La Liga’s Good Day, Bad Day - Round 14

Weekend results: Barcelona 1-0 Espanyol, Valencia 2-3 Real Madrid, Sporting 0-1 Sevilla, Atletico Madrid 1-2 Villarreal, Almeria 1-1 Deportivo La Coruna, Getafe 2-1 Tenerife, Osasuna 0-1 Mallorca, Racing 3-2 Xerez, Valladolid 1-1 Malaga, Zaragoza 1-2 Athletic Bilbao.

Good Day 

Madridista Conspiracy Theories

As soon as Xavi tumbled to the ground in the Camp Nou on Saturday night having fallen victim to nothing more sinister than his own bootlaces, the sporting hacks in Capital City must have been jumping up and down on their desks in joy like chimps at the chance to suggest that Barça had bought their victory in the Camp Nou clash.

Cunningly passing over a dramatic penalty-producing tumble from Cristiano Ronaldo the previous week, both Marca and AS used the same ‘joke’ to suggest that referee Iturralde González was “Messi for the day” in the Argentinean player’s absence.

Sadly, the response was equally predictable in the Catalan camp, with their journalists either contractually obliged or under horrendous duress to talk utter nonsense in the face of the facts that Xavi simply fell on his Catalan arse to win his penalty.

“Iturralde was correct on this occasion, although you can understand the Espanyol anger,” was the response from Mundo Deportivo’s Santi Nolla, once his knackers had been put into a vice by Joan Laporta.

Meanwhile, it was thumbscrews that did the job for Sport’s José Luis Carazo, who yelps that “it was a penalty! Baena pulled on Xavi’s shirt which made him fall to the floor.”

Gonzalo Higuaín

With Florentino Pérez being ludicrously childish, it probably annoys the heck out of the Real Madrid president that it is a Ramón Calderón signing that is the proper player of the season so far for the Castle Greyskull club.

And Florentino being fed-up can only be a very good thing.

Having being pushed to the sidelines at the start of the campaign, the Argentinean forward has now scored eight in eight in la Liga, the last two coming in Madrid’s admittedly impressive 3-2 win in Mestalla against Valencia.

The undrop-ability of Higuaín and an improved display from Karim Benzema means that it will continue to be a bad day for super sub Raúl.

However, the Madrid captain still has his sycophantic support in the shape of Marca’s Roberto Gómez, who attacked the Valencia crowd on Saturday night.

“Raúl returned and he deserves it. But above all, he deserves the respect of everyone, including the Valencia supporters who greeted him with unjustified boos and jeers.”

Ezequiel Garay

“I’ve no idea how I scored it. I almost didn’t see it go in,” admitted the scorer of Madrid’s winner in Mestalla.

Iker Muniain

There is a new challenger in town to Barcelona’s “mmm, we produce all our own players and are successful” insufferable smugness title.

And that’s Athletic Bilbao.

The Basque club’s two strikes in the 2-1 win over Zaragoza - in an awful game, by the way - came from their cantera in the form of Susaeta and San José.

However, both were created by the most promising young talent in la Liga - the Bojan curse, perhaps - Iker Muniain.

The player who will be turning 17 this weekend celebrated the signing of a seven-year contract with the club and a goal last weekend with two assists.

However, AS note that “the future star of Spanish football still needs a driver to get him to the training ground.”

Mallorca

“They should make a statue of Gregorio Manzano,” claim AS as Mallorca claimed their first away win of the season at Osasuna, that moves them into fifth with an astonishing 27 points.

Málaga

A point at Valladolid for Málaga in a 1-1 draw is just fine for the struggling Southern side, but it could have been a lot better had it not been for some insanely poor finishing.

And the blog is looking at you Mr Obinna.

Racing Santander

Almost in the Bad Day section having suffered the embarrassment of conceding two against Xerez in Sunday’s win, but back-to-back victories for the Cantabrian club sees Racing out of the relegation zone and into 15th.

Juan Albín

La Liga Loca has failed to see why a whole gaggle of clubs - mainly in Italy - would be interested in purchasing the Getafe forward, as most of his performances for the Coliseum club have been fairly indifferent.

