La Liga Loca’s Good Day, Bad Day - Round 29

Good Day

Real Madrid

LLL is being extremely kind-hearted in plonking Real Madrid in the good day section, but a win’s a win’s a win’s a win - although slightly less so when Atlético Madrid are involved considering the last time the hapless Rojiblancos came out on top in a derby was 1999, the year that saw the side relegated.

The first half of Sunday night’s game was abysmal and the second only marginally better, despite the five goal score line. “The most boring 3-2 I have ever seen” muttered one of the blog’s colleagues.

The atmosphere in the Bernabeu was lousy, the football was lousy and so were most of the Real Madrid players.

Gonzalo Higuaín missed from a metre, although made up for this in the second half with his 23rd of the season.

Cristiano Ronaldo was back to blasting long shots over the bar and pouting. Marcelo was largely ignored. Xabi Alonso was pinging balls into the stands and Esteban Granero was so bad he was booed.

But then at half-time, Real Madrid remembered they were playing Atlético Madrid and Atlético Madrid remembered they were, well, Atlético Madrid and surrendered their 1-0 lead in a catastrophic 15 minute spell.

The Madridista press are boasting that Sunday saw a “Championship comeback” (AS) with Marca claiming on Monday’s front page that “This is how you win a league.”

But if Real Madrid don’t play an awful lot better in a fortnight’s time in el Clasíco, then they’ll be blooming lucky to score two against Barça’s six, as happened in last season’s Bernabeu disaster.


Arguably, the narrow 1-0 win over Mallorca was the most important in the league for Pep’s Dream Boys, this season, after the victory over Real Madrid in the Camp Nou.

“Take that Madrid!” yelled an adult José Luis Carazo in Sunday’s Sport, in expressing the relief in the Catalan press.

Mallorca had won 12 from 13 in the Ono Estadi and Barcelona were starting the game without Messi, Xavi, Henry and Pique. But the risk paid off. Just.

“We had a fantastic second half in every way,” beamed Pep Guardiola after a second 45 minutes when the first two of the missing four were called into action.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The Swede has now scored three from three in la Liga - all-be-it one from a penalty gift from Leo Messi and two tap-ins - but the last two goals against Osasuna and Mallorca should silence some of the striker’s many, many demons.

One of them was physically standing behind the forward and waving, on Saturday night, with Zlatan being interviewed on TV in Spanish and answering in Italian whilst Mallorca’s devilishly brilliant mascot caused mischief in the background.

But his finest moment surely game when he chased a laughing Bojan around the pitch during the warm up and proceeded to poke an unamused Pep Guardiola in the chest with his trident.

Nestor Gorosito

It’s three wins from five for Gorosito’s Xerez who banged in an incredible three goals to hammer relegation rivals, Valladolid, on Sunday.

The club’s Argentinean mullet-sporting miracle of a manager may look as though he should be whistling along to “Winds of Change” whilst clutching a lighter but Gorosito has done a truly remarkable job at the bottom of the table team since taking over in January.


The 1-1 draw against Málaga meant another failure to win on their travels for Tenerife in 14 attempts.

But the point was a useful one after a late penalty was converted by Alfaro due to the about-to-shoot Nino being upended by Patrick Mtiliga, the Málaga defender who found fame, this season, for selfishly being too small to dodge Cristiano Ronaldo’s elbow in their Bernabeu clash.

Riki!!!, Angel Arizmendi

The last time that either of these ‘strikers’ did what it says on the tin, was back in round 23 of la Primera when they both troubled the score sheet on the same spooky match day.

But it was déja-vu all over again, this weekend, with the former grabbing the only goal for Deportivo in their 3-1 defeat to Getafe and Arizmendi surprising himself as much as the rest of the world with the second for his side in a remarkable 3-0 pounding of Valencia.


LLL still doesnn’t like the manager in charge of Getafe. Too pretty, too fond of fielding his inept children in the line-up and possessing eyes that are too close together.

But the blog is probably quite wrong in its incomprehensible, irrational belief as Michel has now accumulated more points than former bosses and LLL heroes, Bernd Schuster and Michael Laudrup, managed at the same stage in seasons past.

