BarçaÃ¢ÂÂs bore-fest and an awful Atleti
The much-trumpeted Inter Milan vs Barcelona game was so god-awful that if it hadnÃ¢ÂÂt been for a timely episode of Bones on a rival channel, La Liga Loca may well have pinned its tiny brain to the ceiling with the aid of a crossbow.
The weapon was just seconds from being removed from the blogÃ¢ÂÂs battered old trunk marked Ã¢ÂÂDeportivo gamesÃ¢ÂÂ - a trunk which also contains distress flares, Liberian pain-sticks and an inflatable Penelope Cruz doll.
A truly awful encounter merely served to maintain the wider worldÃ¢ÂÂs belief that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a colossal dud whenever the forward faces anyone decent, and that Italian football is still frackinÃ¢ÂÂ awful despite the arguments from some that it is the game in its purest form.
WhatÃ¢ÂÂs more, the match did nothing to help to improve JosÃÂ© MourinhoÃ¢ÂÂs laughably low poll ratings in the Catalan capital, with Pep GuardiolaÃ¢ÂÂs complaint that Ã¢ÂÂitÃ¢ÂÂs not easy to play against nine men in the area.Ã¢ÂÂ
Not that the Inter boss will care one jot, mind.
"Am I bovvered?"
Joan Laporta looked so bored sitting in the stands, itÃ¢ÂÂs as if someone was playing a yearÃ¢ÂÂs worth of his own speeches back to him.
Still, ThursdayÃ¢ÂÂs Barcelona papers were still content to claim that PepÃ¢ÂÂs Dream Boys were the worthy winners in the European encounter despite the goalless scoreline, with SportÃ¢ÂÂs headline declaring that Ã¢ÂÂthe champions were the bestÃ¢ÂÂ and Mundo Deportivo boasting that Ã¢ÂÂonly a goal was missing.Ã¢ÂÂ
Sport's Josep Maria Casanovas complained that Ã¢ÂÂthe duel between EtoÃ¢ÂÂo and Ibra was a huge disappointment.Ã¢ÂÂ
And this was a big surprise indeed for a columnist who said the previous day that BarÃÂ§aÃ¢ÂÂs game was the only one worth watching that week in Europe.
Ã¢ÂÂIn the group stages of the Champions League, there are sides full of players whose names we have never heard of," he said, perhaps referring to Sevilla.
"Like Zurich, for example, who took on the Whites, last night.Ã¢ÂÂ
Nevertheless, that particular match is one that has given the Madridista press even more proof, if that were necessary, that the Third-Choice Chilean will be leading his side to Champions League glory come May, with AS snarling that Ã¢ÂÂReal Madrid warn Europe.Ã¢ÂÂ
That they cannot defend set-pieces, perhaps.
Despite the 5-2 victory, the paperÃ¢ÂÂs editor Alfredo RelaÃÂ±o was spitting ham over the performance of English referee Martin Atkinson for daring to award a (very funny) penalty against Madrid and book six of their players.
Clearly, the man in the middle hasnÃ¢ÂÂt read the la Liga handbook.
"How very dare you"
Ã¢ÂÂThey have Platini as an ally in this plot to stop Madrid lifting the European Cup in the Bernabeu,Ã¢ÂÂ grumbled TomÃÂ¡s Roncero, who also noted that Ã¢ÂÂCristiano is smelling the Tenth.Ã¢ÂÂ
Over in Laporta-land, Mundo Deportivo merely sniffed that Madrid were Ã¢ÂÂforceful up front, a flan[?!] at the back, and managed a suspiciously big score-line.Ã¢ÂÂ
AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid didn't disappoint their many followers on Tuesday night with a campaign-crushing goalless draw at home to APOEL Nicosia.
And neither they did not disappoint the watching hacks, who got to take off their gloves - metaphorically speaking - and punch Abel ResinoÃ¢ÂÂs side onto the canvas of oblivion.
Ã¢ÂÂThe referee should have stopped the game to preserve the mental health of the spectators,Ã¢ÂÂ stomped AS's IÃÂ±ako DÃÂaz-Guerra, who also turned his attentions to midfielder Cleber Santana, whom he compared to Ã¢ÂÂthe AVE [Spanish super-train] of footballers: no one carries the ball faster to the feet of the opposition.Ã¢ÂÂ
His partner-in-crime at the paper, F. Javier DÃÂaz, sighed heavily with his lamentation that Ã¢ÂÂother sides would have taken the opportunity of APOELÃ¢ÂÂs visit to put an end to the bad start to the season. But not Atleti. WeÃ¢ÂÂre different.Ã¢ÂÂ
The normally stern and sober El PaÃÂs thundered that AtlÃÂ©ticoÃ¢ÂÂs Ã¢ÂÂperformance in the first half was a criminal offence,Ã¢ÂÂ with the Cypriot opposition missing two clear chances to cause an even bigger upset on the night.
"What a load of old..."
No such blank-firing at the SÃÂ¡nchez PizjuÃÂ¡n, with the mighty Sevilla ruthlessly dispatching Romanians Unirea Urziceni 2-0.
But even more entertaining than Luis FabianoÃ¢ÂÂs rather fine opening strike was one Spanish TV channel trying to get the local fans to tell them who Sevilla were facing.
Ã¢ÂÂUuussssss...Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂOoohh-something...Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂUuniiiiii...Ã¢ÂÂ were some of the shrugging responses from the Andalusian answer-givers.
AtlÃÂ©tico fans are unlikely to be suffering from such problems in naming their own opposition - rivals that made their team the undisputed Champions League chumps of the week.
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