MondayÃ¢ÂÂs Good Day, Bad Day - Round 19
MÃÂ¡lagaOne of the biggest regrets of La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs season so far is the limited opportunities being offered up for the pee-taking of the increasingly injury-prone Guti.That and the fact that it has not been able to watch a marvellous MÃÂ¡laga as much as it would have liked. The blogÃ¢ÂÂs first sight of the new boys was an opening day overturning by AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid and produced the subsequent suggestion that they were doomed, doomed, doomed.But, not for the first time this season, La Liga Loca was quite wrong in its prediction. MÃÂ¡laga have now equalled the best first half of a season for a promoted team with a 31 point haul, a tally that leaves them in seventh, equal on points with the side that offered them their very rude Primera awakening... AtlÃÂ©tico.However, this sensational success is only enough to give, MÃÂ¡laga manager, Antonio Tapia sixth place in MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs weekend ratings - two behind new Madrid president Vicente Boludo, whose stunning achievement of having dinner and yawning through SundayÃ¢ÂÂs game against Osasuna apparently deserves an eight.
Newly-promoted Malaga sitting pretty in seventh
It may seem as if La Liga Loca has had one Earl Grey too many in its decision to put the referee of the Real Madrid vs Osasuna match in the Ã¢ÂÂgood dayÃ¢ÂÂ section.After all, Burrull turned down two clear Pamplonan penalties and sent off the player who was the victim of both occasions. But then again, rubbish refereeing is hardly big news in La Liga.Instead, the blog has given the man in the middle a pat on the pack for officially reporting the repulsive Madrid Ultras Sur for displaying fascist imagery and singing songs concerning Ã¢ÂÂgas chambersÃ¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂdeath to OsasunaÃ¢ÂÂ and being Ã¢ÂÂforever fascistÃ¢ÂÂ. BarcelonaA decisive demolition of Deportivo on Saturday night brings their seasonÃ¢ÂÂs tally to 59 goals in 19 games and a record-breaking first round for the Camp Nou club.Not that Pep Guardiola could give two hoots about this amazing milestone. Ã¢ÂÂThe performance was far from perfect,Ã¢ÂÂ grumbled the BarÃÂ§a coach. Ã¢ÂÂThe team was not together, the central defenders were too far back and were not following the fullbacks,Ã¢ÂÂ were PepÃ¢ÂÂs ponderings on the 5-0 victory.LluÃÂs MascarÃÂ³, writing in Sport, will not stand for such dour, defeatist talk and opines that Leo Messi should join the ranks of the Eiffel Tower and Westminster Abbey by calling for Unesco to Ã¢ÂÂconsider making him a World Heritage Site. He has turned football into a work of art.Ã¢ÂÂUnfortunately, the league already has an ancient, motionless monument that people come from miles around to point at and gasp... Fabio Cannavaro.
Barca machine marches on
La Liga Loca is starting to enjoy the new beefed up Athletic Bilbao, a side that have scored six goals in their last two games.The most recent of which was SundayÃ¢ÂÂs sparkly 3-2 win over Valencia - a game which saw a fine piece of work, for once, from the referee when he awarded a last minute penalty to the home side for a cheeky (footballing) tug by Fernandes on Javi MartÃÂnez as he was shaping up to shoot from close range.Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs normal that people are excited, but as I always tell them, Ã¢ÂÂcalm down, calm downÃ¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂ said the Scousey JoaquÃÂn CaparrÃÂ³s after the game.Nikola ZigicIt was always a bit of a mystery why Nikola Zigic was not snapped up by another club during the winter transfer window, as he has always been a fairly consistent, if not very ambitious striker.Instead, the seven-foot tall Serbian has returned on loan to Racing to score two goals in three games - strikes that have given six points to Racing who are now nestled safely in mid table.SevillaAnother win for Sevilla, the sideÃ¢ÂÂs fourth in a row in the league and cup. But flippinÃ¢ÂÂ Nora it was painful to watch. Again.The Andalusians were unable to make the breakthrough until the 81st minute against an obstinate Numancia and now sit in third place, tied on points with Real Madrid.RecreativoAnother side that La Liga Loca has to have a good old chin stroke over and reconsider is Recreativo. Four wins from six has lifted them five points clear of the drop zone, giving them a genuine chance of survival.Giuseppe RossiIn the 'good day' section, simply for scoring one of the most juttery, stuttery penalties the blog has seen for some time in VillarrealÃ¢ÂÂs 2-0 win over Mallorca - their first victory in six league games.
"Easy, Easy, Easy..."
Two cracking goals and an assist made the ponytailed powerhouse the man of the match in BetisÃ¢ÂÂ 3-1 win away at Valladolid. Although the striker was leant a whopping helping hand after he leapt upon two ludicrous back passes from Valladolid to lob Justo Villar on both occasions.BAD DAYJuanfranThere was much bug-eyed barracking and theatrical arm waving when the Osasuna winger discovered he had been handed his second yellow card against Real Madrid. The first was for protesting - quite rightly - for a first-half penalty and the other for supposedly diving during a second.Ã¢ÂÂTwo penalties, easy to spot,Ã¢ÂÂ write Marca in their match report, Ã¢ÂÂwhich the referee didnÃ¢ÂÂt give. Penalties which led to the sending off of Juanfran.Ã¢ÂÂAll in all, it was an awful game where the 3-1 score line was flattering to Real Madrid and owed a lot to the following gentleman...RobertoTwo spills, the first from Sergio Ramos and the second from a too-embarrassed-to-celebrate Arjen Robben, meant that it was a very bad day indeed for the Osasuna keeper.DeportivoDepor were not the first side to be on the wrong side of a Barcelona battering this season, and they wonÃ¢ÂÂt be the last. But that fact didnÃ¢ÂÂt stop Miguel Angel Lotina blaming the magnitude of the defeat on the lack of cojones displayed by his footballers at the Camp Nou.Ã¢ÂÂOur players need to play with force,Ã¢ÂÂ complained the Depor boss, Ã¢ÂÂthis is football, not Parcheesi.Ã¢ÂÂ
Without a win in 10 and thrashed by MÃÂ¡laga on Sunday, things are looking perilous for the Pericos who are stuck third from bottom.Before the latest loss, manager ManÃÂ© boasted and raved that Ã¢ÂÂno one had been superiorÃ¢ÂÂ to Espanyol this season. Not Sevilla, Barcelona, Mallorca, Deportivo, Numancia, Racing, Sporting, a team of girl scouts...Manu del MoralA fourth defeat in a row could have been avoided had the Getafe striker not aimed a clear header straight at ToÃÂ±o in second half injury time. Instead, it was yet more cries of Ã¢ÂÂVictor MuÃÂ±oz out!Ã¢ÂÂ from the cranky Coliseum crowd after the 1-0 reverse to Racing.AtlÃÂ©tico MadridEven La Liga Loca, which has been surprisingly supportive of Atleti in recent weeks, must admit that they are a bit rubbish at the moment - especially the defence.The draw away at AlmerÃÂa marks the worst of Javier AguirreÃ¢ÂÂs first halves of the season with the rojiblancos and will surely lead to more calls for him to quit over the next seven days.
"Oh for goodness sake, they've conceded another one..."