La Liga Loca’s Good Day, Bad Day - Round 38

Good Day

Leo Messi

(Sighs) Leo Messi really is no fun at all. What was the first thing he did to celebrate his 34th league goal of the season? Ran to the stands to hug his Mum, that’s what. Shocking behaviour.(Highlights here)

Pep Guardiola

(Sighs) Pep Guardiola really is no fun at all. What was the first thing he did to celebrate his second league title in his second season in charge of Barça? Walked over to the opposition bench to hug Valladolid boss, Javier Clemente, after his side’s relegation, that’s what. Shocking behaviour.

Manuel Pellegrini

Repeated Fabio Capello’s Real  Madrid press conference performance from 2007 with his long-stored up, "you’re all a bunch of ******s" speech to the local press, except in slightly softer tones as is the norm with the chilled-out Chilean.

Real Madrid may have failed in the Copa del Rey and the Champions League - haven’t they always - but in la Liga the side picked up 96 points, scored 102 goals and won 27 games.

And it was achieved by a manager who had to integrate seven new players as well as deal with the key figures of Robben and Sneijder being sold late in the day and against his wishes. And then there were those members of his squad who were not always enthusiastic about the concept of actually playing football.

Guti

Even before coming on as a second-half substitute, Guti was on a yellow card after having some afters with the linesman in the opening 45 minutes. LLL salutes you, sir.

Sevilla

Watching a side you have no real affinity for suffer hell and torment is one of the great treats of football - a treat that is magnified on the last day of the season by a billion.

And seeing as the Sevilla president José Maria del Nido is not one of the blog’s favourite characters, it was fantastic sport indeed to see his frowning form sinking lower and lower into his seat as the Almería clash unfolded and Sevilla’s footballing finances looked worse and worse for his side next season.

However, everything was ruined a tad with Sevilla’s late winner but LLL did get to enjoy a bit of yin with his yang by seeing the side’s admirable sporting director, Monchi, throw himself onto the bodies seated on the row behind him and begin what appeared to be the most enthusiastic of dry humps.

In a purely hard-nosed, corporate suit-wearing way, Sevilla are more likely to make waves than Mallorca in next season’s Champions League - should they get through the qualifying round, that is - so maybe it is the right thing all round that the Andalusian side grabbed the fourth-placed spot in the most dramatic way imaginable. (Highlights here)

Rodri

With Alvaro Negredo (see Bad Day) having let himself down, his family down, his side down and his supporters down by getting sent off, it was up to the 19-year-old Rodri to score a wonderful twisty kung-fu goal in the 93rd minute having been on the pitch just nine minutes.

However, the strike owed just as much to a brilliant cross from Jesús Navas who put the ball right into the mixer despite the pressure the midfielder was under from both the clock and an Almería defender.

Getafe

Aside from getting out and about and a bit of fresh air - as fresh as it gets in smoggy Madrid - there wasn’t much point in LLL heading down to the Vicente Calderón,  on Saturday, to catch a victory for Getafe that was an inevitable as an injury from Kaká when a league match really matters.

Atleti took to the field with just one of the starters in the Europa League final, Alvaro Domínguez. And it was the centre-back who dropped one to give the ball to Pedro León to feed Roberto Soldado for his side’s second of the evening - and a most peculiar huddled goal celebration with the Getafe striker in the middle that nearly involved the referee throwing a bucket of water over the fondling footballers.

The game couldn’t have been easier for Getafe but the fans and footballers will not give a hamster’s hula-hoop now that they have returned to the Europa League...(Highlights here)

Roberto Soldado

...a return that owes a great deal to their leading striker coming back from injury to score four goals in the final three games, although Getafe did end the season with a fine run which saw just one defeat in ten.

This late streak from Soldado may, just may make the blog rethink its attitude to the former Real Madrid man, a footballer LLL has always felt needs too many chances for each goal to be international class, but it’s something that his many supporters in Spain would disagree with considering Soldado has scored 16 league goals with two months out of action. 

Almería

Now, Sevilla’s opponents on Saturday either really, really, really hate their fellow Andalusian side or they had either received ‘incentives’ from a certain island-dwelling third party big enough to buy Portugal.

Or maybe they just had a Playboy Bunnies bus parked outside the stadium for the players’ use should they have had a successful night against Sevilla.

Almería gave it an almighty go to stop Sevilla getting into the Champions League by coming from behind twice - with a cracking strike from Ortiz on the second occasion - and even ended up with fisticuffs with some of the Sevilla players after they had scored their insanely late winner.

Good work all round.

Racing

Although Racing saved themselves with a fairly unsurprising 2-0 win over Sporting, it was boos and jeers from the home fans that saw the players off the pitch after a forgettable campaign.

Málaga

The side’s remarkable ability to pick up draws this season - 16 in all and six in the last seven games - turned out to be quite handy in the end in hanging on to one more much needed point against a Real Madrid side that knew the gig was up with Barcelona happily hammering Valladolid in the Camp Nou.

Marca

Another match day and another vile, vitriolic editorial from the paper accusing Manuel Pellegrini of what they perceived to be a lack of professionalism in a pre-match press conference before the Valladolid clash, but a perception that no-one else really shared.

LLL can just imagine the glee in the paper’s offices on Sunday night as Barcelona’s goals went in at the Camp Nou - an action allowing even more bile to be hurled in the Chilean manager’s direction. 

To push one of the most gentlemanly, mild-mannered and in control coaches in the top flight to the end of his tether takes some doing. Marca must be feeling very proud themselves, indeed.

Bad Day

Mallorca

Considering the blog thought that Mallorca would be relegated this season, it seems a little bit mean to plonk them into the Bad Day section simply for finishing fifth.

However, that’s where the club ended their season despite them fulfilling their side of Sunday’s bargain with a 2-0 win over Espanyol leaving them with no other option than to watch Sevilla’s late winner on the stadium video screens, whilst they themselves were filmed doing it.

Once the disappointment of missing the Champions League places had been confirmed, Gregorio Manzano left the pitch, waving to the fans and knowing that his contract is up at the end of June and is unlikely to be signing a new one at a club that is about to have another sale of players and potentially go into administration.

A sad end to a sensational season.

Villarreal

Atlético’s neighbourly act of kindness of playing their women’s team - and the alarmingly portly Salvio - against Getafe meant that whatever Villarreal did on Saturday against Zaragoza didn’t mean diddly.

As it happened, they ended up going 3-0 down within 34 minutes and then fighting back to make the scores 3-3.

It was the perfect summary for the year,î sighs Javi Mata in AS noting that Villarreal had an awful start but a more sprightly finish in both the match and their league campaign.

It ended up being double doom for Villarreal on the night, as their eventual seventh-placed finish would have been enough to get a Europa League spot had Sevilla come fifth and won the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

But with the first part of that scenario not happening, it’s a season outside of Europe for Villarreal, next year, unless Mallorca go into administration over the summer and get themselves barred from European football in the process.(Highlights here)

Alvaro Negredo

When Real Madrid sold Alvaro Negredo on to Sevilla over the summer - a move criticised by many, including this blog - they should have come out and announced the real reason: because he’s a complete tool.

Negredo got himself sent off with 25 minutes to go for abuse aimed at the linesman and should have been thrown into stocks in the city centre, had his side failed to overcome Almería.

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