Good Day, Bad Day: Barca's pleasant coach trip & Benzema's shadowy boots

Good Day

Barcelona

To be quite honest, the blog is utterly bored with all the nonsense in Spain surrounding Pep Guardiola supposedly controlling the bigwigs of la Liga and Spanish FA by asking for the Osasuna clash to be moved to Sunday as he didn’t much fancy traveling to Pamplona by bus, despite the city not being that far away really.

From the sound of it, the Barça boss - or rather his president - was told by the RFEF that the game would be played on Sunday only for the decision to be U-turned on Saturday afternoon, provoking a mad dash to Navarra.

As it happened, the Barcelona players got off the coach, got changed, kicked Osasuna’s backside, got back on and went home. Job very much done.

Cristiano Ronaldo

“Ronaldo and ten others” was the headline from Marca on Sunday and although it tears the blog’s soul into a billion pieces to admit this, but LLL must agree with the paper.

For once there was something resembling tension at the Bernabeu with Real Madrid definitely not having everything going their way as in previous clashes. But then the re-introduction of the side’s normal front four and the second half dismissal of David Albelda helped Madrid out a bit - along with two supremely taken goals for Ronaldo who is now on 16 league strikes for the season.

Getafe

LLL was back down at the Coliseum on Sunday for a comfy 3-0 win over Mallorca. A couple of weeks ago, the vulture-like blog was circling around and waiting for Míchel’s demise against Zaragoza.

But a draw in that clash, an away win at Sevilla and this latest battering of Getafe’s Balearic opponents saw the Coliseum boss in chirpy mood after the game - the mood matching the coach of a club in ninth and with a terrific 20 point tally.

The blog never doubted him nor his players for a second. Oh no.

Villarreal

Unfortunately, the business at Getafe meant that LLL could only catch 10 minutes of Villarreal’s clash with Sevilla, so can offer absolutely nothing to this section apart from the fact that they won 1-0. And Nilmar scored too, finishing the loveliest of moves.

Espanyol

A fifth 1-0 win at home this season - and a seventh victory from seven in El Prat land means that Espanyol are still in fourth. Here’s Paul from Barcelona to tell us how it happened.

“Well dear readers, I only just made it to the game as I was having lunch with a friend and thought they'd delay it for me until I'd had my After Eight and well, it was a bit drizzly. For some strange reason they didn't. Maybe if I'd mentioned it to them first?

They say that some teams are harder to beat when they are down to ten men. For Espanyol, Baena off for two silly yellows, it meant Sporting only put ten men behind the ball not the 11 they had up to that point. Sporting actually started the brighter and with better finishing they could have been two up.  A less than enthralling first half finished goalless.

Then, after the sending off, Espanyol started to take control, then a great team goal. Great passing, a fantastic dinked pass from Osvaldo, Luis García rounded the keeper, 1-0 to the Espanyol. We all waited for the Sporting onslaught. Well, I'm still waiting as I write this.

Usual refereeing garbage. 400/500 Sporting fans who deserve better than that.

What's the point of playing two wide men if a)they never cross it, and b) there's no-one there anyway?

MOM - Javi Marquez just shading it from Victor Ruiz.”

Paul, Barcelona

Málaga

La Liga Loca was all with the hi-five - on its own, which admittedly looked a bit strange - at the Coliseum when the news of Málaga’s thrashing of Racing filtered through. But that was nothing compared to the excitement from the blog when it saw the quality of the goals from Manuel Pellegrini’s men. Outrageous stuff.

Real Sociedad

La Real’s return to the top flight can officially be hailed as ‘successful’ with a 2-0 win over Athletic in the first Basque derby in nearly four years.

Felipe Caicedo

The Levante striker who is on loan from Manchester City - although has been shunted around a number of clubs over the past few years - is in fine form at the moment with the Ecuadorian scoring the second in Levante’s win over Atleti - the forward’s third in three games.

Bad Day

Atlético Madrid

Being otherwise engaged on very important media commitments - sort of - LLL was unable to witness for itself Atlético’s latest unfortunate event - a 2-0 defeat to lowly Levante, a match that the Rojiblancos were down in after just two minutes.

However, the blog did note that a rather furious Quique Sánchez Flores had a fine yelling session at his players at half-time with AS reporting that the Atleti coach asked if his footballers “were so stuffed with titles that you can’t run?”

This outburst, Quique’s sending off last week along with three defeats in a week and eight goals conceded appears to leave the coach’s job in some jeopardy - an annual tradition at the Vicente Calderón club with a very peeved club president, Enrique Cerezo, grumbling that “you’ll have to ask Quique why he didn’t change anything until the 80th minute,” and almost putting pen to paper on a death warrant by promising that “I’m not thinking about changing the coach at the moment.”

Karim Benzema

Left on the bench for the Valencia match despite Gonzalo Higuaín’s absence. And on the topic of the Frenchman’s performance when the forward came on in the second half, here’s what an unhappy Tomás Roncero in AS had to say - “Karim is lazy, he was a shadow in football boots.”

Osasuna

Although in a moment of madness the blog did predict Osasuna to take two points of Barcelona in Saturday’s clash after the home side’s promise of a blood and thunder (and elbows) approach to the game, LLL forgot one important factor in its deliberations: Osasuna are to attacking threat what Guti is to road safety. 

Pérez Lasa

The referee in the Real Madrid game had the incredibly annoying, but very common habit for Spanish officials to give fouls for tackles and yellow cards for fouls. Lasa set it stall early on with a nonsense yellow for Jordi Alba in eight minutes so it was somewhat inevitable that somewhat would walk in a fairly lightweight game. On this occasion it was David Albelda with Joaquín admitting that his team felt ‘robbed’ by the dunderheaded decision.

Sporting

A twelve hour coach journey to take on Espanyol and nothing to show for it except another defeat that leaves Sporting in the relegation zone.

Almería, Zaragoza

A 1-1 draw between the two sides still sees Almería without a home win, this season, and Zaragoza with a victory on their travels.

Mikel San José

A bit of a ‘mare from the Athletic Bilbao defender in the Basque derby against Real Sociedad with the former Liverpool man giving away a penalty with a handball followed up by a lovely own goal in the second half.

Hércules

At time of writing, the Alicante club have yet to play Monday's match against Deportivo. But the east coast side have already had to endure a 14 hour, 1031km coach journey to get to Galicia. And that's even before taking to the field against Depor. It can be a cruel, cruel world sometimes.

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