La Liga Loca’s Good Day, Bad Day - Round 30

Good Day

Pep Guardiola

When LLL first read the Barcelona line up to face Athletic Bilbao, it assumed that the Dream Boys’ boss had finally lost his mind or staggered into the dressing room half-cut and smoking like a Valladolid player.

“Yusssh can all play whershhh you want! Hic!” was the imaginary team-talk from Guardiola after picking two left backs, two defensive midfielders and Dmytro Chygrynskiy in his starting line-up.

It was a necessary gamble with Dani Alves suspended, Xavi and Pedro needing a bit of a sit down after their exhausting Emirates exertions, Thierry Henry out of favour (again) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic knackering himself during the warm up.

But hell’s bells it paid off with Leo Messi once again playing the Andrés Iniesta role to selfless perfection and Bojan Krkic coming back from apparent career death - if it’s possible for a 19-year-old to do that - with the perkiest of performances and two goals.

Heck, even Jeffren was good, although the blog still suspects the forward has the inherent flimsiness of Giovani dos Santos - the player LLL once hailed as the new Ronaldinho.

Sadly the only characteristic the Mexican shares with the goofy one is an immense love of night life.

The last three games for Barcelona have been Osasuna at home, Mallorca away and Athletic Bilbao in the Camp Nou - all nasty sounding challenges, in a very physical sense - especially with Arsenal wedged in between.

But the record in those three ties for the Dream Boys is three wins, seven goals scored and just one conceded. Not bad for a team suffering indifferent form in la Liga, according to a few Primera pundits.

Carles Puyol

Barcelona’s version of Brian May may have been at fault for Athletic’s one and only goal by giving the ball away, but Puyol was just as immense as he was against Arsenal.

The club captain was technically playing at right-back on Saturday night, but popped up all over the pitch, even in central midfield to release Bojan for Barça’s second of the match.

Javi Martínez

Rather than going down like a big girl’s blouse after being on the receiving end of what can best be described as a head ‘nudge’ rather than butt from Yaya Touré, the Athletic Bilbao midfielder stayed on his feet. And in his desire for a bit of afters with the Barça man, Martínez spared Touré a red card.

Luis Fabiano

The Sevilla striker woke up on Saturday morning / afternoon, looked at his calendar and pondered “blow me! The World Cup is just around the corner! Time to pull my finger out of my backside and do something, me thinks.”

And so O Fabuloso did what he had not done for much of the season and gave a rat’s posterior about his club’s predicament, scoring a goal and an laying on an assist for Fredi Kanouté in a plodding, perfectly acceptable win over Tenerife - a team that has only picked up three points in three draws on their travels all season.


The two remarkable moments from a mostly unremarkable 3-0 win for Valencia over Osasuna was an astonishing headed miss by Juan Mata that had the match commentators stunned into silence.

The other was Joaquín’s opener - a kind of reverse spin, back flick, kung-fu affair. Tasty.

Ever Banega

The Valencia midfielder has developed a top new look involving very big hair and a wispy beard. Now resembles a type of Western-era bandito who would wake you up by sticking a gun up yer nostril and sneering ‘gringo’ into your terrified face.


Another day for the gung-ho, go-getting attacking trident of Rossi, Llorente and Nimar and another win.

Villarreal are now making a sneaky move for the top four places - five points away - but still have an awful long way to go, despite AS’s Javi Malta’s rather holy views of the team’s 2-0 win over Valladolid.

“On a day of resurrection and of faith, Villarreal got back theirs,” gushed Malta, looking to the heavens.


A late, late but very cheeky effort from Pierre Webó sees Mallorca pick up rare booty (pirate style booty, not Beyonce style...) on their travels and sees them equal on points with fourth placed Sevilla.


An insanely good goal from a scorer that is now considered a hot shot in Espanyol having grabbed five, making him the team’s leading scorer despite only joining in January.


The former Betis defender may not be of any use if you want him to lead from the back, having only been on the winning side five times in 18 for Atlético Madrid, the club the fallen-international joined over the summer.

But he was handy in opening the scoring in the Rojiblanco’s 3-0 win over Deportivo, on Sunday night.

Atlético are all but two points safe from relegation. Heady days indeed in the Vicente Calderón.

Bad Day

Real Madrid

“Either Madrid change or it will be a massacre,” warns the headline to Roberto Palomar’s article in Marca, the only journalist at the paper who hasn’t had his brain replaced by a photograph of a grinning Florentino Pérez.

In a frackin’ awful 2-0 win against hapless Racing described in the same column as “vomit-inducing” Real Madrid continued  to zombie lurge their way towards Saturday’s showdown against Barcelona.

Monday’s edition of AS boasts of the 100 goals scored by Madrid this season – it would have been a whole lot more were it not for pesky Alcorcón and Lyon – and declares on the front cover that Madrid are “Leaders for el Clasíco.”

“So what?” says the blog.

Real Madrid have been offered little but compliant cannon fodder in their 12 match winning streak in la Liga, with only Sevilla and Atletico Madrid offering some signs of resistance before promptly giving up. When a side with a spine showed up in the shape of Lyon, Madrid choked.

No doubt, both Madridista papers will shout statistics proving the brilliance of Manuel Pellegrini’s men over the coming days, but Roberto Palomer is completely right. If Madrid don’t improve next weekend then the 6-2 spanking handed out by Barcelona at the Bernabeu, last year, will be looked upon as a fond memory.


With stories of footballers chasing floosies in nightclubs rather than training, Valladolid’s supporters showed their feelings during Sunday’s 2-0 home defeat to Villarreal.

When Haris Medunjanin sliced a shot over the bar, the crowd reacted with hankie-waving and boos, a response that saw the Bosnian midfielder cupping his hand to his ear - a bad idea all round.

“My figures are enough for any manager to be sacked, they are lamentable” admitted Onesímo, the manager trying to clean up Valladolid’s sorry mess but stuck second-from-bottom of the table.


As flat as Maniche’s favourite beanbag against Zaragoza in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat. And defender, Juanito knows it, too. “If we don’t play at 120% then we won’t even beat a team from the third division.”


Michel’s men flushed all the good work achieved during last week’s 3-1 away win over Deportivo down the toilet with a 1-1 draw at the Coliseum against Espanyol, of all sides.


Another away day and another defeat for Tenerife, with their 12th loss from 15 matches away from home coming against Sevilla.

Jermaine Pennant

Apart from a spot of running up and down on the sidelines during the second half, the English winger did not see a great deal of action in Zaragoza’s 2-0 win over Málaga.

Then again, Pennant has not seen a great deal of action at all in 2010 with his last start being at the end of January due his non-appearance in training issues and the manager preferring Eliseu on Zaragoza’s right flank.

Alberto Rivera

Scored Sporting’s opener in what should have been an easy win against Xerez, but made amends for his goal in the second half with a delightful, but misplaced, back pass to his own goalkeeper to allow Alustiza to score and pick up a precious point for the struggling opposition.

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