Monday’s Good Day, Bad Day - Round 14

GOOD DAYRecreativoThose crazy folk on the blog who have been noting that Recreativo are not as rubbish as their lowly position suggested - the reverse situation currently being enjoyed by Deportivo - can slap themselves on the back, as they have been proved right with the free-scoring Huelvans giving Mallorca a 3-2 kicking in the Balearics to lift them off the bottom. Thierry HenryStill a deeply unlovable, unhuggable figure but it was nice to see another week of complaining and cry-babying ending with a hat-trick on Saturday night. And another bout of wrist-kissing, of course. Aside from that, there isn’t too much else to be said about Barcelona by the rapidly-running-out-of-ideas-blog at the moment. Better than the rest of the clubs in the Primera (except Getafe) put together. And with hundreds and thousands sprinkled on top.

"I'll hug you, Terry" 

Diego ForlánThe Atlético Madrid striker’s footballing pants are so on fire he should have Maniche trundling around behind him with an extinguisher. Forlán scored two and set up two more against Racing last weekend, and he was just as sensational on Saturday night with another couple against Sporting. His partnership with Kun is the best in the world, say Marca, “in spite of Javier Aguirre.” The rojiblancos are now unbeaten in 12 and have scored 33 goals in 14 games. But none of that will prevent at least two more “Aguirre Out” campaigns in the press before the end of the season. DeportivoDespite Miguel Angel Lotina’s pre-match fist pumping - “we’re tired, without spark and suffering from so many games. I’m worried” - Deportivo picked up win number five from six after a 2-0 victory over Málaga. But the bright light shining over this very worrying statistic is that there’s a fair chance they’ll move above Madrid next weekend. Which would be quite funny. SevillaNot a brilliant performance - their display to beat Atlético at the Calderón was more controlled and effective - but a fine win at the Bernabeu nonetheless and a very, very happy Manolo Jiménez after the game. Manolo makes a point or three

Esteban GraneroAfter sulking for much of the season after his Real Madrid rejection last summer, the Pirate has built on last weekend’s win over his former club to get his footballing juices flowing again and put in a cracking performance against Villarreal. Achille EmanaOne of the most impressive players of the new season scores for the fifth game in a row for Betis. (La Liga Loca now has to kick a tramp - see Friday's predictions). EspanyolA point away at Betis represents a very good day indeed for the Pericos, despite them falling into the bottom three. And Paul from Barcelona was there to watch it. “Cold, Wet and Foggy are not all characters in Last of The Summer Wine but conditions here in Seville for Betis vs Espanyol.The new look Espanyol started nervously but then, with surprise inclusion De La Peña pulling the strings, they started to control the game. Second half with De la Peña injured/rested, Betis came into it more and scored through a shot from the edge of the area from Emana. Did Espanyol crumble? Nope. We played OK and deserved our equaliser, when Nene dribbled past a couple of defenders (usual) and played a great pass (very rare) to Coro about 10 yards out and he finished well.1) Credit to both teams in awful conditions. They both played well and gave us an entertaining match.2) What is it with Betis fans and bottles? One was thrown at Kameni. Kameni said it was a bloke with a mullet. The police replied we have 26,000 fans under suspicion. 3) Espanyol looked a lot better. They tried to keep their shape and with Rufete and De La Peña we created more yesterday than in the last three weeks.”-- Paul, BarcelonaBAD DAYReal MadridOn Sunday, the club took their last remaining tattered shred of dignity - which had been kept on a cushion in Castle Greyskull - stuffed it into a big old cannon and blasted it into space. It was last spotted floating past Jupiter. But the positive point for the club was that the ceremonial self-destruction was a true team effort with everyone from the president to the ticket-paying fans getting involved. The day started with a rancourous General Assembly meeting which featured what appeared to be hundreds of very irate taxi drivers shouting at Ramón Calderón. Their attention later turned on those sitting beyond and above them in the exhibition hall - the Ultras Sur, who had somehow found their way into the meeting (an open fire escape perhaps) and were shouting fairly unpleasant abuse at the rebelling ‘socios’ below them. The decision to allow the far-right group in was “unforgivable”, writes AS editor Alfredo Relaño. “I don’t like the way they used Ultras for intimidation,” complained Tomás Roncero in the same paper. “Perfect organisation,” declared Marca’s Roberto Gómez, who – if he sinks any lower – will soon pop out of the ground in New Zealand. But the real fireworks were saved for the evening, when Madrid were turned over in the Bernabeu and saw four Sevilla strikes fly past them and Arjen Robben see red. La Liga Loca has listened to the Bernabeu crowd boo the players off the pitch before, but never as they came out, as happened before the second half kicked off. To finish off a fine day, there was the icing on a very entertaining cake - Bernd Schuster’s fair, but probably unwise, prediction that Madrid could be creamed in the Camp Nou next weekend. Good work all round. Bernd: at the stake? 

Iker CasillasBallon d’Or anyone?ValenciaOf course, Barcelona were very good on Saturday night, but their cause was made that much easier by a Valencia side that barely lifted a finger of effort in a truly poor performance.“Valencia formed part of the watching public, but didn’t have to pay for a ticket,” complained Pedro Morata in AS. OsasunaClawing their way back from 2-0 down to draw and then lose 4-2 against Málaga must have hurt last weekend. So only merciful Zeus himself can know how they must be feeling, having taken a 3-0 lead against Valladolid on Sunday only to see it pegged back to 3-3. “What’s happening at Osasuna this season is unbelievable,” sighed manager, José Antonio Camacho as he poured his first Tequila of the evening and put his Glasvegas CD on loop. Villarreal, GetafeHard to know where to put these teams after their cracking 3-3 draw on Saturday night. Should Getafe for be praised for going 3-0 up in el Madrigal, or damned for losing it? And vice versa for Villarreal. Villarreal manager, Manuel Pellegrini is very much in the second camp. “Despite the sacrifice of my team, it does nothing for me,” moped the Chilean coach. Germán LuxWith first choice Mallorca keeper, Moya, out for the next two months, this was Germán Lux’s big chance. And boy, did he blow it with a disastrous display in a 3-2 home defeat to Recreativo.  The white flags were out in force at the Ono Estadi with the fans calling for club president, Vicente Grande to leave - a fairly pointless point for the home faithful to make, considering the club’s owner has been trying to sell up and ship out for some time now.

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