Monday’s Good Day, Bad Day - Round 16

GOOD DAY

Osasuna

“They deserve to end the year with a bit of happiness,” grinned, Osasuna coach, José Antonio Camacho after his side’s 5-2 spanking of Getafe.

Unfortunately, the result is likely to be a fortuitous fluke rather than the shape of things to come for Osasuna, considering the state of the holiday-happy opposition - a team who could have fielded 10 sand bags and Susan Sarandon to better effect.

Maximiliano Rodríquez

Despite being a regular fixture for Argentina and the scorer of one of the best strikes in the last World Cup, any assessment of the Atlético Madrid captain has always brought about a shrug of indifference from La Liga Loca.

But not anymore. Little Maxi topped off a fine season so far with two goals on Saturday in his 200th Primera game. And against his former side, no less - a side whose supporters didn’t exactly offer the midfielder a warm welcome on his entrance during the 3-2 defeat at the Montjuic.

Atlético have now gone 15 games unbeaten in all competitions and have achieved their aim of celebrating Christmas in the Champions League places. And that’s good news for the players on their upcoming holidays says Javier Aguirre.

“They can go to bed whenever they want and not worry about being 200g overweight,” announced the delighted Mexican manager, as Maniche did a one-man conga around the press room.

Deportivo

See! This is just spooky. On Friday, La Liga Loca predicted that no matter what Deportivo did this weekend, they would end up in seventh. And so it comes to pass after a 4-1 win over Recreativo and the jammiest goal Lopo will ever score.

“If we keep on playing with this level of intensity... then we’ll be an interesting team,” mused Miguel Angel Lotina. “No, no you won’t,” is La Liga Loca’s reply.

Numancia

There’ll be some sore heads in Soria on Monday morning. And not because the local chemical plant has had a dodgy discharge.

Instead, it’s down to an incredible six-minute comeback against Valladolid which saw the home side running off the pitch with their heads held high after a 4-3 win in a game where they were 3-1 down after 83 minutes.

Barcelona

La Liga Loca had a feeling that Villarreal would be able to beat Barcelona, but it was quite wrong - suggesting order has once again been restored to the universe. ‘Great victory’, ‘dominating’, ‘professionalism’, blah, blah blah.

Arjen Robben

The diving Dutchman was a waif’s Wispa bar from being in the Bad Day section despite some cracking play at the Bernabeu on Saturday night.

Madrid’s 1-0 win could have been so much more had their chances been taken and had the Dutch winger not fannied around so much and tried passing once in a while. Then again, the match could easily have been a draw.

“Robben’s monologue was a mixture of brilliant actions and notable mistakes,” wrote Santiago Segurola in Marca in a fair description of a frustrating, but at times fine performance.

Sevilla

An overly defensive performance say AS in describing their goalless draw away at Mallorca, but the point gained puts Sevilla in second place going into the winter break.

And that’s not bad at all for a team that were in crisis after their recent UEFA Cup exit, according to Sunday morning’s Marca.

BAD DAY

Espanyol

After a rotten 2008, La Liga Loca is contemplating renaming this section in honour of the Perico club. But for now, here’s Paul from Barcelona with a short but sweet description of Espanyol’s latest letdown.

“Played really well. No luck x incompetent referee = defeatA lot of you would have seen this one. Tell me! Am I right or wrong?Try to check out the Nene goal that was disallowed. Absolutely brilliant.”

Paul, Barcelona

Carlos Marchena

The Valencia defender's second yellow card on Saturday night was a little harsh considering that Robben ran straight into him. But it's tough titties for a player that few supporters in Spain have any time for due to his elbow-leading, thuggish ways.

Guti

Now La Liga Loca is going to go against all its better instincts and attempt to be fair to Madrid’s walnut-brained wonder. Guti is a rare player in the game in that his sole role is to deliver the final killer ball to his strikers.

And this means that nine out of 10 of his passes are bound to be a little wayward. However, this is excusable as it is the ‘one’ that counts. Especially last season, when Guti made the most assists in the Primera.

But this does not mean that the ‘eternal promise’, as Ramón Calderón once called him, can stand with his metaphorical finger up his jacksie and make no effort whatsoever to retrieve his misplaced balls.

Injuries to Sneijder, De la Red and Diarra mean that Guti has been well aware that his place in the Madrid midfield has been as safe as houses, no matter how poor his performances.

But the arrival of ‘Diarra dos’ may see his ongoing apathy cost him dearly in the New Year. And judging by the boos from the Bernabeu crowd on Saturday night, few will have any sympathy for him.

Villarreal

What happened?! One moment, they were gunning for glory and sailing into the sunset of success. Now, they suck. Villarreal may have given Barcelona  a game on Sunday night, but the oil-leaking, torpedoless Yellow Submarine have now won just one in six. And that was against Recreativo, so it doesn’t really count.

The battle against Barça was the game which saw, TV station, La Sexta’s most pointless match-distracting statistic of the week - the scintillating fact that Villarreal have not won their last match of the year since 2003. Whoopy do.

Joaquín

The Valencia winger is still as reliable as ever. Every time the blog turns up expecting good things from the very likeable layabout, he never fails to disappoint.

Betis

A very warm welcome back to the Bad Day section for Betis - a side whose 1-0 home defeat showed how important the missing Aurelio and Emaná have become to the team.

Almería

Gonzalo Arconada has become the Primera’s fifth managerial victim with the club booting him out after their 1-0 away defeat to Sporting on Sunday evening.

And it seems a harsh decision considering three of the other four teams - Real Madrid being the exception - are the the ones who are filling the relegation places.

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