La Liga’s Good Day, Bad Day - Round 3

 GOOD DAY

Athletic Bilbao

When La Liga Loca heard that Athletic had beaten Villarreal 3-2, it instinctively knew, deep down in its cockles, that one of those goals would be a header from a cross.

It was wrong. It was two. Still proving that most Spanish sides really don’t like it up ‘em, Athletic have maintained their 100% record with opening wins against Espanyol, Xerez and now Villarreal making them the last of la Liga’s also-rans to manage this feat after three rounds of action.

“Apart from the last twenty minutes we were magnificent,” beamed manager, Joaquín Caparrós, after Sunday’s sinking of the Yellow Submarine.

Fernando Llorente

Four goals in the last two games - including the side’s victory over Austria Vienna - is a promising start for a striker who could well be packing his bags, come the summer, as Spain’s fourth forward for South Africa.

Sevilla

Without a win in Pamplona since the 92-93 season, it would have taken some kind of brilliant, intuitive, dashingly handsome genius to have forecast a victory for Sevilla against Osasuna, this weekend.

But that’s exactly what La Liga Loca did. Oh yes. Unfortunately, these uncanny powers of prediction soon abandoned the blog with what was a rather poor performance of just four correct guesses from ten. Stupid Getafe.

Mallorca

Of course, a pre-season La Liga Loca fretted over the survival chances of a team it claimed had one of their weakest squads ever.

Of course, Mallorca are in the Champions League places after picking up seven points from nine.

However, the current lofty position is a little false (let’s hope so for all that’s good and great in the Spanish game) as Mallorca’s two home matches have been against newly-promoted Xerez and Tenerife and they should have been tonked by some margin by Villarreal in their one away tie.

Real Madrid, Barcelona

A cursory nod in these two teams' directions, once again, after very different victories over Xerez and Atlético Madrid - a couple of sides that the blog will politely describe as footballing cannon fodder, at the moment.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy

But La Liga Loca will gladly make space for a special welcome back to the Godlike genius of Ruud Van Nistelrooy, who returned to league action after ten months out with knee-knack and took just nine minutes to make his mark after coming on as a sub.

Unfortunately, it looks like the Dutchman could be out for a month having crocked himself in the goal-getting process.

Leo Messi

And to keep the Barcelona fans in the house happy blog bunnies, Messi wasn't bad either against Atleti.

Espanyol

Pochettino was making no sense at all on Saturday night, but who can blame him after Espanyol’s first points of the season in a 3-2 away win over Deportivo. “This is a very important result that doesn’t mean anything yet,” claimed the Espanyol boss.

Almería, Valladolid, Racing Santander

And it’s a blog pat on the back for this titanic trio who all picked up their first victories of the new campaign.

Sporting

And it’s ‘go go gadget Sporting!’ after they managed four points from their last two games, the latest being from a fine draw against Valencia whilst down to ten men.

 

BAD DAY

Xerez

In La Liga Loca’s Twit-Fest (in the non-Guti sense) on Sunday night from the Bernabeu, if Xerez had a half-decent striker then they could be fine and dandy, this season.

But in their three matches so far, lots of pretty, pretty build-up play has led to nothing at all for a team that it is still without a point. But more importantly, without a goal.

However, as El País wrote, “the angels of Ziganda gave themselves a massage in self-esteem for 75 minutes” in Real Madrid’s less than happy home.

Xerez must - and deserve - to do better.

Atlético Madrid

Now one mustn’t laugh at another team’s misfortunes, but sometimes it’s just downright rude not to. Atletico’s hopes of a solid performance in the Camp Nou on Saturday night, to steady their sinking ship, took a blow just seconds into the encounter with Thierry Henry smacking the bar. And it didn’t get much better than that.

“Forgiving Barcelona is like letting your girlfriend have dinner with Brad Pitt. A bad idea and a bad ending,” wrote Iñaki Díaz-Guerra in AS. “Atlético’s defence was made of margarine,” complained his colleague, Vicente Carreño.

Atletico Madrid were so bad in the first half that despite being 4-0 up, Pep Guardiola was caught by the cameras muttering “we’re playing horribly, today” to his assistants.

Lady Gago

Utterly rubbish, rubbish, rubbish from beginning to end. The Real Madrid fans knew it. Team-mates knew it. AS knew it. Marca knew it.

Heck, even Manuel Pellegrini knew it, with the paper claiming that this most mediocre of midfielders was not substituted during the Xerez match to save him from a torrent boos and hisses from the Bernabeu stands.

Osasuna

Although José Camacho will moan until he is blue in the face about referees - and that takes some doing considering his Fergie-style red glow - the Osasuna manager can have no complaints over his brilliantly filthy side’s latest red card.

Osasuna’s third dismissal in just three games was fully justified after Sergio brutally hacked at his man late in the second half after they were already 2-0 down to Sevilla.

Valencia

And that’s why Valencia are so frackin’ annoying. A home match against Sporting who were down to ten men for an hour. 2-1 up with just five minutes to go. An easy peasy three points one would have thought.

But no. A equaliser from Gregory sees the Mestalla men lose ground on the top two simply because they “lost control of the midfield” according to Unai Emery and “relaxed at 2-1” says David Villa.

Villarreal

Still without a league win and in possession of a worryingly wobbly back four. But Villarreal have a chance to kick-start their season with the visit of Real Madrid on Wednesday night.

Getafe

It’s a Michel Out! Michel Out! Michel Out! day after a 1-0 defeat away at Almería.

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