Zaragoza move clear of dropzone
Real Zaragoza moved three points clear of the relegation zone after seeing off fellow strugglers Getafe 2-1, as the visitors' miserable 2011 lurches from bad to worse.
Zaragoza netted twice in the opening 35 minutes through Leonardo Ponzio and Nicolas Bertolo to take control of the match and, although Getafe pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time through Javi Casquero, it was not enough to deny the home side.
The result means Zaragoza remain in 17th spot but have put some daylight between themselves and the bottom three, and they are also now just a point behind a Getafe side who are looking in serious trouble.
Since the turn of the year, Michel's team have picked up just eight points from a possible 45 with just one win, seeing them go from possible European hopefuls to potential relegation candidates.
"This is a relief for us but we are still in the same position with three points more. Nobody is safe with 33 points," said Zaragoza coach Javier Aguirre.
His Getafe counterpart Michel felt his team's battling spirit offered hope for the coming games. "The players are clearly still with me as they showed with the effort they put in. Everything went wrong for us in the game. In the first half we conceded two goals and we paid for it," he said.
"The players haven't thrown in the towel and after the break we were close to scoring right to the end."
Zaragoza came into the match having lost three of their last four matches but having recorded wins over high-flying Athletic Bilbao and Valencia in their last two home fixtures, and they started the better tonight.
Ikechukwu Uche sliced an early opening wide before Ponzio put the hosts ahead with a long-range effort in the 14th minute.
The Argentinian picked the ball up just inside Getafe's half and was allowed to progress unchallenged to within 30 yards of goal, and he unleashed a low shot that visiting goalkeeper Oscar Ustari got a hand to but could not keep out.
Ustari did better to save Bertolo's effort six minutes later, but the Getafe goalkeeper was powerless to prevent the Zaragoza No10 from making it 2-0 in the 34th minute.
Getafe lost the ball in Zaragoza territory and the home side launched a quick breakaway which ended up with Uche feeding the ball inside to the unmarked Bertolo and the Argentinian took one touch before slamming his shot past Ustari.
It looked bad for Getafe at that stage but they gave themselves hope on the stroke of half-time when Casquero pulled a goal back. Casquero thumped the ball in from close range after two Zaragoza defenders on the line had failed to clear Adrian Colunga's header.
That goal would have made Michel's half-time team-talk a little easier, but his side were not able to force an equaliser in the second half.
Casquero had arguably their best effort but Antonio Doblas did well to turn the shot behind for a corner, while at the other end Zaragoza missed a number of chances to finish the game off on the counter attack.