La Liga’s Good Day, Bad Day - Round 9

WEEKEND RESULTS Saturday Oct 31: Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Atlético Madrid, Deportivo Xerez 0-2 Sevilla, Osasuna 1-1 Barcelona, Real Madrid 2-0 Getafe. Sunday Nov 01: Deportivo La Coruña 1-1 Sporting Gijón, Espanyol 1-1 Real Valladolid, Málaga 0-1 Valencia, Mallorca 1-0 Racing Santander, Real Zaragoza 2-1 Almería, Villarreal 5-0 Tenerife. Details here

Good Day

Ernesto Valverde

With back-to-back victories, Villarreal have crawled out of their foxhole of doom and out of the relegation zone.

The wins may only have been against bottom-feeders Málaga and struggling Tenerife, but as the huge sigh of relief from manager Ernesto Valverde showed as goal number three of five went in, he won’t really care.

César Sánchez

The 38-year-old Valencia goalkeeper. Y'know, the one Harry Redknapp referred to as “the Spanish lad” during his short time at Spurs last season.

He came in for Carlos Moyá in round six of la Liga and has yet to concede a goal since replacing his now bench-bound, expensively purchased colleague.

The former Madrid man’s fourth clean sheet in a row in the league came in a 1-0 win at Málaga and sees Valencia bounding after the top three like a panting puppy thanks to 10 points from the last 12.

Gonzalo Higuaín, Alvaro Negredo

Now, La Liga Loca isn't going to leap on the “Benzema is bad” bandwagon after just a handful of games - he clearly isn’t.

But is he better than the two players listed here?

They both suffered from the Frenchman’s arrival at the Bernabeu, with Higuain sidelined and Negredo flogged.

But they scored three prize peaches of goals between them over the weekend to let Madrid and Sevilla close the gap on Barcelona at the top.

Manuel Pellegrini

Not only did he mastermind a 2-0 win over dangerous opposition, under enormous personal pressure, and with just 10 players after the ludicrous sending off of Raúl Albiol.

But he also dropped Guti’s booty for the game against Getafe and Tuesday’s clash against AC Milan.

It’s a shame that Madrid couldn’t give the real reason for his exiling of his pea-brained player.

Instead, Pellegrini had to come out with some blurb at Friday’s press conference about Guti being injured.

Which would have been fine had the man himself not said he was good to go, just 20 minutes before.


Sitting happily in fifth with a whopping 17 points already in their Balearic bag.

Mallorca’s 1-0 win over Racing sees them having won five from five at the Ono Estadi with just one goal conceded.

Once again, it’s a shame that just 12,600 bothered to turn up to see it.

Athletic Bilbao

A somewhat predictable ball lobbed into the box for Javi Martínez put an end to a tough old run for Athletic Bilbao with a 1-0 win against Atlético, their first league victory in six.

Manuel Preciado

Deportivo manager Miguel Angel Lotina may not have enjoyed Sunday night's 1-1 draw against Sporting, saying that he will never have any respect for referee Pérez Burrull until he retires, but his counterpart Preciado did.

“I loved the atmosphere,” beamed the Sporting boss praising the 8,000 fans who travelled to La Coruña.

Bad Day

Gerard Piqué

Who’d have thought seeing Victor Valdés being hit in the face by the ball could be so amusing?

Gerard Piqué’s late, late own goal in the 1-1 draw against Osasuna was a fantastic sight to see, not just because of the intrinsic comedy value of the blunder but it keeps the title race nice and open with Real Madrid just one point behind.

There was nothing so entertaining last season, than seeing an increasingly agitated Catalan press whine like little girls as Real Madrid hung on to Barcelona's coat-tails with a string of 17 bruising, battling wins from 18 while the pretty - oh, so pretty - Catalan club flounced through their matches like the complete tarts that they are.

A repeat performance from the Barça press would be a treat indeed.


Some open questions from La Liga Loca to the Getafe manager, Spain’s equivalent of Bryan Robson in that he only gets gigs due to his fame as a player.

  • Why play Manu del Moral from the start? He’s a waste of space. Always has been, always will be.
  • Do you think standing on the touchline for 90 minutes actually makes people think you have any idea of what you are doing?
  • The double pivot of Boateng and Celestini was working well. Do you think that the removal of the Ghana midfielder and Higuaín scoring seconds later could be linked?
  • You throw Adrían on as a sub and not Javier Casquero. Is one of them being your son anything to do with the reason why?
  • How many times are we going to hear players say “we lack character” this season?
  • Do you beat Roberto Soldado round the head after every game for every sitter he misses? If not, why not?

Atlético Madrid

The blog doesn’t think it could have scripted the week ahead any better for Atlético Madrid.

Saturday’s defeat to Athletic Bilbao sees the Rojiblancos down in the relegation zone, facing a Tuesday night trauma against a Chelsea side whose Premier League pants are on fire, and then welcoming their dear neighbours Real Madrid next weekend.

And you will be able to follow both those encounters in a special “Let’s all laugh at Atleti” double Twitterfest live from the Vicente Calderón.

Twitter links: Follow La Liga Loca (and, while you're at it, FourFourTwo)


Ha! With Espanyol hanging on to a 1-0 win over Valladolid in a bright encounter, Paul from Barcelona knew that doom lay just around the corner.

“Like watching a car crash or a Barça fan with a revolving door, you know it's not going to end well. So it was watching Espanyol's comedy for the last five minutes today.

"After dominating for most of the game and being one up thanks to Luis García's smartly taken goal, all they had to do was keep the ball against a very limited Valladolid side.

"But no. That would be too easy. I know, let's give them the ball as much as possible and see if they can do what they haven’t remotely threatened to do for nearly 90 minutes, one free kick against the bar aside.

"You know the rest.

1) A gift of two points to Valladolid who will finish lower half, just above relegation. 100 odd fans.2) Spain's famous referee - famous for being cr** - Mejuto González, was as per normal. Where he got four minutes injury time from, I have noidea. One poor Valladolid player was booked for diving when he hadn't appealed for a penalty. He'd just fallen over. Nothing malicious.3) Never mind 40 goals, if Manucho scores four I'd be amazed.4) A positive point: As my mate Nick said, in the last few years we would have lost that match. We are definitely moving forward."

Paul, Barcelona


A side that has fitted a secret Stealth Cr*p device with people only now just realising that they are fourth from bottom of the table with just one win all season.

Racing’s latest defeat came on Sunday afternoon at the hands of Mallorca.

Jermaine Pennant

Pulled up with a hamstring injury after just 25 minutes in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Almería.

The Zaragoza winger is not having the best of times in the first few months of his Iberian adventure.

Hopefully things will get a little bit better soon.

--------------------------------------------- More to read...

NEW! Stats: La Liga results, fixtures & tableLa Liga Loca homeBlogs home Latest Spain newsNews homeInterviews homeForums homeFollow La Liga Loca on TwitterFollow on Twitter