Basque-tumbling and idol-bashing

It was tough call for LLL on Monday night: an evening with a Heroes box set or tuning into to Athletic Bilbao v Racing Santander?

One option meant several hours of acting like a loon and threatening to kick the ar*e of pathetic, snivelling, pouting wimp-man Peter Petrelli. The other was as sexy a prospect as Maniche doing a balloon dance.

But after a heated internal battle footie-blog beat geek-blog – and that turned out to be a very good thing, with the teams serving up a treat of an evening including seven goals and bunch of fouls in a howling, blustering Bilbao rainstorm.

The match looked done and - unlike the area behind the blog’s TV - dusted after just 20 minutes, with the Basque pair of Fernando Llorente and Gaizka Toquero putting the home side 2-0 up.

Racing fought back with Mohamed Tchite bundling a messy effort over the line before half-time and doing the "Carrying the ball back to the centre, carrying the ball back to the centre, carrying the ball back to the centre" routine that footballers so love when trying to show the fans how industrious they are.

Unfortunately for the struggling visitors, Athletic were handed their umpteenth soft penalty of the season. Well, three in the last four matches for starters, which is something their fans are keeping very quiet about indeed considering they are often the first to claim Madridista conspiracies at any perceived refereeing slight against their freedom-fighting side.

A load more goals were scored after that but Athletic’s lead was never overhauled, leaving the final score 4-3 and the home side sitting pretty in sixth.

Athletic 4-3 Racing: click to see video

All this excitement went largely unnoticed in the four big papers, with the Barcelona press focused on Pep’s Dream Boys' Champions League date with Arsenal (more on that soon) while the Madridista rags thumb-twiddled before Sunday’s thrilling clash with a Racing Santander side as crestfallen as a decapitated parrot.

For Tuesday’s pages, AS must have turned to their editorial staff and been given met with an “I’ve got nothing” shrug in return, with the paper reporting on the reporting of the Barcelona papers from Monday who reported that there's a quite a tight title race going on.

They also claim further on in the flimsiest of editions that Gonzalo Higuaín’s goals are much more important to his side than Leo Messi’s, although LLL simply couldn’t summon up the will to read any further to discover the paper’s no doubt brilliant rationale.

Marca have been handed an exclusive interview with Florentino Pérez’s advisor/pet/nobody-is-quite-sure-really, Zinedine Zidane, who is busy promoting a project called CracksTV.

And no, it isn’t the hard-up Frenchman going into the adult entertainment world for some spare change, but a reality television concept where the plucky winner of a football talent competition gets to spend the 2010-2011 pre-season with a Primera club with the hope of making it to the big time, despite the apparent lack of talent and will.

The blog can only imagine Zidane wouldn’t appreciate the suggestion that Karim Benzema was the winner of last year’s contest.

Marca itself is just happy to be on the same familiar territory as last week’s editions, when it spent four days merrily publishing the results of a truly controversial poll of Real Madrid members that revealed both that Florentino Pérez is great and that what’s more, so is Cristiano Ronaldo.

But neither are as great as Zidane, whose past has been a tad whitewashed (along with Marca’s memorably taunting headline before the France vs Spain clash from the World Cup in 2006 that the Frenchman was going to be retired).

With Zizou generally reluctant to discuss the whole sending-off-in-the-final business, it's up to Marca’s resident idiot Eduardo Inda to complain that “the referee took the easy path: punish the headbutt that everyone saw and ignore the cowardly insults that only two heard.”

This does beg the question of how the referee can take action over something witnessed by nobody beside the feuding pair. But why let sense get in the way of a fine piece of bootlicking? Inda declares Zidane to be “the most undivine divine being you can ever imagine.”

“The Frenchman is, along with di Stefano, the greatest living example of what Real Madrid stands for," continued the paper’s back-page editorial. "Quality, talent, magic, hard work, a spirit of sacrifice, humility [splutter - LLL], solidarity and irreproachable behaviour both on and off the pitch.”

So it with images of red cards, head butts and stamps from a certain Frenchman, that the blog must now depart to be very, very, very ill indeed.

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