Good Day, Bad Day – Round 21

Good DayQueen LatifaLa Liga Loca came THAT close to writing the name “Riki!!!” before realising that the blog’s already rock-bottom credibility would drop even further with such an act.

Instead, it’s Deportivo’s Angel Lafita who is given pride of place at the head of this week’s Good Day section with two goals against a hapless Villarreal to move his side into sixth.

However, his Bianca-betrothed partner in crime Riki played a massive part in this achievement after donating two assists to the cause and an actual goal – and a decent one at that – to seal Villarreal’s sad footballing fate.

Leo Messi, Arjen Robben

Two lefties playing on the right and two footballers who only turned up for the second half of their respective teams' victories. The former came off the bench in the 58th minute and equalised for his side six minutes later, before grabbing a cracking winner with just 10 to go.

Unlike Messi, Arjen Robben was out on the pitch for the first 45 minutes of his side’s 2-0 win over Numancia but, like his team-mates, was achieving naff-all until the opening few moments of the second half when he helped set up Raúl’s ‘not even Arizmendi could miss that’ opener and grabbed a real beaut of a second.

Raúl

Two goals in two weeks - one off his ear, apparently, and the other with his shin – gives the Madrid striker 307 goals for the Bernabeu club, equalling Di Stefano’s record. But La Liga Loca has a feeling that you may already have read that elsewhere.

"You might be good, son, but you'll never be me"

Fernando Llorente

La Liga Loca is nothing but unoriginal so it will say that neither Athletic nor Málaga deserved to lose a truly belting game on Saturday night - a match that finished with Athletic as 3-2 winners.

The victory came through the Basque side’s willingness to refrain from their normal somewhat dour, defensive play, and instead slug it out in the Thunderdome with their opponents.

Fernando Llorente was the star performer for the home side – although Fran Yeste certainly got the juices flowing of the TV genius that is Patxi Alonso on La Sexta – with an assist and a belting strike to bring the game back to 2-2.

He may have a mop on his head and have the ganglyness of Andy Murray, but Llorente is surely a striker destined for a big move before too long.

Osasuna

Well, it’s go-go gadget arms for Osasuna who are now just three points from safety but tied on 17 with two other sides in the relegation zone.

While their survival prospects are a little less bleak, there is still danger considering that the win on Sunday evening arose by grabbing an early goal against Mallorca and then hanging on for dear life against a team with just nine men.

César Sánchez

Valencia fawn and scrape into the Good Day section thanks to Sunday’s 3-2 win over Almería, but by Merciful Zeus it was a close run thing in the end.

Over recent weeks, Unai Emery’s defence appears to have gone completely moobs-up by conceding 11 goals in the last 4 games. But they were bailed out this weekend by newbie keeper César Sánchez and his crucial injury-time save.

It was just reward to a fine servant of the game cruelly discarded at Spurs by Harry Redknapp, who, in one interview, couldn't even recall his name.

"Who the hell are you?"

Sporting’s ball boys

After a 4-3, 6-1, 7-1 and last week’s 5-1 mauling at Getafe’s Coliseum, it was a humdrum 1-0 win for 10-men Sporting over Sevilla during Sunday’s late game.

Although according to opposition boss Manolo Jiménez, it was all down to a bunch of non-playing youngsters: “The balls disappeared after they had a player sent off. A lot of time was lost.”

Ikechukwu Uche

Although it was Roberto Soldado who grabbed the hat-trick and plaudits in last week’s thumping of Sporting by Getafe, it was his Nigerian team-mate that had the fans singing his name – well, his surname.

Uche bagged a brace in a comeback against Betis in the De Lopera on Sunday evening, but it could have been so much more for Getafe had Soldado not fluffed a penalty with the score at 2-2.

“Tosspot,” grumbled coach Victor Muñoz after the game, very much to himself.

Bad Day

Javier Aguirre

The general rule in La Liga is that if the fans are calling for the head of the manager when times are tough, then the coach can still sleep fairly easily.

It’s when the support turns on the president that the manager can expect to be booted out of his job in short shrift as the president’s self-preservation instincts kick in.

That happened in a near empty Vicente Calderón on Sunday afternoon, although La Liga Loca took one for the team and braved the blizzards and drizzle to watch an Atletico Madrid performance in a 2-1 defeat to Valladolid branded by an unimpressed AS as “pathetic.a”

As the game drew to a depressing close, the supporters starting singing “Cerezo [insert rude word], get out of the Calderón!” But a considerably dirtier and better sounding version.

It was enough to send the Atlético president down to the dressing room for a bit of a rant after the encounter revealed Javier Aguirre, whose crest had fallen so far it was swept up by a cleaner and popped into a dumpster hours later.

“Cerezo came down to the dressing room and was fairly tough with us,” revealed the much-maligned Mexican manager.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what has gone wrong with Atlético since the start of the year – apart from all-round crapness and an underperforming Kun Agüero. At time of writing, Aguirre is still safe in his position according to the rojiblanco rooster: “Neither I nor anyone else is planning his sacking,” said Cerezo on Sunday.

Whether anyone believes him or not is another matter.

Real Betis

Another manager in deep do-do is Paco Chaparro, who watched his side take a plucky 2-0 lead against Getafe before blowing it and only avoiding a defeat thanks to Ricardo saving Soldado’s penalty.

The arrival of Ricardo Oliveira may come too late for poor old Chaparro, who is a hair's breadth away from a booting-out from Betis. But so short of firepower are the Andaluce club that Darth de Lopera reportedly got the bank to open on Saturday morning to get the cash to bring the Zaragoza striker to Seville.

Paco calls for help

Espanyol

La Liga Loca would be feeling sorry for Espanyol supporters, if it didn't have a heart of frozen gravel.

Instead, the blog enjoys nothing more than other fans' footballing pain, so let’s have a chuckle with (and not at) Paul from Barcelona, who watched his side throw a way a 1-0 lead in injury time thanks to a rapidly-losing-the-plot Carlos Kameni:

“Anyone know a good hypnotist so I can get this game erased from my memory?

Espanyol scored, Recre equalised with a clear penalty in injury time thanks to a defensive howler (where have you read that before this week?). An awful game. Both teams were rubbish. It was cold and wet. And that, dear readers, is all you need to know.

Stray cat count 0 (Something to do with the rain I suppose)”Paul, Barcelona

Manolo Jiménez

Over in the Good Day section we sampled a tantalising taste of the Sevilla manager’s thoughts on his side’s 1-0 defeat to Sporting. And in doing so, we heard his unhappiness at the ball-boys. But they weren't the only items on his Gíjon hit-list. Oh no.

Jiménez took time out to blast the Sporting fans by ranting that he “did not like the attitude of some of the supporters because they were whistling at Capel for the whole of the second half.”

The referee also felt his wrath for “allowing too much time to be wasted.” The only lucky few to escape the hairdryer treatment were his players, whose efforts Jiménez was "happy with."

Sooo fired (sigh).

Villarreal

Officially dead to La Liga  Loca (turns back and starts sobbing).

Pep Guardiola

A superb win in a very dangerous game but now facing the next match without the services of Puyol, Marquez, Alves and Pique. Still time for that Oleguer loan deal?

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