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LaLigaWeekly On May - 23 - 2011

Segunda Focus: Guerra Ready

So while the big news in Spanish futbol over the weekend was who would be joining the Segunda next year after a drop from the Primera (still cant believe its Depor), the playoff race effectively ended on Sunday with Rayos swift butt-kicking of Xerez.

The victory earned Rayo promotion to the Primera and also left Xerez with just a sliver of hope at a playoff spot. Thats because Valladolid took care of business at home and defeated Gimnastic 1-0. Again, it was Javi Guerra riding to the rescue for the Pucelanos. The former Levante man has been brilliant this season and continues to score clutch goal after clutch goal. Its different what Guerra is doing compared to the exploits of Jonathan Soriano or Alex Geijo. The Granada man gets most of his at home and in bundles while the Baby Blaugrana striker has the benefit of a machine-like system that funnels him plenty of chice balls in the area. Guerras goals have a different origin, one that is of a pure number nine.

Meanwhile Gimnastic showed none of the attack that they exhibited the previous weekend against Betis and now the Catalans are in a bind with two matches to play.

Thats all because Salamanca were 2-0 winners at home against Cartagena which all but ended Cartas playoff hopes. Salamanca and Nastic are now tied on points with the tiebreaker favoring Nastic. Salamanca have the tougher road ahead with a match at Barca B and then home versus Numancia while Nastic are home against Albacete and then at Ponferradina. I still think Nastic stays up mainly due to the schedule.

Villarreal B are still part of the relegation picture after they were wiped away by Granada on Friday night 3-0. The Baby Submariners are three points above Salamanca and next play at home against Recreativo. I am not sure if that coaching change so close to the end of the season isnt having an effect on this group. It certainly doesnt help that Hernan Perez is out injured too. Villarreal B needs to watch out here.

Cordoba decided to give their fans an anxious and agonizing finish to the season after they were drubbed on the road at Ponferradina 3-0. The Andalucians two final matches are against teams who have nothing to play for (Las Palmas and Girona), but that isnt exactly easing the worries of the Arcangel faithful. We could really be in store for a dynamite final week in the relegation race should Villarreal B and Cordoba both lose this coming week.

Speaking of losing, anyone who was in attendance for Saturdays Albacete-Tenerife match should take a long look at the mirror at themselves and ask why any human would ever want to spend two hours to sit through something like that. The club announced that 1,600 attended the match although anyone who has passed second grade could tell you it was about half that amount. By the way, Tenerife won 1-2. Yip. Ee.

The fun in the sun in Sevilla continued on with a 3-1 win over Huesca. Not much to tell here except that now the speculation begins on who will be staying at Betis next season when the club is in the Primera and who might be leaving. Everyone seems to think that Pepe Mel will stay on as coach. But if Mel doesnt get his bonus for achieving promotion, could that lead to a departure?

It has been 14 weeks, count em 14 weeks since Celta last held the top spot in the Segunda. Since then theyve won just once, a 0-1 win at Albacete. The Galicians thought they finally snapped their home winless streak on Saturday versus Elche only to see Angel score late in a 2-2 draw. If the playoffs started today, Celta would face Elche with the first leg being at Balaidos. Ill say this, it could be a comical sight these last two weeks watching Granada, Elche and Valladolid somemhow try to jockey themselves to be the team that faces Celta in the first round. Couldnt say I would blame them for that either.

In other matches Las Palmas achieved their permanencia with a 0-0 draw at home versus Numancia thus avoiding any fears of a potential final matchday fixture against Tenerife with relegation at stake. Marca correspondent and #1 Las Palmas fan Ramiro Aldunate will be smiling broadly when that match kicks off.

Also Recreativo and Alcorcon both bid adieu to their scant playoff hopes in their 0-0 draw. Pretty lackluster effort by both teams.

Finally, I would be a bit chapped if I was one of the 9,000 at the Estadio Montlivi on Saturday watching Girona fall to Barca B 0-2. An own goal gave the Baby Blaugrana the lead but there was hardly any sense of urgency coming from the Girona players who still had a shot (albeit an outside one) at the playoffs. Sure enough, Luis Enriques team got a second one late and I could have sworn I saw the Girona players discussing tee times among themselves in the final five minutes.

Stay tuned to these pages as tomorrow Ill have the Rayo promotion special with comments from Rayo players Juli and Movilla and then on Wednesday well break down the Segunda B and Tercera playoffs.

For more Segunda talk, followmeontwitter

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