Good Day, Bad Day: Barça lose ground as Madrid get the better of Getafe

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Good day

Real Madrid
A good day for José Mourinho’s side, not through their own sterling efforts in Saturday’s 4-2 win over Getafe, but rather for getting away with four goals - including a dodgy penalty - despite a very iffy defensive performance, with the Madrid back four as chilled and casual as a vegan’s wedding. Oh, and Barcelona dropped points as well.
The most interesting thing to note during the game - aside from Fabio Coentrao’s interpretation of finishing prowess - was that Madrid’s fluidity fell apart whenever Getafe were threatening the home side’s dominance. Real Madrid may be brilliant when the side’s collective tail is up but are still a tad wobbly when not blasting their way through the cannon fodder. “I’m not happy with my team,” said Mourinho. “We won and deserved to win, scored four goals, we could have scored more but our rivals scored two and could have scored more.”

If you’d said last week that only three teams would have six points from two games and one would begin with ‘B’, you’d probably have gone with a certain Catalan outfit. Instead, it’s the mighty Betis, with a much-needed solid start to the campaign and a second 1-0 win, this time over Mallorca in the sticky sweatiness of a midday kick-off on Sunday.

Miguel Brito
The bad boy Valencia full-back promised last week that “away from football, you areny’t going to hear about Miguel.” So far the defender has been true to his word - although it has only been three or four days - with a fine defensive display in the 1-0 win over Atlético and a lovely pass that plopped onto the in-form head of Roberto Soldado for Valencia’s winner.

A home win would have been handy for Villarreal after their 5-0 tonking by Barcelona a fortnight ago, but having gone a man and a goal down after 24 minutes, with goalkeeper Diego López sent off and Alvaro Negredo netting the resulting penalty at the second attempt, it looked like being a stinker of a day for Villarreal in a sweaty El Madrigal. But instead they dug deep for a 2-2 draw - with even Sevilla boss left claiming Villarreal deserved more. “The draw wasn’t fair on them,” admitted a gracious Marcelino.

César Sánchez
An appearance for the Villarreal keeper coming off the bench to replace Diego López was Primera match number 400 for the former Valencia and Spurs goalie who turned 40 at the beginning of September.

Philippe Montanier
Anyone French is always going to rouse a little suspicion in Spain - and rightly so - but especially when he’s a manager and coming over here with his fancy ways. But the freshly appointed Real Sociedad boss has already built on a coaching reputation of turning mighty minnows into monstrous mammoths, thanks to a 2-1 win over Sporting and now a brilliant draw with Barcelona.

Imanol Agirretxe
The 23-year-old Real Sociedad striker is enjoying a bit of a hot spot having equalled the number of league goals he managed last season with his header against Barcelona added to his opening day brace against Sporting. “He’s very complete, he moves well, he’s got a lot of technique and goals in him. He’s begun well but will keep doing more,” was the praise from former teammate, Borja Viguera.

Two extremely cool finishes from the Getafe striker gives the Venezuelan three goals so far this season. His second was teed-up by the pass of Dani Güiza in a hint of what could be a handy striking partnership for Getafe. 

The Zaragoza keeper is still the man of the moment in la Liga. Having stopped a rout by Real Madrid in La Romareda, Roberto saved a point for the Aragonese outfit with a penalty stop from Rayo’s Javi Fuego and a late diving effort to block a shot from Andrija Delibasic. It was a good day all round for Zaragoza, who were largely dismal against Rayo with Javier Aguirre admitting after the game that the result “could have been worse” and that there was an awful lot of work to be done with a squad that is made up of yet-to-gel new arrivals.

Four points from two games for Osasuna after a 2-1 win against Sporting on Sunday afternoon.

Experiencing Espanyol’s 2-1 win against Athletic on Sunday involved staying up until midnight. LLL certainly wasn’t going to do that in a billion years. But that’s only because the blog knew Paul from Barcelona would be there doing his duty instead...
“A pretty even match. Espanyol not looking too clever on paper but a bit better than expected on grass. Athletic as per usual, ten big blokes and a small one with loads of skill but no end product.
Espanyol took the lead thanks to a great bit of work from Spain U-20 star Alvaro and a fine header from Sergio Garcia, apparently. I’d nipped to the loo and missed it.
Athletic began the second half strongly and a couple of excellent saves by Espanyol keeper, Cristian, one in the first half too, kept Espanyol in it. Athletic equalised thanks to the next big Stoke city signing, Fernando Llorente (€30 million !!!!!!!) - a header from a corner. We weren’t shocked.
Sergio García scored the winner after a rare mistake from Gorka. Athletic never really looked like equalising and it finished 2-1. Not a lot in it. Neither team will trouble the top six or top ten, for that matter. MOM - Joan Verdu. Usual dire referee performance - Paul, Barcelona."

Bad Day

When it comes to explaining Barcelona’s draw against Real Sociedad - which doesn't seem so bad when you consider Pep’s Dream Boys still have more points than this time last year - LLL falls into line with Mundo Deportivo. “It wasn’t the ‘FIFA Virus’ or the wrong line-up, nor bad luck. Barça dropped two points in San Sebastian because they fell for the old sin of complacency,” writes Joan Poquí.
It really was suicidal stuff from Barcelona who had the game sewn up after eleven minutes with goals from Xavi and Cesc Fabregas. But then a Real Sociedad who “weren’t themselves” in the first half, according to their manager, took advantage of a series of lapses from the visitors - including an insane back pass from David Villa - to give what Pep Guardiola has called “a good lesson for the future.”  

Atlético Madrid
A 1-0 defeat for Atlético sees the club with just one point and no goals in their opening two games. But no need to worry, says one of those responsible for that record, Adrián, who promises that “the goals will come. We have the feeling that we are moving up.”
An extremely bright light from Saturday’s reverse was Diego. who had a very promising 30 minute cameo in the second half and should have been awarded a stone-wall penalty.

Rayo Vallecano
When Rayo Vallecano boss, José Sandoval, claimed his side could have had six points rather than two after the goalless draw against Zaragoza, he wasn’t wrong. A penalty miss and an incorrectly ruled out goal in the final seconds in Vallecas turned out to be a costly loss of two points in a game Rayo deserved to win, for the main reason that they were the only side to turn up on Sunday afternoon. “The only team that tried playing football were Rayo,” said the rather serious Rayo captain, José Movilla, after the game in response to a probing from LLL.

Marcelo Biesla
Just one point from two games sees the Athletic coach under pressure - from LLL anyway, who is calling for the return of Joaquín Caparrós. A bad night for Biesla after a 2-1 defeat to Espanyol was made worse with the news that Ander Herrera is set to miss the next three months with a knee injury.

Two games and two defeats for Sporting is not the start to the season that the club need. Obviously.