Good Day, Bad Day - Round 23
Good DayManuel Pellegrini
Cristiano Ronaldo may have been elevated into sun-shining-from-his-waxed-posterior deity status by the Madridista press after SundayÃ¢ÂÂs fine display against Villarreal, but La Liga Loca is so sick of the sight of the pouting ponce that it is going to give its Monday pat on the back to the more deserving Manuel Pellegrini, instead.The Madrid coach has been through a heck of a week with his very absent superstars letting him down against Lyon and Marca doing their damnedest to poke the Third Choice Chilean in the back with a journalistic breadstick at every opportunity, since.
SundayÃ¢ÂÂs pre-match editorial blasted Pellegrini for responding to his critics by opining that, statistically speaking, he was leading MadridÃ¢ÂÂs finest team for 15 years and by noting quite rightly that Ã¢ÂÂin the last six years, [Real Madrid] has changed coach seven or eight times and have not got past the last 16 in the Champions League and have only managed two titles from a possible 15.Ã¢ÂÂ
Marca responded to such uppity impudence from a manager that Florentino PÃÂ©rez is desperate to see the back off by plonking JosÃÂ© MourinhoÃ¢ÂÂs face on FridayÃ¢ÂÂs front cover and claiming two days later that calling for Pellegrini to be sacked Ã¢ÂÂis not an insult, nor an attack on something so subjective as football.Ã¢ÂÂ
SundayÃ¢ÂÂs headline in the PÃÂ©rez-run paper also called the Villarreal clash Ã¢ÂÂPellegriniÃ¢ÂÂs Judgement.Ã¢ÂÂ
The six-goal reply is PellegriniÃ¢ÂÂs two-fingered response to his cretinous critics.
The 6-2 win sees the side move to the top of MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs Ã¢ÂÂAlternative League TableÃ¢ÂÂ with a two point lead over their Catalan rivals.
WhatÃ¢ÂÂs more, the paperÃ¢ÂÂs resident referee Rafa Guerrero writes that both of MadridÃ¢ÂÂs penalties against Villarreal were great decisions from the man in the middle, despite the second being a complete dive from Ronaldo and the first being more than a little questionable.
But La Liga Loca will allow it due to Gonzalo HiguaÃÂn's general brilliance.
PepÃ¢ÂÂs Goal-Shy Dream Boys
Racing may have shown as much resistance as Ever Banega watching a Giselle Bundchen bath time web cast on Saturday, but that should not prevent some kind words from the blog to support BarcelonaÃ¢ÂÂs four scorers.
AndrÃÂ©s Iniesta had not done it since May, Thierry Henry and Rafa MÃÂ¡rquez had only managed it four times between them this season, whilst Thiago was doing it for the first time in his life on his debut - scoring goals for Barcelona, that is.
The latter was so excited by the event that he ran to the bench to celebrate with his BarÃÂ§a buddy Jonathan Dos Santos, an action that Guardiola has since punished by dropping Thiago from the squad travelling to Stuttgart in the Champions League.
Ã¢ÂÂHe should just embrace his colleagues and get on with the job,Ã¢ÂÂ warned the Catalan coach. Ã¢ÂÂWe have to bring him back to earth.Ã¢ÂÂ
For a moment, the Deportivo striker looked like he was going to fall into the biggest of Primera panics.
Due to a defensive slip-up, Riki!!!!!! was one-on-one with Xerez keeper, Renan.
But Riki!!!!!! remembered his training and did what he does best - close his eyes, hit the ball as hard as possible and hope for the best.
Normally, it is an approach to the art of striking that rarely works for the former Getafe man, but this time it put Deportivo into a 2-0 lead over their visitors after just seven minutes.
Another tremendous display from Navas who dragged his team through their 3-1 win over Mallorca - the first side to manage this in the Ono Estadi in the league this season.