Getafe got to within two points of the top six (with Athletic to play on Monday) with a wholly unpredictable 3-1 away win in a game where both managers were banished from the bench after sendings off in the midweek round of matches.


The Pamplonan side’s first win in eight attempts came from - and how wonderfully comforting it feels to write these words again - a header from Walter Pandiani...

Diego Alves

...but it should have been an awful lot more goals from the Uruguayan striker and his Basque-land buddies. Instead, Osasuna were held to a 1-0 win after a staggeringly good performance from Almería’s Brazilian goalkeeper, Diego Alves.


Villarreal boss, José Carlos Garrido went for broke, sold the stable and put his butt on the line against a sorry Sevilla by starting with the triple attack of Nilmar, Giuseppe Rossi and Joseba Llorente.

But it was a plan that came together with the home side 2-0 up inside 17 minutes.

Bad Day

Atlético Madrid

Another fine season’s work for the Vicente Calderón club. Six points handed to Real Madrid thanks mainly to a series of defensive howlers - Perea’s stumble against Higuaín in the first derby of the season, being the best - and three taken off Barcelona after February’s 2-1 win.

“A mission dutifully completed, every season,” sniggers Tomás Roncero in AS.

Quique Sánchez Flores cites the loss of both José Antonio Reyes and Juan Valera to injury as the cause of Atlético’s second half collapse. However, Roberto Palomar sums up the situation best in Marca with the observation that “the defence is a joke, like a fake beard or plastic poo poo.”

“The Rojiblancos went into a panic when they were winning and then they were afraid to lose.”

LLL suspects that Atleti were not fussed at all by the defeat with Diego Forlán looking fairly unconcerned after the game and claiming that the Europa League and Copa del Rey are the club’s main concerns this season. And at 37 points from the top, that’s probably a wise approach to take.

Luis Perea

The comedy figure of Luis Perea got the biggest cheer of the night from the home fans when the defender came on to replace the injured right back, Valera. The second biggest was Perea’s first touch.

“The worst humiliation for a footballer,” noted an Atlético socio to LLL. “Booed by your own fans and applauded by the opposition.”


“Antonio Alvarez is in charge of a corpse,” was Marca’s opinion after Sunday evening’s 3-0 defeat to Villarreal.

The season ending stopgap was a popular choice for both players and fans to drag the Andalusian side into the Champions League places, having been the number two under Joaquín Caparrós, Juande Ramos and Manolo Jiménez.

Nevertheless, the three training sessions that the former player had in charge of the side weren’t enough to provoke any kind of reaction in El Madrigal in a game where the score could have been a whole lot worse for Sevilla (again) had it not been for Andrés Palop in goal.

Nikola Zigic

Two missed headers from the stilt-wearing Serbian and a sending off at the end of the first half lead to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Zaragoza for Valencia who were without the concussed David Villa.

The Mestalla men are now 21 points from the big two at the top due to their never-ending incompetency. Good work.


Paul from Barcelona is a brave man to show his face on the blog’s pages after Espanyol’s goalless draw against visiting Sporting. It’s a result that leaves the Pericos with a terrible tally of just 21 league goals all season, the worst in la Primera.

“Well, that's two hours of my life I'll never get back. I'm assuming it finished 0-0 as I lost the will to live after 70 minutes. One great save by Sporting's goalie and that was about it.

"Kameni could have stayed at home and done some decorating. Espanyol well on top throughout but the final pass was woeful.

"250 Sporting fans, quite noisy and the ref wasn't half as bad as the crowd thought.”

Paul, Barcelona


The crushing home defeat now puts the Pucela side seven points from safety and just two from the bottom.


“At the moment, we don’t know how to play football,” complained Deportivo boss, Miguel Angel Lotina, after the 3-1 defeat to Getafe, the side’s third successive loss.

The blog feels the words ‘at the moment’ were unnecessary in this particular statement.

*You can catch La Liga Loca punditing like no-one’s business on RMTV’s La Liga review show, ‘Extra Time’, on Sky 446 from 22.05 UK time and repeated through to Thursday.

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