Barça fans prepare to chill out as Mirandés disappointed by unromantic Basques
This week in Spanish football will see some dreams ending, some beginning and some sort of about to start, but not quite. It's not unlike the semi-conscious, leg twitching, gurgling slumber induced when Aston Villa games are broadcast in Spain on a Saturday afternoon.
Plucky part-timers MirandÃÂ©s harboured sweet dreams of another Primera upset in San MamÃÂ©s on Tuesday night in their Copa del Rey semi-final tie, despite being down 2-1 to Athletic Bilbao from the first leg.
Unfortunately for the third-tier side, their Basque opponents are about as romantic and sensitive as a Premier League footballer approaching a bikini-clad Hollyoaks babe. There was no time wasted with small talk by Athletic, who got exactly what they wanted at the end of the night, a final date with Barcelona or Valencia.
Athletic went 3-0 up after just 22 minutes and eventually won the game 6-2 (8-3 on aggregate) in front of 40,000 fans. Ã¢ÂÂIt wasnÃ¢ÂÂt the dream farewell,Ã¢ÂÂ admitted MirandÃÂ©s coach, Carlos Pousa.
The Basque side must now wait and see who they will face in the final, with the European champions facing a couple of tough battles. The first is overcoming Valencia in a tie currently delicately poised at 1-1. The second is getting culÃÂ©s to come to the Camp Nou at nine on what is going to be a very chilly night indeed in the Catalan capital.
Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂll be up for it,Ã¢ÂÂ promised Pep Guardiola. Ã¢ÂÂAnd to those brave souls who go to the stadium, I tell them that we want to reach the final. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs our desire,Ã¢ÂÂ said the BarÃÂ§a boss, who also claimed in what may be deemed a rather sexist manner that Ã¢ÂÂitÃ¢ÂÂs a match for men.Ã¢ÂÂ
Barcelona being 90 minutes away from reaching the Copa del Rey final has caused a bit of back-peddling for one particular Catalan, LluÃÂs MascarÃÂ³ of Ã¢ÂÂSportÃ¢ÂÂ. The journalist last season claimed the competition was worthless because Real Madrid won it. But he appeared to have changed his tine in WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs edition. Ã¢ÂÂIt was because Madridismo celebrated the cup as if it was the Champions League, when in reality itÃ¢ÂÂs a lesser tournament than canÃ¢ÂÂt save any campaign.Ã¢ÂÂ
Joining MirandÃÂ©s in the 'fragile dreams being crushed' camp is Marcelino, who bade farewell to Sevilla in a Tuesday press conference after his sacking 24 hours beforehand. Ã¢ÂÂLife deals out tough blows,Ã¢ÂÂ admitted Marcelino, in what was an emotional goodbye to a club he had mostly ruined.
Trying to repair some of the damage is MÃÂchel, who will have a tough job trying to appease some of Sevilla's core support due to his rather Real Madrid-ish background. Oh, and the fact that his managerial career isnÃ¢ÂÂt exactly a sterling one, aside from a single decent season with Getafe.
Ã¢ÂÂFor Sevilla fans, MÃÂchel is the best coach in the world,Ã¢ÂÂ was the command from club president JosÃÂ© MarÃÂa del Nido to the sideÃ¢ÂÂs supporters, who best give MÃÂchel a very warm hand on his entrance in the team's next game in the SÃÂ¡nchez PizjuÃÂ¡n.