La Liga’s Good Day, Bad Day - Round 26

Results: (Sunday) Deportivo La Coruña 5-3 Racing Santander; Getafe 1-2 Málaga; Mallorca 3-3 Real Betis; Numancia 2-1 Valencia; Osasuna 1-2 Sporting Gijón; Recreativo Huelva 2-3 Real Valladolid; Sevilla 2-1 Almería. (Saturday) Barcelona 2-0 Athletic Bilbao; Real Madrid 1-1 Atlético Madrid; Villarreal 1-0 Espanyol.

GOOD DAYAtlético MadridQuantitative easing, yet more goals from Riki, Atlético not walking out on the pitch at the Bernabeu and offering up any hole to the opposition... La Liga Loca is in a very befuddled place at the moment.

It was a topsy-turvy derby affair on Saturday night that could have gone either way had it not been for some rubbish finishing on both sides.

"That wasn't rubbish!"

But it was almost certainly Atlético that felt most aggrieved that they did not pick up three points from Castle Greyskull for the first time in a good decade or so.

Heck, even the Madridista papers concur, with AS blasting that “Atlético pardon Madrid.” Strange days, indeed. BarcelonaAs soon as the likes of Fran Yeste were carried off the San Mamés pitch on the shoulders of bawling Basque fans on Wednesday night, it was clear that the weekend’s Camp Nou clash was going to be a battering for the Athletic players. A combination of fatigue and enormous hangovers gave Barcelona a more than handy workout and a chance to pick up their first win in five. Although the local press are all 'the happy days are here' again, La Liga Loca is not so keen to bounce around on the Barça bandwagon until it sees how Pep’s Dream Boys perform against Lyon and Almería, their next two adversaries who may offer slightly stiffer opposition than some boozed-up bottlers from Bilbao. MálagaThe 2-1 away win at Getafe sees Málaga in sixth with the survival target of 42 points achieved. “We can now take on the next games calmly,” beamed manager Antonio Tapia. La Liga Loca hopes that the club won’t be too horizontal in their approach to the final run-in, considering that with the less than brilliant likes of Valencia, Deportivo and Atlético in the UEFA Cup mix, a European berth come May is a very real possibility. SevillaStill third after a 2-1 win over Almería, still to convince and still a one man Freddie Kanouté-shaped team. NumanciaGoing down, but a perky 2-1 win over Valencia is the club’s first win after seven straight defeats. Henok GoitumTwo goals from the Swedish striker - which handily arrived before his eventual sending off - moves Valladolid onto 36 points, probably enough to guarantee another season of Primera partying. Especially considering they are playing Getafe next weekend. RikiA very good day, indeed, for the Deportivo striker who picked up two goals in a 5-3 rollick-fest against Racing.

And another very bad day for La Liga Loca after its uncanny prediction of a goalless draw for this particular encounter - a forecast that matches that of another illustrious Primera pundit who claimed the game would be the worst match in the world.

"Sirs, you misunderestimate us"

Mallorca

Three points would have been handier in their battle against relegation, but the Balearic club will probably be quite satisfied with their 3-3 draw, considering their opponents were three goals to the good with 20 minutes left. SportingSporting still refuse to lower themselves to the tedium of drawing games. Instead they picked up a very important win against Osasuna thanks to a couple of thunderous first half thwacks in Pamplona. Diego LópezIt was clear to see why Sir Alex Ferguson fancies the footballing pants of the Villarreal keeper on Saturday, after a fine display against Espanyol to scrape another victory for the still chugging Yellow Submarine.BAD DAY

ValenciaMerciful Zeus, Valencia are in a whole heap of trouble to rival that of last season when Ronald Koeman nearly took the side to La Segunda and David Albeda took them to court. The players have been told that there is no date for the payment of their salaries, the club has slipped to eighth after five matches without a win and David Villa is out for the next three to four weeks. Time to get the popcorn in and enjoy the ride. Real MadridThe absence of Pepe due to suspension turned Juande Ramos into the new Tinkerman as he attempted everything possible to avoid starting the clash against Atleti with Christoph Metzelder in the side. Instead, Ramos was moved into the centre, Lassana Diarra to right-back with Guti restored to the middle where he proceeded to do bugger all, once again, except throw his toys from the pram after his second half substitution.

"What?"

Arjen Robben

Now experiencing more boos than Ever Banega on his birthday, due to his complete unwillingness to pass to anyone else. Ever. “His narcissism has no end,” tutted Juanma Trueba in Sunday’s AS.

Kun AgüeroThere has been much discussion in the Spanish media over Kun’s penalty claims against a tugging Sergio Ramos in second half injury time. But there has been less debate on why the Atlético Madrid striker decided to just stop and strop instead of playing on when the referee failed to blow his whistle. Twerp. Samuel Eto’oLady Gaga rather than Lady Luck appears to have taken up residence in Samuel Etoo’s abode. Of course, if that were real rather than a metaphorical allusion, then we’d probably not see hair nor hide from the Barcelona ace for the next four months. Judging by the highlights, the Cameroon striker appeared to have 57 shots on goal against Athletic on Saturday night - all of them missed.

"Gah!"

Espanyol

“If they didn’t pick up points on Saturday night, when will they?” asks Tomás Guasch in AS after watching the penalty-missing Pericos lose 1-0 to Villarreal. Perhaps Paul from Barcelona can answer this conundrum. “When it ain't your day, it ain't your day. So, 3,000 (15-20,000 by British standards) made the 3-4 hour trip down the coast to Villarreal, all paid for courtesy of the Espanyol players."On arrival, we were given a guide-book explaining 'What to do in Villarreal.' I say book, it was actually a piece of A4 with the words 'F**k All' written on it."So to the match. Villarreal dominated the first 10 minutes and just as Espanyol were getting on top, another Kameni howler gave them a goal. Dithering like Mavis Riley, he allowed Fuentes a free header to score."That was pretty much it from Villarreal. Espanyol dominated the rest of the match. Diego López had the game of his life. Tamudo missed a difficult half volley from eight yards and then Luis García missed a penalty after a clear foul on the excellent Nene (as was Rufete). "Try as they might, Espanyol just couldn't get the break. Yet again. No luck and a goalkeeper in inspired form. Kameni touched the ball twice and one of them was picking it out of the net.

"The other was a great save. We played Villarreal off the park and really should have won. No justice in football."The Espanyol fans were magnificent. Non-stop singing. Without them it would have been like playing behind closed doors.

"Thought the ref was brilliant. Wasn't biased and played the advantage really well. Dear Federation.. this is all we ask for.

"Big big match against Mallorca. Really have to win. If we play like this we should be fine. Just need a break.”Paul, BarcelonaGetafeLa Liga Loca’s spy down at the Coliseum said Getafe did everything they could to win Sunday night’s encounter at Málaga, but instead ended up with a defeat that sees them without a win in six. BetisJust three points away from the drop-zone, Betis’ three goal lead-blowing against Mallorca could be very costly indeed for Betis come Judgement Day. José Antonio Camacho“It was a final and we lost it,” grumbled the Osasuna manager after the 2-1 defeat to Sporting, “but there are 12 left.” La Liga Loca says that if that’s the case then the match CAN’T HAVE BEEN A FINAL IN THE FIRST PLACE!! Doofus.

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