienvenido Al Infierno' which he ultimately brought to La Liga Weekly in 2009. He has since gone on to cover Segunda matches in Spain for LLW and has conducted interviews with Segunda Division players. You can find Arch's writing on ESPN.com as a contributor to Soccernet. Arch also hosts a bilingual soccer radio show in Austin, Texas called Futbol En Vivo which airs every Tuesday from 1-2pm CST and can be heard locally on 91.7 FM or online at www.koop.org.

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