Good Day, Bad Day: Busquets' new experience, Atlético & Valencia 'die ugly'

RESULTS Sat 4 Feb Barcelona 2-1 Real Sociedad, Getafe 0-1 Real Madrid, Mallorca 1-0 Real Betis, Levante 1-1 Racing, Athletic Bilbao 3-3 Espanyol Sun 5 Feb Atletico Madrid 0-0 Valencia, Real Zaragoza 1-2 Rayo Vallecano, Sevilla 1-2 Villarreal, Sporting 1-1 Osasuna FIXTURE Mon 6 Feb Granada v Malaga

Good Day

Sergio RamosThe defender is the man-of-the-moment in the Madrid press, who are admiring his willingness to stand up to José Mourinho, shout a bit both in the tunnel and on the pitch, clear balls up the field, score goals from corners and get sent off considerably less than before. “The soul of a leader” purrs Monday’s admiring headline in AS. The best of a boring bunch in Madrid’s 1-0 win at Getafe.

BarcelonaAlthough Barça aren’t tonking sides like in the good old days, Pep’s Dream Boys will take any win they can with the team’s injury list getting longer by the hour. The Catalan club began Saturday’s 2-1 win over Real Sociedad without Gerard Piqué, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Pedro, David Villa and Alexis in the starting line-up either through injury or being a bit tired. The news got worse for Guardiola, with Sergio Busquets getting caught by a stud in the second half and feeling what it’s like to be genuinely injured for once in his life - the sensation was met with look of confusion and bewilderment.

Christian TelloYet another fancy-footed wide-man forward player type thing from Barça’s cantera production line, and a footballer scoring in his first Primera start for the club. Now, if they could only churn out a six-foot-five big man up front...

LevanteIt's really hard to know where to stick Levante these days, because of the current contrast to the side’s storming 2011. The team have yet to pick up a victory in 2012, with Saturday’s 1-1 draw with struggling Racing being the fourth time in the new year that the side has failed to pick up maximum points in a fairly winnable home game. But Levante are still in fourth - not a good observation on the quality of the chasing pack for the Champions League places, currently like a greyhound race on an ice rink - and need just three or four more wins to secure their Primera status, which let’s not forget was the main goal of the campaign rather than all this qualifying for Europe business.

Athletic Bilbao & EspanyolLLL is still more than a little irked that it missed this cracking match due to the blog being in transit to watch a complete dirge-fest in the freezing cold between Real Madrid and Espanyol. As in last week’s clash against Rayo, Athletic scored three goals, but this time it wasn’t a win but a 3-3 draw with Espanyol managing the same feat, the final equalising effort coming in the dying seconds of the match. With Valencia, Levante and Atlético Madrid all drawing, a point apiece won’t make either side particularly happy though, as the game was a fine chance missed to plant a crampon onto the icy slopes of the Champions League places and unpack the base camp tents. But for the crucial job of entertaining the supporters in freezing San Mamés and those as snug as a bug on their sofas, both clubs are honoured with a Good Day spot.

Thibaut CourtoisIt wasn’t the Atlético Madrid goalkeeper’s fault Sunday’s goalless draw with Valencia was such a sludge-fest, so LLL must applaud the on-loan keeper for a fifth clean sheet in la Liga in a row.  Diego CostaThe striker - on-loan from Atlético Madrid - was making his debut for Rayo Vallecano, being one of four newbies to join during the winter transfer window. The Brazilian was also making his first La Liga start of the season due to injury. Nevertheless, the forward scored Rayo’s first goal in a 2-1 win at Zaragoza to help undo the damage of two costly home defeats in the Madrid club’s past two matches.

MallorcaThe blog is torn between its long-standing admiration of Mallorca manager Joaquín Caparrós, and its dislike of his limited, defensive side who have bored the nipples of the blog whenever it has seen their games. Still, Caparrós is doing what is being asked of him by keeping the team out of the relegation zone, even if it ain’t pretty to watch. That was certainly a description of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Betis, which the Balearic side managed despite being down to nine men.

VillarrealThree matches undefeated now and win away at Sevilla sees Villarreal slowly pulling themselves away from their rather embarrassing temporary residence in the relegation zone.

Helder PostigaZaragoza’s Portuguese poacher is becoming a scorer of great goals, rather than a great goal scorer, after another stonking over-head effort against Rayo on Sunday.

Bad Day

Atlético Madrid & ValenciaAwful, awful, awful. Diego Simeone may have been a furious figure shouting “Courage! Fight! Courage! Fight!” to his Atlético players, but naff all happened in Sunday’s goalless draw in the Vicente Calderón aside from a late flurry of activity in the final seconds. “It was born ugly and died ugly,” was the apt match report from AS.

Marcelino Events may well catch up with LLL, with Marcelino being sacked while the blog is going through the process of being written, sent, having the swear words removed, libelous comments adjusted, Arizmendi jokes extradited and the final results then being published. But the blog would not be at all surprised if it's the end of the road for the Sevilla boss in the meantime, after a home defeat to Villarreal on Sunday that leaves the team four points from the relegation zone. LLL has actually started to feel a little bit sorry for Marcelino in recent games, as there has been attacking intent to Sevilla’s play but the strikers have been a little profligate in front of goal.

Luis GarcíaLLL’s favourite Primera manager by a long, long way. Funny, smiley, open and always happy to admit when his Getafe side play badly or if the game is an absolute dog - something that was an apt description of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at the feet of visiting Real Madrid. “It was ugly for us, for the crowd” admitted García in a cold encounter he described as “strange” and that his side never got into, noting that Real Madrid largely bypassed the midfield for once. “We couldn’t rob a single ball,” was the reason given for a bit of a flat Getafe performance in the Coliseum.

Iñaki TejadaA disappointing result for Manuel Preciado’s immediate replacement at Sporting - a 1-1 draw at home to Osasuna in a match where the Asturian side took the lead. “I’m the coach until they tell me otherwise,” said the former number two after the draw that keeps Sporting in the relegation zone, three points from safety.

ZaragozaThe home defeat against Rayo leaves Zaragoza without a league victory since 16th October and ten points from safety at the bottom-of-the-table.