La Liga Loca’s Good Day, Bad Day: Round 8

Good Day

Cristiano Ronaldo

Gah! Last week, LLL had to take one for the team, hold its nose tightly and admit that the self-loving sensation had had a fairly decent game for Madrid after two goals and two assists against Málaga.

Sadly for the mealy-mouthed and tremendously petty blog, the Portuguese pouter doubled his goal tally against a ludicrously bad Racing Santander on Saturday night in a 6-1 win for José Mourinho’s free-scoring men, meaning that LLL must admit that Ronaldo was ‘quite good’ against the crumbly-defensed Cantabrians.

“A bath and a shower in the Bernabeu,” claimed Sunday’s edition of AS either boasting of Madrid’s superiority or reporting on yet more supporter-pampering services at Castle Greyskull that LLL wasn’t aware of.

Leo Messi

“Cristiano is twice as good as Leo Messi in la Liga” is the message from Monday’s Marca, a paper which is still going against the official grain by awarding a deflected effort against Real Sociedad by Pepe to Ronaldo to give their Portuguese pet 10 league goals from 8.

However, despite this withering dismissal of the Argentinean marvel of Messi, little Leo is in some form at the moment, having grabbed two braces in a week. The first came against FC Copenhagen, the second three days later against Real Zaragoza - a match that featured the usual trait of Barcelona, these days, of domination without too much reward.

Villarreal

Unlike Michael Hutchence, there was no self-induced choking from Villarreal, on Sunday night, unlike the 2-2 draw against Hércules the previous Monday that could have moved the side to the top of the table had the clash been won.

As LLL will detail later, the 2-0 win against Atlético was not without controversy after a disallowed goal for the Rojiblancos and penalty appeals, but it was Villarreal who picked up three points to stay just one behind Real Madrid, but ahead of Barcelona on goal difference.

Michael Laudrup

If you are looking for a coach who is doing an awful lot with naff all, then Mallorca’s great Dane, Michael Laudrup, is the man for you. An impressive 2-1 win over Valencia in Mestalla moves the completely skint, in administration Balearic club into 9th in la Primera despite having scored just seven goals in eight.

Sevilla

Due to duties down at Getafe, LLL only caught the final twenty minutes of this furiously fun encounter between Sevilla and visiting Athletic Bilbao. At that point the Andalusian side were like a Spanish politician in Madrid’s Casa de Campo and comfortably cruising.

With Sevilla 3-0 up preparations began for LLL’s Sunday tea. But then Fernando Llorente pulled two goals back in the space of three minutes, before Sevilla were awarded a ridiculous penalty to bring the scores to 4-2. However, there was still time for one more goal from Athletic but it did not change the result of a home win for Sevilla and a burned rice pan for a distracted LLL.

Getafe

“Which Getafe will it be today?” pondered Sunday’s Marca ahead of Getafe’s visit of Sporting on the Coliseum club’s consistent inconsistency. As it happened, it was the happy, smiley winning face of the home side that was on display with a comfortable but fairly unremarkable 3-0 victory over Sporting.

The other news from the clash is that Getafe striker, Adrián Colunga, is still willing, hard-working, but ultimately as effective as Guti on University Challenge.

Osasuna

The club’s 90th birthday was celebrated with a 3-0 win over a worryingly poor Málaga. Good news for a fine club.

Espanyol

LLL warned those of a weak constitution that Espanyol would be making a bit of a charge into the top tier, this weekend. And so it came to pass with the Pericos beating Levante 2-1 to move into fifth. Yes. Fifth. Here’s Paul from Barcelona who was there to tell us how this craziness came to pass.

“Well, Espanyol continue the Mission Impossible. Not that the game was difficult but they are always only 10 seconds away from self-destruction.

What should have been a comfortable victory got nervy towards the end and try as they might Espanyol couldn't convert the three points into one. A fine goal by Datolo opened  the scoring and it was all Espanyol first half. Second half and a sending off for Levante which was probably deserved.

It was a cynical tackle by Xisco Nadal. A straight red, I'm not so sure. Levante were miles better with ten men. Not saying a lot. I can't believe I'm typing this, but Valdo  was looking dangerous.

Espanyol broke away and Callejon scored with his left foot, a shock to me as I hadn’t realized he had one. Levante scored about two minutes later and despite a few nervy moments and Alvaro missing a sitter, Espanyol held on.

Fifth in the League and playing well. The failure to kill off teams we are dominating will come back to haunt us. About 150 Levante fans and a bloke who looked like film director, Alex Cox, in front of me. I was going to try to put Repo Man references into the post but it was too difficult.”

Paul, Barcelona

José Ignacio Garrido and Tomás Calero

These are the names of the club doctors for Salamanca and Real Betis, who attended Sunday’s Segunda division clash expecting to do nothing more that a fix up the odd knacked knee. Instead, the pair ended up saving someone’s life.

61 minutes into Betis’ visit at Salamanca, home side midfielder, Miguel García, suddenly collapsed near the centre circle. Seconds later, both doctors were by the player’s side along with a Red Cross team. Finding that the player’s heart had stopped, they resorted to the use of a defibrillator to save García’s save.  

Hopefully, the Salamanca man will make a full recovery, although his future in the game clearly remains in doubt. But at least he is still with us, thanks to two heroes on the football pitch - a phrase that, for once, is being used in its most literal sense.  

Bad Day

Racing Santander

“Playing ugly” as the manager promised and with a five man defense didn’t get Racing very far at all on Saturday night, with Real Madrid 3-0 up after 26 minutes.

Although the 6-1 defeat drops Racing into the relegation zone, it is worth noting that the Cantabrian club has had to play Barcelona, Valencia, Villarreal, Sevilla and Real Madrid in their first eight games this season.

So this is why Racing striker, Markus Rosenberg, was not too down in the dumps when he spoke to LLL after the match. “We are coming into a phase now when we should pick up more points,” was the hope from the Swedish striker as he looked to upcoming clashes against Osasuna, Real Sociedad and Espanyol for his side.

Quique Sánchez Flores

As to be expected from a man who looks half flamenco singer / half bull-fighter, Atlético boss, Quique Sánchez Flores, has a fiery Spanish temper indeed on him. It lead to him being sent off at half-time on Sunday in the 2-0 defeat against Villarreal after apparently approaching the referee in the tunnel to complain about an incorrectly disallowed goal and some iffy penalty decisions.

The referee’s report then claims that Quique got into a bit of a bust-up with Villarreal’s match delegate who shouted “it’s always the same with you, everything is a scandal, you’re more like the fifth official.”

Quique denies the charges but admitted that he was more than miffed after the encounter. “It’s one of those days that, as a coach, you lose the will to manage.”

Valencia

Eight changes from the draw against Rangers on Wednesday, did not add freshness to the side as Unai Emery intended. Instead it lead to lethargy and no little confusion, claimed the ever-honest Valencia boss who wasn't helped by Mallorca being awarded a very soft penalty after just six minutes.

“The manager made mistakes in the first half, and in the second,” admitted Emery.

Sporting

A bit rubbish against Getafe with coach, Manuel Preciado, very upset indeed with his side after the game. Sporting have picked up just one point on their travels this season, and that is clearly irking the moustache-clad managerial master.

Deportivo

A 1-0 defeat for Deportivo against Real Sociedad with barely a shot on goal sees Miguel Angel Lotina’s men still in the relegation zone and still without a win.

Ok, technically the game does not kick off until 9 o’clock on Monday, but the blog always likes to bring its readers the news before it actually happens.

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