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Segunda Roundup: Jornada 1

Segunda clubs were in action over four different days, and of the demoted clubs only Villarreal were able to get a result, while of the promoted clubs only Lugo were able to win.

My thoughts going into the season were that Almeria, Las Palmas and Elche might be the strongest contenders to fight Villarreal for automatic promotion, and all three of those clubs had successful outings.

Almeria won a wild 5-4 match on the road against Barca B (Deulofeu with three goals to take the early pichichi lead). It was 2-0 to Barca within 11 minutes, 2-2 by 20 minutes in, but it was the sending off of the blaugrana defender Planas just before halftime that turned the tide. Ulloa, who had come on as a sub, hit the gamewinner in the 82nd minute and then there were goals for each team in the last couple of minutes of play, while Fernando Soriano, who scored only four goals for Almeria all last year, had two on this day.

Las Palmas won at Racing, which might or might not indicate some strength given Racing's lack of money, players, and coach. Elche won at home against newly-promoted Ponferradina; the illicitanos often start well but somehow always end up falling out of the automatic playoff spots, so it will be interesting to see whether this pattern holds.

One of the clubs that has done surprisingly well the last couple of years is Numancia, and they won in Soria against Sporting. Two of last year's playoff losers, Cordoba and Alcorcon, could manage only draws. As for our next opponents, Sabadell, they played a 0-0 draw in a Catalan derby against Girona, though they did win the yellow card battle, picking up five to Girona's one. Fer Llorente, ex-Villarreal C, played the entire match for Sabadell.