Monday’s Good Day, Bad Day – Round 13

Results Getafe 3-1 Real Madrid; Sevilla 0-3 Barcelona; Athletic Bilbao 2-0 Numancia; Atletico Madrid 4-1 Racing Santander; Espanyol 0-1 Sporting Gijón; Malaga 4-2 Osasuna; Recreativo Huelva 1-2 Villarreal; Real Valladolid CF 3-0 Mallorca; Almeria 0-1 Deportivo La Coruña; Valencia 3 - 2 Real Betis – reports here

GOOD DAY

Getafe

Seven days ago, after Getafe’s terrific Camp Nou draw, La Liga Loca opined that the team's fans should be bowing their heads in shame for booing their boys against Sevilla, a fortnight ago.

The blog now calls upon the same sorry group to kneel before Victor Muñoz and offer him their most attractive daughters.

Not only did Getafe show for the umpteenth time that Real Madrid are their talk-to-the-hand-girlfriend ‘bee-atches’, but the players also gained payback for last year’s Coliseum clash where they battered the opposition goal but lost out 1-0.

Hero of the hour was Juan Albín, a near incomprehensible Uruguayan youngster who scored two and set up the third and, for those ‘Romance of the FA Cup’ types, lives in Getafe itself and often wanders home from training in his tracksuit. Brings a tear to the eye.

The one big disappointing downer on Getafe’s dazzling day was Angel Torres’ decision to force season ticket holders to pay 30 Euros to watch the clash and everyone else between 60-100 Euros.

“Greedy so-and-so,” said Marca of the not-reading-the-financial-pages Getafe president after just 8,000 turned up to watch a famous victory.

"That's knocked him out of focus"

Barcelona

Although it's the all-singing, all-dancing, Dream Boy starting 11 that is making the most waves for Barcelona, it must be noted that the bench-warmers are also delivering a great deal to the club’s sensational success. 

As well as being able to bring on seasoned subs like Keita, Sylvinho, Gudjohnsen and Hleb, Pep Guardiola can also count on plucky home-grown youngsters such as Bojan, Pedro and Busquets. So when a tactical change is made – or when Eto’o gets bored – it rarely leaves the side in a weaker state.

Valencia

Off the pitch, it appears that the club could be in deep financial doo-doo. On it, Unai Emery has managed to steady a slightly wobbling ship with a goalless draw at Sevilla last week and a 3-2 win over Betis in a cracking and free-to-air-in-Spain encounter on Sunday night.

A comfortable first half for the home side was followed by a battering by Betis that saw the Mestalla men lose their 2-0 advantage.

But despite being down to 10 men, Valencia soothed the nerves of their notoriously niggly home fans with a winner from Ruben Baraja.

As the Mestalla manager mused after the encounter, “It was a game of two halves”.

Emery: "No! Noooo!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!"

Diego Forlán

When Atlético have their strongest 11 playing – and playing well – the rojiblancos are a darned fine side, especially at home, where they have conceded just five goals in seven. It’s the 14 strikes that have sailed past them away from home that's problematical.

Sunday was another fine day in the office for Diego Forlán, who scored a brace and set up the others in the 4-1 win over Racing.

In doing so, he became the most successful Uruguayan striker in the history of La Liga, although the ignorant blog is unsure what kind of competition he had.

Fernando Llorente

The player once booed and barracked by the San Mamés socios is now the last, best chance of Athletic avoiding slipping into the Segunda.

His brace against Numancia was the blonde bombshell’s fourth and fifth of the season and topped off a fine few weeks which saw him make his debut for Spain. In place of the other Llorente, as the blog still believes.

Sunday’s victory lifts Athletic out of the bottom three and takes away a teeny, tiny part of the pressure on Joaquín Caparrós. Not that the madcap manager is feeling it, mind, seeing as he doesn’t follow Spain’s sporting press.

“I know all about the American elections, the stock market, the financial crisis... this is what I read about”, said the Athletic manager before Sunday’s win.

Llorente (right): "Oh, now you like me?"

Villarreal

La Liga Loca is channelling the spirit of Keggy Keegan and would love it, just love it, if Villarreal won the the title this season.

But sadly, it suspects that the club will be quite content with another top-four finish. However, it will be happy to be proved wrong during the upcoming face-offs against their title rivals.

Deportivo

Seventh! Still not sure why or how, as the blog refuses to watch more than a minute of them, at any given time. Bad for the health, you know. But a pat on their Galician backs, nonetheless.

Valladolid

Despite manager José Mendilibar’s pre-match nannying about overconfidence among his players, Valladolid’s Dad’s Army chalked up their fourth win in five thanks to two opening goals from García Calvo (33) and Vivar Dorado (34).

BAD DAY

Guti

The almond-brained midfielder was playing his 500th competitive – in its widest sense – game for Madrid on Saturday, and it was match that summed up everything that people both admire and hate about José María Gutiérrez Hernández.

Like most of his team-mates, Guti played a disgracefully casual game, often at walking pace, as seen with the way Madrid started the second half. It was a team that thought it was 6-0 up.

Passes were misplaced and Guti rarely showed any inclination to get the ball back, apart from one magic moment when he won a tackle on the edge of the Getafe box and slipped in a perfect pass for Saviola to score.

And that was a reminder of what Guti is capable of. When he can be bothered, he is one of the best passers of the ball in the business. His no-look pass is a joy when it comes off. But these days those moments are almost an annual event.

"Heh heh!"

Luis Fabiano

Is it us, or is Luis Fabiano not at the races this season? Saturday night’s sending off was his second of the season and leaves Sevilla with just one fit striker to take on Real Madrid at the Bernabeu next weekend. That’ll probably be enough, mind.

Perhaps the highlight of his red card rage was the sight of him having a hand clamped around his expletive-spouting mouth by the Sevilla match delegate who then dragged him off into the tunnel.

Tintin Marquez

La Liga Loca may have been two or three months late with its prediction of Tintin Marquez’s demise, but a fourth successive defeat means the Espanyol manager is packing his Perico bags. Here’s Paul from Barcelona to tell us all about it.

“Regular readers (you don’t even have to be that regular, considering the season - LLL) know I put my hands up when we are bad. So, to continue this metaphor, imagine me both hands up and waving furiously.

An awful game settled by a sweet strike from Carmelo. Spanish speakers will know how close that is to being a great pun. 300-odd Sporting fans were there to see their team steal three points from a disjointed Espanyol lacking quality, pace, fight and any other number of adjectives used to describe good football teams.

Second half, Espanyol were clearly the better side but never really threatened. So hopefully this will be the end of Tintin Marquez, who has always been the cheap option rather than a good one. The new manager will have to take over a squad that has only five decent players out of 23. Lack of investment in the team is killing us. How can Getafe get Granero and Soldado, while we get Nene?

It can't really get any worse and maybe relegation isn't that bad. It did wonders for Sevilla.

Stray cat count: Zero – I think Tim should investigate.” --- Paul, Barcelona

Almería, Mallorca

Apparently the word ‘meh’ has entered the dictionary meaning a feeling of indifference and apathy. Add Almeria’s and Mallorca’s seasons so far to the definition.

Recreativo, Osasuna, Numancia

And that, dear readers, is how the bottom three will look in May. Probably.

Betis

This feels wrong just writing it, but La Liga Loca actually felt a little bit sorry for Betis, on Sunday night, after they came back from two goals down to lose out 3-2. The blog hopes the very unsettling experience is never repeated.

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