Sevilla had been reduced to 10 men after the rather harsh sending off of Alvaro Negredo, but Navas pulled through by responding to MallorcaÃ¢ÂÂs opener with a goal of his own and a late assist for Diego Perotti.
Thanks to Espanyol being wetter than pretty much anywhere in Spain at the moment on their travels this season, MÃÂ¡laga grabbed their third victory in four and made it an admirable run of just one defeat from 14.
Cheered and championed by the Athletic Bilbao fans like a three-legged-dog fetching a stick, the former Alaves and Eibar man is a bit of cult hero in San MamÃÂ©s.
Not exactly the most prolific of strikers with just one goal in the league last season, some crucial cup goals and the occasional brilliant finish sees Toquero as popular as big, floppy berets and peeing on Belgians at the Basque club, these days.
On Sunday, the forward won a penalty and scored his sideÃ¢ÂÂs second in the 4-1 win over Tenerife that moves Athletic tantalisingly close to the top six.
Visiting manager Manuel Preciado claimed that he fancied his side to pick up a win against Zaragoza on Sunday.
And a win it was for Sporting with the home team going back to their pre-Gay hapless ways in the 3-1 defeat.
The young AlmerÃÂa striker had been stuck in La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs shoe box marked Ã¢ÂÂflimsy Argentinean that came far too early to EuropeÃ¢ÂÂ and like Gonzalo HiguaÃÂn and Ever Banega before him, has scrambled out.
Piatti has benefited from new AlmerÃÂa boss Juanma Lillo taking advantage of his extra-ordinary pace and scored for the second successive game - this time the late winner in the narrow victory over AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid.
The poor old nearer-the-relegation-zone-than-Europe Rojiblancos expended so much luck and energy in last weekendÃ¢ÂÂs 2-1 win over Barcelona, that the rest of the campaign could well see a string of ever-so-unfortunate events such as Diego ForlÃÂ¡n turning into a block of Red Leicester - an improvement to his current form - and the Vicente CalderÃÂ³n stadium being buried under a glacier.
Atleti were passable and decent enough against AlmerÃÂa but fell to a late goal from Piatti and saw Quique SÃÂ¡nchez Flores being sent off for some rag-losing touchline action.
Ã¢ÂÂI want to apologise to my team, the fans and the management,Ã¢ÂÂ blubbed Quique who normally has the phrase Ã¢ÂÂon behalf ofÃ¢ÂÂ rather than Ã¢ÂÂtoÃ¢ÂÂ in that particular statement to the press.
WerenÃ¢ÂÂt as bad as the 6-2 scoreline suggested but appear to have done something, somewhere, to rub the referees up the wrong way this season, with Villarreal having conceded nine penalties in the current campaign.
The former still can't win away. The latter still canÃ¢ÂÂt win, although are by no means the worst bottom-of-the-table side to have graced the Primera in recent seasons.
The Mallorca goalkeeperÃ¢ÂÂs pre-match tactic of having his brain replaced with a yo-yo didnÃ¢ÂÂt quite come off as well as Aouate was expecting.
The Israeli goalie had a shocker in MallorcaÃ¢ÂÂs 3-1 defeat to Sevilla having coming flying out of goal only to miss the ball for SevillaÃ¢ÂÂs equalising effort and completely misjudge Ivica DragutinovicÃ¢ÂÂs floaty free-kick.
The red-carded Sevilla midfielder was unfortunate enough to come up against a linesman who fully understood his charming English insult of Ã¢ÂÂf*ck your motherÃ¢ÂÂ after a contentious decision.
There must have been nothing so morale-boosting for the Barcelona players than the sight of Newcastle legend, Xisco, leading the line for Racing in the Camp Nou, on Saturday.
The Cantabrian club might as well have stuck Hilary Clinton in the number 15 shirt for all the good it did.
The Xerez coach managed a fine innings of four minutes before being sent off during the 2-1 defeat to Deportivo for ranting at the ref.
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