The weekend didn't start too well for manic Malaga down on the Costa del Crime. First off, club owner and former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz was caught by the Fuzz whilst involved in allegedly dodgy financial dealings with some dubious gentlemen.
Sanz is claiming he was just lending a helping hand with a reported $10 million business transaction. A judge may decide otherwise on Tuesday.Soon after, it was revealed that his son and Malaga president Fernando Sanz was contemplating stepping down with the side pointless and goalless after four rounds of action.Whilst the sideÃ¢ÂÂs big boss may be in a spot of hot water at the moment, a 2-1 home win over Valladolid means that at least one part of Malaga FC is out of jail this week.Ruud van NistelrooyThere are few strikers around who, when one-on-one with a keeper, youÃ¢ÂÂd bet your bottom on them scoring. Ruud van Nistelrooy is one of them.The sight of the Betis defenders trying to crawl their way into the turf after Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂs last gasp win said it all. Their attention wavered for a gnatÃ¢ÂÂs nanosecond, but that was more than enough time for Van the Man to win the game.
Ruud breaks Betis hearts in stoppage time
It was the DutchmanÃ¢ÂÂs 60th strike in 86 Madrid games and his 7th in 7 official matches this season. Naturally, Marca celebrated this achievement on their front page, but had to balance this praise by noting that Ã¢ÂÂwho needs R9 when you have R7!Ã¢ÂÂ - the same R7 who dug a big hole on the de Lopera pitch on Saturday night and sat in it until he was hauled off. David VillaÃ¢ÂÂWe have to tread carefully by taking things step by step,Ã¢ÂÂ warned Unai Emery on Sunday. David Villa is in more of a hurry than his boss, having banged in goals number five and six of the league season. Valencia are now top of the table and Emery is officially having the best debut as a coach in the Mestalla madhouse. And this remarkable run should keep him in his job until at least November - a fine effort from the former AlmerÃÂa man.Sporting This is a predictable as a Banega pee-pee gag from the blog but a 1-0 defeat to Villarreal must have had the Asturians dancing in the streets like Bowie and Jagger on Saturday night. Or maybe not, considering it was a game that the home side felt they should have won. La Liga Loca still reckons that the sprightly Sporting side will be fine when PrimeraÃ¢ÂÂs Judgement Day comes along. Especially with Betis in the mix. Manolo PreciadoÃ¢ÂÂs men have a chance to start the season properly next week by taking on the still middling about Mallorca. But the manager will have to sit in the stands with potty mouthed Preciado having given some lip to the referee on Saturday night. Francisco CasqueroThe Getafe midfielder may only have one trick in his footballing toolkit, but itÃ¢ÂÂs a doozy. 1) Run towards the goal with the ball. 2) Smack it. 3) Win game.
Casquero (R): "If in doubt... smack it"
Thierry HenryItÃ¢ÂÂs a shame that fans in Spain are unlikely to see the Frenchman in his imperial prime and pomp. A combination of brooding boredom, being played out of position and an iffy back means that it looks like a steady decline for Titi at the Camp Nou. But La Liga Loca feels confident that there could be one last burst of form left in HenryÃ¢ÂÂs tank. And so does Pep Guardiola, whose faith in the forward was repaid with a goal against Espanyol. AlmerÃÂaGranted, they were taking on a Recreativo side that was down to nine men at the time - and eight, soon after - but the late, late winner from Negredo means they are nearly a quarter of the way to achieving their survival target this season with just five games gone.Bad DayEspanyolOh dear. One can only imagine Paul from Barcelona is howling at traffic today after Saturday nightÃ¢ÂÂs demolition derby. Taking on the issues surrounding this cantankerous clash is rather like hopping up and down on a waspsÃ¢ÂÂ nest covered in honey, but here goes.Who was responsible for selling tickets to a group of Barca Ultras and allowing them to not only bring flares into the ground but launch seven of them into an Espanyol end? At the moment everyone is blaming each other. Why did the Barcelona players think it was a good idea to run towards the Ultras to celebrate their goals? Ã¢ÂÂPassion in its purest formÃ¢ÂÂ said one La Sexta commentator. Ã¢ÂÂProvocationÃ¢ÂÂ say Espanyol who look set to report five Barcelona players for the action.Ã¢ÂÂIf the club are fighting to eradicate them (Ultra groups) then the players cannot become the protagonists,Ã¢ÂÂ argues Josep Maria Casanovas writing in MondayÃ¢ÂÂs Sport. Why is Joan Laporta getting such a tough time? The BarÃÂ§a president has done a great deal - and at enormous personal risk - to outlaw Ultra groups from the Camp Nou. If the Montjuic security services decide to let them in, itÃ¢ÂÂs not his responsibility. And why are Espanyol looking to have the last section of the game replayed as is reported in MondayÃ¢ÂÂs papers? Every time a decision doesn't go their way, they cannot keep crying conspiracy.
When the tackle came in during injury time, the penalty call looked a good one. Video replays suggest otherwise, but only after many looks from many angles. DÃÂ¡niel Sanchez LlibreÃ¢ÂÂs declaration that Ã¢ÂÂif someone wants to help the big clubs occupy the top of the standings, we will go and form another league,Ã¢ÂÂ just makes him look like a loon. (Blog steps back slowly).
Sparks fly between Espanyol and Barca supporters
Real BetisÃ¢ÂÂThe best Betis side IbÃ¢ÂÂve seen in my four seasons here,Ã¢ÂÂ said Maresca after last weekendÃ¢ÂÂs goalless draw. Ã¢ÂÂThe best Betis IÃ¢ÂÂve seen since being in Spain.Ã¢ÂÂ claims Ruud van Nistelrooy on Saturday night. La Liga Loca is dying to know what the worst one was. AtlÃÂ©tico MadridA poor performance from the rojiblancos against an obstinate Sevilla side that has been discussed elsewhere. But youÃ¢ÂÂd have to possess a heart of concrete to have a pop at Atleti. Missing Forlan, Maniche, Simao, Heitinga and with Kun lame in several different ways at once, the home side were naturally off colour. None more so than Luis Garcia who suffered 90 minutes of jeering from the CalderÃÂ³n fans. Osasuna fansLooks like being a fun season ahead for the pampered Pamplonans. Four draws. No wins and just two goals scored. Ã¢ÂÂThe reality is that we didnÃ¢ÂÂt deserve any moreÃ¢ÂÂ was ZigandaÃ¢ÂÂs impressions on SundayÃ¢ÂÂs goalless draw against Numancia.