Monday's Good Day, Bad Day

Good Day


"The new Kaka" is how the typically unimaginative Marca described the boy from Brazil on Monday morning, with the story that Madrid are looking to tie Robinho down until 2013 – contract wise, that is. Anything else would be illegal.

Until he made his incredible entrance, Madrid were a bit of a shambles with Baptista a waste of space and Gago merrily pumping balls into touch or to opposition players.

"Without Guti, Real Madrid are an alarmingly flat side", noted AS. 

Due to a pundit-killing plague in Madrid, La Liga Loca was on commentary duty for the Recreativo match and praying to the gods of football for a better second half, than the first. And so it came to pass with the referee coming to the rescue.

Beto's sending off was a nonsense – if two consenting adults cannot have a bit of rough and tumble on a set piece, what's the world coming to? Political correctness gone mad.

Ramos' second yellow was harsh, but he only made the situation worse by gobbing off to the ref. And Quique Alvarez? More on that later.

Sergio Aguero

Thanks to the wise men of Spanish football, La Liga Loca was only able to read the gurgling gushings of the press and catch highlights of Kun single-handedly crushing their Catalan visitors. But apparently, he was a little bit special, with his second goal of the night being a right treat, as Pat Butcher would say.

It was yet another slack start from Atlético who rode their luck in the first half an hour. "We lacked aggressiveness", complained Javier Aguirre. But this is not the first time that the rojiblancos have sleepwalked their way into games. And it won't be the last.

Chippen Wilhelmsson

The recent addition of the former Swedish starlet seems to have given Deportivo a bit of lead in their pencil. They are still in relegation trouble, but have now won their last two matches – and this is a rampant run in Depor language.

Real Betis

There was a gasp of shock from many – not least Real Betis fans – when they saw themselves in 11th place in the league table on Monday morning. They are still only three points off Recreativo, mind, with a trip to Racing Santander to look forward to next weekend.

But there was no gasp of shock to see Edu on the scoresheet for a fourth match in a row. With a header. From the left.


A win for Espanyol! A genuine living breathing win you can cuddle and take home. And Paul from Barcelona was one of the lucky 350 at Monjuic who turned up to watch it!

"What a stinker! No not my cold, but the performance from Valencia. Quite easily the worst Valencia team I have seen. But take nothing away from a good Espanyol performance. They dominated the midfield and kept Valencia to shots from outside the area.

Espanyol took the lead after four minutes. A long pass (he doesn't do long ball) from De La Peña was nodded on by Jonathan and just as Hilderbrand was going to collect the ball, Luis Garcia nipped in to take it past him and score from a tight angle. A Tamudoesque goal. Game over.

Espanyol totally dominated from then on. First time we've led at home since January. Loads of chances missed and it's half-time. Second half, Espanyol get a fortunate – as opposed to a Barça "never in a million years" – penalty.

Valdo sort of bundled over by Silva, I think. We've had clearer penalties turned down. Luisie G (one for the Scouser who stands near me) whacked it home.

Hildebrand made a great save to deny Luis his hat-trick and Valencia went about trying to get every player booked and when Maduro was sent-off nobody complained. Overall a totally professional performance from Espanyol against weak opposition."

Paul, Barcelona

Racing Santander

Marcelino must have the Racing Santander players doing Private Benjamin-style assault courses. Just days after their 3-1 drubbing by Getafe in the Copa del Rey, the players picked themselves up, dusted themselves down and grabbed a late, late winner (and a weird one, at that) against Valladolid.

"Racing are the best team we've seen at the Zorilla," admitted José Luis Mendilibar, "they beat us all over the pitch".


Another three points for Levante, a side who have scored the same amount of goals as Almería, in 8th. But have conceded 25 more.

Bad Day


La Liga Loca must be a little behind on Barcelona news. On Friday, it was a club on the rise, a club going places, a club with a head for business and a body for sin. But on Monday it's a team with "too many doubts and too many surprising decisions from the manager", according to El Pais.

Looked like a team who lost a game against a side, they traditionally struggle against. But who is La Liga Loca to doubt the omniscient Spanish press?

Frank Rijkaard has come under a bit of criticism for not playing Leo Messi from the start. But it is unfair criticism and another reason why he is thinking of legging it at the end of the season.

The Dutch coach claimed that Messi was under risk of a strain, according to the medical team, and that seems as good a reason as any to rest him, especially with the visit of Celtic just around the corner.


Another coach under criticsm by journalists who are living on Planet Hindsight is Manolo Jiménez for his decision to rest Fabiano, Capel, Adriano and Keita for the trip to Deportivo. But it was a calculated risk by the Sevilla coach and the right one to take.

There are still 12 league matches left to secure a Champions League spot. But just one match left to ensure they are in the quarter-finals of this year's competition.

It was another bad day for José Maria del Nido, who really doesn't know when to keep his gob shut these days. "We will be sleeping in the Champions League places on Saturday night," promised the club president before the Depor debacle.

"I said if we won, we would sleep in the Champions League place," backtracked del Nido, on Sunday. But he wasn't really helping his case, considering his side would only have been in fifth had they won.


Just one point from 24, six points adrift at the bottom of the table and defence that looked all over the shop on Sunday suggests that it is Murcia who will be joining Levante in the Segunda next season.

Quique Alvarez

A shocking tackle from the Recre centre-back on Arjen Robben means the Dutchman will be out for up to six weeks. But it could have been much, much worse.

"It was the worst day of my professional career," confessed Alvarez the morning after. "It was a serious mistake. It pains me to think that I could have really hurt a fellow player."

It was also a bad day for Recreativo president, Francisco Mendoza, who ranted that he "wanted to see the sendings off on TV". La Liga Loca would be happy to show him.


"I'm very worried. We have to win now," admitted Jabo Irureta after the club's fourth defeat in a row – a defeat that puts them fourth from bottom. And this is astonishing considering they started the season with many expecting them to push for a Champions League spot.

"It's a team without a soul, lost, with no ideas and no capacity to react," reckons Marca.


A fifth draw in a row for a side who are gradually inching towards the relegation zone after a bright start to the season.