Monday's Good Day, Bad Day - Round 38
Osasuna / Recreativo / ValladolidAll three started the day out of the drop zone. And all three finished the day out of the drop zone, despite their best efforts. The already knee-trembling tension was pumped up a little more for these relegation rivals on Sunday when a rainstorm over the Mallorca stadium threatened to postpone all the matches to Monday evening. However, after a one hour delay all kicked off. Some damper than others. Aside from a nine-minute spell in the Segunda for Recreativo, all clubs lived to fight another day thanks to the failure of Zaragoza in the newly-named, 'Oh No Estadi.' The normally hard as nails Cuco Ziganda went down a peg or two in La Liga Loca's estimations by shedding a tear in the post match press conference. "I'm in love with life as we are in the Primera," cried the Osasuna coach. Hopefully before burning an ant or two with a magnifying class to make up for this slip. Racing SantanderA late, late strike from IvÃÂ¡n Bolado meant that Racing could wave a finger or two in Mallorca's direction and claim a UEFA Cup place - the first time anything remotely exciting has happened at the Cantabrian club in 95 years. "It's just reward for the season's work of a humble squad," claimed Marcelino - a man who may still stay at the Sardinero next season despite a number of big clubs fluttering their eyelids at him. As Marca pointed out, a decent striker and they'd have been pushing for the Champions League this year. VillarrealThe Yellow Submarine ending the campaign at full throttle after their win over Deportivo - their sixth in a row. "We ended up with more points than Real Madrid did in 2006/07," pointed out Manuel Pellegrini, whose club has been boosted by the news that Sol Campbell is set to see out his retirement on the south coast rather than in Spain. "I am happy here and see no reason to leave," declared the newly crowned FA Cup winner. The Champions League, perhaps?LevanteThe promise of two friendly matches against Real Madrid brought Levante off their strike, only a few hours after it had begun. And it's a sign of desperation from a squad who knew that even these small crumbs from Real Madrid's cake were better than bugger all. And they gave it a bit of a go on Sunday night with two goals against stand-in, stand-in keeper Jordi Codina. Let's just hope that it wasn't the last we will be seeing of lowly Levante.Giovani dos SantosAt the beginning of the season, La Liga Loca wrote that Giovani was going to be the new Ronaldinho. And in a way, the blog was right. But not in a good way. Rumours are abound that Giovani has been joining his Brazilian buddy on his own particular training regime for much of the season, causing his disappointing displays and fuelling stories that he was to be banished by BarÃÂ§a to Man City. However, the Mexican made a name for himself in Murcia on Saturday night with his first, second and third league strikes of the season. And the final two were absolute peaches. And they may help ensure that he won't be sent packing to the Premier League over the summer.
'New Ronaldinho' increases his stock with hat-trick at Murcia
Ruud Van NistelrooyIt feels like the Dutch striker has only been back for about seven minutes, but he has already popped up with four goals in four games. If he - and the rest of his bickering international buddies - can avoid more fisticuffs with Marco van Basten then it could be a very good summer for both Van Nistelrooy and his clog-wearing country.
Ruud continues his recent renaissance against Levante
DeportivoPossibly in the wrong section, but it's the delights of the Intertoto Cup for Deportivo this summer. "It's a prize for our second round," says Miguel Angel Lotina.You!And that's because, all you good, good people of FourFourTwo, La Liga Loca ain't going nowhere over the summer. Bad DayReal Zaragoza"The luck was against us and two stupid goals cost us," complained Zaragoza coach Manolo Villanova. That and four coaches in one campaign, bickering players, a lack of backbone from the board and a defence that was as easy as a boozed up BelÃÂ©n Esteban - whose face appears to be falling off from what La Liga Loca saw on Saturday night TV.
Real MadridIt has been suggested in other places that Real Madrid's celebrations on Sunday night were a little OTT. But La Liga Loca would not lower itself to such simple cynicism. Instead, it will just say that the money forked out by the club on the post Primera party could have fed and clothed the Levante squad for the next couple of years, at least. "Tacky" was the verdict of Marca's Roberto Palomar.
Real get "tacky" celebrations underway by hoisting Schuster
AtlÃÂ©tico MadridSeeing the season out in some style with 3-1 defeat to Valencia. And by starting with Eller, Mista, ZÃÂ© Castro and Seitaridis, Javier Aguirre also got to have a look at the cut of their footballing jib, having decided to stay on for more fun next season. But he won't have liked what he saw. "All season, AtlÃÂ©tico were jumping from one place to another like picking petals off a daisy," wrote Jorge Valdano in Saturday's Marca. "Triumph, disaster, triumph, disaster, triumph." Sunday's game completed the sequence nicely.
AtlÃÂ©tico round off season in predictable style
Espanyol And the moment you've all been waiting for. Paul from Barcelona on Espanyol reaching rock bottom and starting to dig with a 3-1 home defeat against AlmerÃÂa."They say when teams have nothing to play for they are already on the beach. Well I've decided to report on a game of beach football I played in Newquay when I was 11 rather than bore you all to death with Espanyol vs AlmerÃÂa.But first, Espanyol vs AlmerÃÂa was quite simply a snore-fest which outdid Zenit vs Rangers. Don't let the four goals fool you. It was awful. Nothing remotely interesting to report apart from Crusat trying to jump a hoarding then a bench and falling A over T. BarÃÂ§a were given a penalty as a result.Both teams are/were crap. Glad the season has finished.Most of the talk was about which Zaragoza players we might get. Sergio was a popular choice but I want Aimar. Oh, a very bored looking cat walked along the side of the pitch at the end.Now the Real stuff. Family of Czechs 7-5 Load of scousers. I scored two. The first was a screamer.Paul, Barcelona. You can catch Tim Stannard being very complimentary about Real Madrid's celebrations on RMTV's Extra Time - Sky Digital 446 at 22.05 on Monday and repeated throughout the week.