Monday's Good Day, Bad Day – Round 22

Good DayVíctor ValdésIt's not unusual to get into an argument with a Barcelona fan over the merits of their players. Culés can be sensitive souls, sometimes. But it is an odd occurrence when you end up defending one of their squad from a rubbishing by their own hands.But that happens a lot with La Liga Loca and Víctor Valdés, a goalkeeper that the blog thinks is fine and dandy, but few others seem to agree. The Barça stopper is currently creaming Casillas in the Zamora stakes having conceded just 14 goals and that's with kung-fu fighter Rafael Márquez, and Lilian Thuram in front of him. Valdés' increased standing could be seen on Sunday, when a last-second strike from Osasuna was comfortably parried, when a couple of seasons ago, an audible gasp of fear would have whizzed around the Camp Nou as the ball hurtled towards a cowering keeper. A 1-0 win in the peeing rain against Osasuna will do just fine, although the Madrid press are still rather scornful of Rijkaard's current run. It's Barcelona's sixth win in seven and fourth clean sheet in the row, in the league – something which appears to have escaped their attention.La Liga Loca is not so sure that the result will make too much difference to the title, as Barça will fail to pick up all three points against Sevilla, next weekend. Instead, it follows Gianluca Zambrotta's train of thought."Last week we were out of contention in the League and it was virtually over. Now they say it’s game on again. I think there should be a bit more balance in football."EspanyolHooray! After three straight league defeats, Espanyol pull out of their nose dive in High Definition, apparently, with a 0-1 win at a wet and windy Getafe.Something that has put a big smile on Paul from Barcelona's face. And in answer to his question at the end, La Liga Loca must confess 'probably not'. "Glad to see Barça back doing what they do best. Offside goal, dubious penalty (Villarreal) and worst of all that Marquez assault on Plasil (Osasuna). Eric Cantona must be studying the video to improve his technique. Jet Li was seen leaving Barça's training ground on Friday. Now we know why."What gets me was that it was in front of the ref and he didn't even give a free-kick. Plasil was left with two enormous scars on his stomach left there by Marquez's studs and they were jumping for a header!! How to you get Kung-Fu kicked like that going for a header?"Maybe Laporta has a new bribe budget for the new Spanish fiscal year. So expect a glut of dodgy decisions soon maybe designed to make the title race more interesting or just Barça back to their best/worst."Question for any real football fan. Would you not go and see your team because it was raining a bit? Greatest supporters in the world, cart load of empty seats. Doesn't quite add up does it?"Paul, Barcelona.Luis FabianoThe man's a marauding machine from the planet goal. His 15th and 16th league strikes of the current campaign lift Sevilla to seventh, seven points from Villarreal in the Champions League places. The Brazilian was supposed to be heading for pastures new during the winter transfer window, until José Maria del Nido slapped a 60 million euro fee on his head, even though his buy out clause is supposedly 11. With Kanouté and Keita to return to the side, this week, things can only get better for plucky old Sevilla. Diego AlvesThe Almería keeper out-Casillas'd Casillas with a cracking display against Real Madrid, aside from a mind-popping mistimed slide on Sergio Ramos in the first half. The 22-year-old has now gone 425 minutes unbeaten in an Almería side that has yet to concede a goal in any of their nine wins, this season. "We pressured, didn't stop running and made Madrid uncomfortable," revealed their 36-year-old manager, Unai Emery, of his genius victory strategy. Almería may not be everyone's plate of cheese to watch, but their 32 point haul means that at least one new boy should be staying around for next year's Primera party. David VillaEl Sulko's first goal in three months helped give Valencia their first win in... er... a very long time. Ronald Koeman's side now face Betis (H), Getafe (A) and Recreativo (H) in their next three fixtures. Anything less than six points out of those games and the Dutch manager will deserve to be sealed in a packing crate and sent back to Holland by whoever happens to be in the charge of the club, at the moment. DeportivoVery hard to concentrate on the match with Edu's weird Pride and Prejudice style sideburns to stare at. La Liga Loca wants some. Deportivo string two wins together for the first time this season. Bad DayReal MadridVery much victims of their praising-to-the-heavens press, this weekend. Marca and AS spent much of the week declaring that the sun shines out of the club's footballing behind, so when they finally lost a match, it's then made out to be a colossal crash. Which it isn't really. Bernd Schuster could really do with dragging one of his injured centre-backs kicking and screaming out of the medical room, just so Sergio Ramos can be allowed to rampage down the right again, which is always fun to see.   Atlético Madrid Fight! Fight! A troublesome tunnel bust up was the highlight of Atlético's draw with Murcia, on Sunday. A supposedly crocked Leo Franco was lurking after the game, wanting to ask one or two questions of Murcia defender, de Cos, who he felt had deliberately knacked Kun Agüero’s ankle. "I didn't see him, honest" was de Cos' side of the story on the supposed stamp. And it was the same line taken by the referee who failed to report the post-match melee. Atlético Madrid have proven once again that they are club build on butter, with reports that Javier Aguirre had offered to resign, last Monday, after a couple of defeats. The last time La Liga Loca looked, Atlético Madrid were still in the hunt for the Champions League spots and in the UEFA cup. LevanteRobbed blind by the referee on Sunday who invented an equalising penalty for Racing Santander. "If anyone deserved to win the match, it was Levante," confessed opposition coach, Marcelino.Incidentally, the home side's cunning plan of not paying Riga seems to be working well with the striker having grabbed two in two. Rodríguez SantiagoAnother man in the middle who appears to have been seeing things, was the referee for the Villarreal v Mallorca who awarded two penalties softer than a blow-dried kitten.

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