Good Day, Bad Day: A Dynamic Duo, Foraging Falcao and Crafty Clemente

Good Day

Cristiano Ronaldo & Leo MessiIt’s not just the goals which put the dynamic duo on 41 apiece that see Ronaldo and Messi in the Good Day section this week, rather the fact both players are, to a degree carrying their teams on their backs at present. Leo Messi’s wonderful opening effort against Levante brought Barcelona back from 1-0 down, while the thigh-tapping Titan put Real Madrid into the lead in what was an unexpectedly uncomfortably match against Sporting. Neither club were particularly bright and beautiful on Saturday night and will certainly need to buck their ideas up midweek in the Champions League.

Athletic BilbaoFree kick. Header. Fernando Llorente. 1-0 win against Mallorca. A familiar routine for Athletic Bilbao, who have now broken through their iffy patch in la Primera to pick up seven points from the last nine and put the Basque team just one point from the European places.

FalcaoIt was a verdict of ‘must do better’ from the blog for Atlético, who were playing a much-weakened Rayo. But at least Falcao was up to the job for the Rojiblancos, with the forward’s 22nd goal of the season sealing a 1-0 win that leaves his side in a big gaggle of clubs just outside the European places.

EspanyolPaul from Barcelona is back, back, back. And so are Espanyol, apparently, after a 4-0 thrashing of Valencia that seems to have taken everyone by surprise. “Well, didn't expect that. Back after last week's illness (thanks Tim and Jordi VW) just in time to see a drubbing. A pretty dull first 20 minutes unless you like watching blokes in orange trying to kick anything that isn't round.Then fantastic work from MOM Sergio Garcia who laid it on from Christian Gomez to score easily. Then, the best goal of the match from Verdu whose run and shot was something special,from his weaker foot too.The only thing more surprising than the scoreline and Christian's clean gloves was that Valencia still had 11 men on the pitch.Second half, Valencia had a good ten minutes without looking like scoring then Espanyol took control and it was a surprise they only scored two more through. Not a fantastic performance from Espanyol but too good for the poorest Valencia team I've seen in 16 years.Ref had a shocker, though. Not as  bad as the other Valencia/Barcelona derby. What was all that about? Clear handball vs a nudge. How come no other teams get decisions like that, Manchester United aside, of course?”Paul, Barcelona

Rubén CastroThe Betis forward made sure his 14th league goal of the season was an absolute peach, and in the process gave his team a 1-0 win over Osasuna to push the Seville side over the 42 point mark.

Real SociedadA very handy but referee-assisted point at Málaga puts la Real one win away from safety.

ZaragozaThe 1-0 win over Granada and cries from the crowd of “yes, we can!” kicks off Zaragoza’s five match attempt to save their skins from la Segunda. Eleven points will probably be needed from the final 15 available. The rescue mission continues away at Mallorca next weekend.

Bad Day

Team Unai And it was all going so well for the happy campers of Team Unai. A point against Real Madrid and a midweek trashing of Rayo Vallecano had seen Third-Placed Valencia returning to third-place. But then the ever erratic Espanyol came along to stick four past them in what Marca describe as 'a morning stroll' in Cornella on Sunday. “We lost out tactically, physically and mentally,” admitted the Valencia boss, whose line-up against the Pericos had one beady eye on Thursday’s Europa League encounter with Atlético.

MálagaIn a decision that would have had the papers hopping mad had it been against Barcelona or Real Madrid, the referee ruled out what would have been an injury time winner for Málaga in what ended up as a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad. Defender, Martín Demichelis was in an onside position when he poked the ball into the back of the net, but the referee did not see it the same way and thus took away two points that would have seen Málaga sitting in third spot.

LevanteIt was a typically gutsy display by Levante to hold off Barcelona for about two thirds of the game. However, a Leo Messi double meant that it was not to be. However, a defeat for Valencia and a home draw for Málaga a day later was a useful exercise in damage limitation for Levante.

Miguel Angel LotinaThere is much finger-wagging in Villarreal’s direction and their coach for taking a 1-0 winning margin for granted and failing to push for a second. This eventually cost Villarreal two very important points with Racing equalising in injury time to leave the Yellow Submarine five points from the relegation zone and six from safety. It will be probably enough to keep Villarreal up, but Lotina is making things unnecessarily hard for the side.

Javier ClementeSeven defenders in the line-up for Sporting and accidentally allowing a ball to be rolled onto the pitch by a member of his bench whilst Real Madrid were attacking. All in a good day’s work for the Sporting boss, whose team will soon be needing snookers to stay up in la Primera this season.