Good Day, Bad Day: Barça’s local battering and same old story at the Bernabeu

Good Day

Real Madrid
It was a very familiar story at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. Real Madrid started off at a snail’s pace, waited until the opposition had scored an unlikely goal - Zaragoza in this case - then woke up a little, before polishing off their visitors without too much fuss or bother. The major difference to other games was perhaps that Madrid only managed to score three goals, when five or six against the bottom-of-the-table side was expected. If this update was a very long tweet thing, then it would be #autopilot. In fact, the blog likes that idea so much, it’s going end every single one of today's entries with a hashtag. So there.

Esteban Granero
From the wilderness and a possible loan deal with Betis, to a starting role in the side in the space of a couple of weeks, ever since Sami Khedira got injured and José Mourinho caved in to pressure from the press to play “the good ones” in the starting line-up. The players with creative flair, as opposed to Pepe in the midfield, for example. #graneronotapsycho

Goodness grief. A 1-0 win over Mallorca for Espanyol moves the Pericos up into fifth. Let’s hear how it happened with Paul from Barcelona.
“A weird day, a weird goal and even weirder refereeing decisions. Question - why is it that the two dirtiest teams in La Liga wear identical kits? Move over Osasuna there's a new gang of thugs in town. Last week we had that idiot, Jara, trying to maim someone, this week we had ten of them.
The goal - a comedy of errors doesn't do it justice, a through ball from Verdú,Weiss is beating the defender to the ball, he receives a body-check ice hockey style. A penalty! But no, the ball bounces up, the keeper dives over Weiss, grabs the ball, lands, the ball breaks free, Weiss puts it into an unguarded goal. The keeper then claims he was fouled. By whom? Defender is down feigning injury to avoid red card. Genius
Overall, a good result, not the best performance against a team who will hopefully will go down and will smash the most reds in a season record.”
Paul, Barcelona

Fernando Llorente
Llorente's three goals in a cracking 3-2 win against Rayo takes the powerful lad from Pamplona to ten league goals for the season, the same as Karim Benzema. Amazingly though, it was the first league hat-trick of his career.
LLL is thinking that, on current form and ability, Roberto Soldado, Alvaro Negredo and Fernando Torres are way behind the Athletic forward in the pecking order for a start with the Spain. The three goals against Rayo showed Llorente’s strengths, a couple of habitual headers and a lovely strike from the edge of the box. #goodtouchforabigman

Blimey, Málaga needed that one. The 2-1 victory over Sevilla saves a little bit of the sorry season so far for the southerners. “I hope this is the beginning of a positive run and lets us fight for our objectives,” said Manuel Pellegrini after the game. #stillawasteofmoney

Dani Güiza
The Getafe striker may not have known much about his goal in the 2-1 win at Levante which deflected off his leg, but the Euro 2008 winner will take it, considering it was only the striker’s third since rejoining Getafe. #celebratorydrinksallround

Real Sociedad
La Real really are doing very well at the moment, having lost just the one match in eight. The latest victory was the 5-1 thumping of a sorry Sporting in San Sebastian. #mid-table

Abel Resino
A big yay for grumbly, grouchy Abel Resino who made a winning return to la Primera as the new boss of Granada with a 2-1 victory at Betis. #stillgoingdown

The side from Santander continue their feisty run of football matches with a 2-2 draw against Valencia, with an equalising goal coming in the final minutes of the game. #probablystillgoingdown

When Villarreal crashed and burned against Atlético Madrid a couple of weeks ago, LLL was sure that the fallen giants were so abject that even Pep’s Dream Boys on the road would be able to take care of them quite comfortably. But a big box of chocolates will be on the way to El Madrigal from Mordor, as keeper Diego López and a hardworking display from the rest of the team shut out Barça for 90 minutes - only the third side to achieve this in la Liga this season. #toogoodtogodown

Bad Day

It’s not so much the notion that a plump and proud Real Madrid now have a seven point lead at the top of the table that is really going to bug the Barça boys. The sixth time this season that Barça have been rusty on the road won’t be that bad in comparison for what’s coming up. It’s the tutting, sighing and finger pointing from the local press for the next few weeks that going to grind Barça’s gears.
“The worst Barça of the Guardiola era,” fumed Lluís Mascaró in Sport rather harshly, despite the paper’s cheery front cover claiming that the side “won’t give up.” “They can’t give us an ultra-motivated display against Madrid and then give a poor one against Villarreal,” complained Joan Vehils.
These mumbles and grumbles are likely to get louder and louder over the next three weeks with Pep’s shrinking squad facing Valencia three times in the cup and league and with a fun trip to Osasuna to come, as well. #allbutgivenup

The Valencia side better be saving something special for the cup double-header against Barcelona as 2-2 at Racing Santander along with two more draws and a loss in 2012 certainly isn’t going to go down well with the fans, especially after conceding a 2-1 scoreline to Racing in the last two minutes of the match. #lazyitis

LLL was just about to write something soothing and sympathetic about fatigue affecting Levante’s old codgers in the 2-1 home defeat to Getafe which left the fourth-placed outfit - yes, still - without a win in five. But then the blog read comments from 35-year-old, Juanfran, who dismissed the notion as pure puppy poop.
“Someone who works 12 or 14 hours is tired,” scoffed the defender. “Personally, I think it’s lamentable to look for excuses that we are tired. It seems very sad to say that as we are a veteran squad we are tired.” #summerholidaysalready

Oh dear, a failure in a second derby in the past two weekends for the Sevilla boss certainly isn’t going to help Marcelino’s cause, whose team have now gone six matches without a win. #doomeddoomed

An awful result for Betis who lost 2-1 at home Granada who were playing just their first game under new coach, Abel Resino. “We aren’t this team,” lamented an existential Pepe Mel. “We’ve never been this before.” #ohyesyouhave

Rayo Vallecano
Coach, José Ramón Sandoval, mused a couple of weeks ago that Rayo’s back-to-back home games against Mallorca last weekend and then Athletic Bilbao would be crucial to the side’s survival chances. LLL hopes the manager is wrong as the two games were lost. The second defeat, Saturday’s thriller against Athletic Bilbao, sees Rayo now just two points from the relegation zone with just three wins from ten games in Vallecas, a home that was supposed to be a strong point for the side this season. #relyingonDiegoCostaohdear

LLL can’t even write ‘a battling performance from Sporting, but a defeat’ which has been a familiar phrase used by the blog before to describe the Asturian’s 5-1 thumping by Real Sociedad. “I would understand any decision, but it’s not me that would have to take it,” growled manager, Manolo Preciado, after the loss. #cannon fodder