However, the Uruguayan stepped up against Tenerife on Sunday and filled Roberto Soldado’s hole - metaphorically speaking - with two goals to move Getafe into 8th and halfway to safety with 21 points.

“We saw the best version of Albín today,” says Getafe manager Michel after a close encounter.

David Fuster

In a topic that La Liga Loca may develop later in the week, if it can muster the energy required, one of the themes of this season in Spain has been young, talented strikers coming to the fore.

Another one of these prepubescent Primeristas is Villarreal’s David Fuster, who rattled Atlético’s cage three times in the opening seven minutes before popping up with his side’s opener in the 2-1 win at the Vicente Calderón.

Sevilla

The Andalusian side are now in grinding rather than growling mode as they stumble towards the Christmas break, but pulled off a handy 1-0 win away at Sporting on Sunday night to move them back into third.

Bad Day

Atlético Madrid

Now that was funny.

Having got to the 91st minute mark holding a thoroughly undeserved 1-1 draw against Villarreal, Atleti decided that justice had to be done and allowed Joseba Llorente to rise like a half-hearted salmon to grab a winner for the visitors.

In a game where you could have sworn Diego Forlán wasn’t playing despite his name being on the team-sheet, Atlético were nowhere and so unrelentingly awful that Sport have penned an editorial simply called “Now what?”

Before the match, Quique Sánchez Flores warned that Atleti had far from made a full recovery and he was quite right to do so.

“It’s not easy to play at the Calderón,r” sighed the manager after the defeat. “The fans are tired, fed up and impatient.”

And so is Mr President too, with news that Enrique Cerezo spent half-an-hour in the dressing room to “demand answers.”

La Liga Loca doubts that the rojiblanco plank even knew what the questions were.

Pepe

Oh dear. A season and potentially World Cup-ending cruciate ligament injury was the reward for Pepe’s efforts in Mestalla, on Saturday night.

“An injury that no-one wanted to see,” wrote a sympathetic Sport.

Espanyol

To be fair, it wasn’t just Madridista hacks who were jumping up and down like imbeciles at Xavi’s spectacular tumble in the Catalan derby - La Liga Loca was too at the thought at some fierce Perico fury from Paul from Barcelona.

“Like the Spanish bloke who called the police because the jazz concert he was at wasn't ‘jazzy’ enough, I too feel I should call the cops after witnessing a robbery on Saturday night.

It should be a slam dunk as there were 80,000 other witnesses too.

What a shambles football is becoming. My favourite quote comes from the big fraud himself, Xavi.

"It was a clear penalty, it's that you didn't see it". Indeed.

Needless to say, the ref then sent off Baena in the tunnel for telling him that he should "watch it again on TV." Genius

Some things I learned on Saturday night.

1) That Barça without Messi are there for the taking.2) Pep is becoming the new Wenger. "I didn't see it, the player told me... and I believe him".... ad nauseum.3) Ibra isn't as hard as Rongaclia. Fantastic touches but well lazy.4) Nico Pareja was the best player on the pitch.5) Espanyol played a million times better than last week and once everyone is back fit and healthy we'll be fine.6) Message to other teams. Don't roll over and lie down. Get amongst them. In the words of Clive Dunn "They don't like it up ‘em".

I leave the last word to the normally not-so-bright Luis García who said "Barça don't have to win every time". Try telling that to the refs, Luis.”

Paul, Barcelona

Marcelino

The fans didn’t want it. The players didn’t want it. But the president and owner, who apparently both know best, did.

So that’s why Marcelino, the man who gave up a perfectly good job at Racing Santander to help Zaragoza out of la Segunda, has been sacked after just 14 league games in charge.

A club that La Liga Loca always used to quite like has now joined Betis on the blog hit-list. Along with Barça, Real Madrid, Atlético, Valencia, Depor.....

Xerez

The bottom-hugging team have already lost their Round 15 game against Barcelona even before the matchday begins.

That’s how bad Xerez are this season.

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