Monday's Good Day, Bad Day - Round 28
Good Day Villarreal Another cracking finish from Nihat, his first league strike since 19th January, means that the smart money is on the Yellow Submarine to overhaul Barcelona and grab second spot. The really smart money may be on Villarreal winning the title, such is the ineptitude of the two terrible teams above them. Deportivo It has been a while since La Liga Loca has cast a beady blogging eye over Deportivo but it was vaguely impressed by what it saw. Felipe on the left was the best of the bunch, but Lafita and Wilhelmsson were a constant threat to poor old Miguel Torres - a player having to look after the right flank on his own. La Liga Loca suspects that all will be ok in La CoruÃÂ±a. Even with the hapless Xisco in the side. Luis Fabiano A copy and paste effort from last week and the week before that and the week before that. 22 league goals, 1 in the cup and 5 in the Champions League means that if Luis Fabiano is still at Sevilla next season - and that is where he should stay - then Fernando Alonso will stop whining for five minutes. Espanyol Controversy in Montjuic! A clear foul on Arango by TorrejÃÂ³n went unpunished...and lead to Espanyol's late winner. And rumble-stopping Paul from Barcelona was there to see it all... "I arrived 5 minutes in to find Espanyol looking like they meant business. Going close twice early on. Then a long ball was nodded on to Guiza who tucked it away 0-1. Mallorca then dominated for the next 30 mins. Man of the match Zabaleta should have got a yellow for a horror tackle but it's Spain, so the ref was useless, he got away with it. Espanyol piled forward and should have had two penalties until Luis Garcia was hacked down and he thought 'hey third time lucky'. Luis Buried it 1-1. To be fair either team could have won it. They both went for the win. Mallorca missed, Stand-in keeper Lafuente stopped two efforts that should have been goals. The first was save of the season, a header tipped acrobatically over and the second a brave dive at the feet of some bloke who really should have scored. Zabaleta led the charge, a great cross from Angel (insert your own religious joke) and Luis Garcia headed in at the far post 89 mins 2-1. Still there was time to nearly gift Mallorca an equaliser. But luck prevailed and 3 hard won points were in the bag. 1) A draw would have been fairer but hey, Peter Stringfellow likes Mallorca so no sympathy at all.
2) Lafuente looks like Matt Le Tissier, our sympathies go to his family.
3) Crap ref,yet again. Though he did play advantage a lot. Got a bit confusing.
4) A piece of free advice, If you are thinking of coming to Barcelona and then you decide to go to the football but BarÃÂ§a are away, so you think let's go to watch Espanyol. Good readers - DON'T GO IN YOUR NEWLY ACQUIRED BARÃÂA SHIRT. Two English guys discovered the hard way and I missed the first 5 mins translating for Plod 'you wouldn't wear your Man U top to Eastlands would you ?' Paul, Barcelona The Brothers Uche A cheeky strike for Ikechukwu for Getafe and one for older brother, Kalu, for AlmerÃÂa, puts both teams within touching distance of the magic 42 points survival barrier - although La Liga Loca suspects that a couple more will be needed, with eight teams currently in trouble down below. Diego ForlÃÂ¡n A Levante shaped banana skin avoided on Sunday with a comfortable 3-0 win over the bottom-dwellers. And this was thanks to a superb display from Diego ForlÃÂ¡n, whose two goals make him the highest scoring Uruguayan player in Spanish football, with 67 strikes. Who says La Liga Loca can't be educational and entertaining? Apart from everyone who reads it. Bad Day Real Madrid There's a lot of things that La Liga Loca doesn't really understand, despite repeated attempts. How television works, 'Deal or No Deal', Girls Aloud and how this mob are still top of the table by a country mile. Eight defeats in 2008 including three from the last five league matches should have them duking it out with Mallorca in mid-table mediocrity. Instead they are probably going to be champions. El Pais reports one of Bernd Schuster's assistants blaming injuries and suspensions for a loss in rhythmn. AS points the finger at Madrid being "the victim of clear refereeing mistakes" - possibly because the paper is staffed by idiots - whilst El Mundo accuses Bernd Schuster's men of being "horrible, inert and terminal". On Saturday, there was an awful lot of fannying around with the ball but bugger all to show for it. Luckily for Real Madrid fans, their next match is against a team that make their side look like footballing gods in comparison - Valencia. Valencia Ronald Koeman's days must surely be numbered. Without a win in five and now at war with the press, whom he blames for his current predicament. It is widely predicted that failure to squeeze past Barcelona in Thursday's Copa del Rey clash will be the end of the desperate Dutchman's reign at Mestalla. And those happiest to see the back of him - after David Albeda who will be doing genuine cartwheels - will the local press who Koeman decided to take on, last Friday. "I don't have friends in the press and perhaps this is why nobody defends me", argued the former PSV man. "In Valencia, if you are favourites with a journalist they'll defend you although you are suing the club for 60 million euros". Next up - "Why referees are sending us down". Barcelona Hell's bells. One point from nine means that Barcelona are not just letting Real Madrid off the hook, but giving them a lift in their speed boat. Sport reports that Eto'o and Milito had to intervene to prevent a post-partido punch up between Gudjohnsen and Thuram suggesting that spirits in the Catalan camp, couldn't be lower. Txiki Beguiristain is pointing his finger a lack of leadership of the pitch. Sport is blaming Edmilson, giving the midfielder just one point from ten for his 'pathetic' performance against AlmerÃÂa, whilst Frank Rijkaard is scratching his head as to why his team threw away a lead twice, with identical goals. "There are no excuses", is Monday's headline in Sport. ToÃÂ±o A brilliant moment of madness from Racing Santander's keeper means that he will be missing Wednesday's Copa del Rey clash with Getafe - the team his side lost to, on Sunday afternoon. Having conceded a late goal to Gavilan, ToÃÂ±o decided to boot the midfielder and then throw a punch in the direction of Braulio who also got caught up in the rumble. Real Betis One year on from the Betis v Sevilla suspension, due to Juande Ramos being knocked out, the Athletic Bilbao keeper, Armando, narrowly avoided being blinded by a bottle thrown from the crowd. A decision has yet to be made on what will happen with the match that was suspended with 21 minutes left, but the remaining time will probably be replayed at a neutral venue. Athletic Bilbao are pushing for the match being awarded to them, with some justification considering the precedent set with the Denmark v Sweden tie. Betis president, Pepe Leon, is grumbling about all the fans being punished because of the actions of just one, citing the fact that the aggressor was handed over to what little security the club possesses. But it's tough titties. The club has previous in this area and a return to La Cartuja for three matches - all behind closed doors - is the decision that should be made by the Spanish FA, on Tuesday.