Good Day, Bad Day: Barca's smug cloud and Ronaldo's unsurprising whinge
A seven point lead at the top of the table, an old foe in HÃÂ©rcules slain, a record for consecutive league wins equalled with 15 straight Primera victories, three strikers in the top six scorers in la Liga and with 105 goals scored in all competitions, means that the smug cloud above Barcelona on Monday can probably be seen from Mars.
An outstanding thwacked goal from a tight angle from the Italian striker who signed a deal with Villarreal until 2016 at the end of last week and looks in the form of his life. And so does his club who have now lost just one in five, that niggling defeat against Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu.
VillarrealÃ¢ÂÂs next three games in la Liga are against Levante, Deportivo and MÃÂ¡laga - a fine chance to put the pressure on the struggling side six points above them.
The Athletic striker equalled Karim BenzemaÃ¢ÂÂs league scoring record in a single game with two goals to defeat AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid on Sunday before using his celebrations to confess his profound love of wrestling.
The Basque club are now in a bit of a run of form with three wins in a row and five victories from the last seven. If Espanyol were to have a wobble, then Athletic who are just two points behind the Pericos might be able to take their place.
A strike to seal the winner in Real SociedadÃ¢ÂÂs victory against AlmerÃÂa in a rain-sodden San Sebastian, on Saturday, sees the rat-faced rampager becoming the greatest Catalan striker in the history of la Liga with 133 goals.
Happy days are here in again in GijÃÂ³n with Sporting winning their third win in a row - and a hugely impressive one to boot - with a 4-0 away victory at Mallorca. Ã¢ÂÂA month ago everything was dark, but now itÃ¢ÂÂs light,Ã¢ÂÂ growled a poetic but perky Sporting boss, Manuel Preciado, who couldnÃ¢ÂÂt have been happier had someone had left a carton of a kerzillion ciggies on his bench.
There is a still a touch of the Walking Dead Ã¢ÂÂbraaaainnnnsÃ¢ÂÂ about Zaragoza but Javier Aguirre has now lead the Aragonese outfit to three wins in a row, and four from the last five. Unfortunately, LLL canÃ¢ÂÂt for the life of it explain how as they are still fairly bobbins.
Not pretty, but very effective. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs the best way to describe OsasunaÃ¢ÂÂs win over Real Madrid, a win that leaves the Pamplona club with just one defeat in a year in the Reyno de Navarra stadium. All Osasuna need to do now is repeat that formula on the road where JosÃÂ© Antonio CamachoÃ¢ÂÂs side are still without a victory, this season.
It feels more than a little mean to pee on LevanteÃ¢ÂÂs parade but MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs headline that the Valencia side are Ã¢ÂÂvery much aliveÃ¢ÂÂ seems more than a tad premature, considering all Luis GarcÃÂaÃ¢ÂÂs side managed to do was beat the flimsiest football team in Spain at the moment in the shambolic form of Getafe, although the 2-0 victory did put an end to a run of five straight defeats.
For the second time in a fortnight, the football press - MadridÃ¢ÂÂs anyway - is in full hand-wringing, teeth-grinding mode over something that inevitably happens from time to time in football, in normal circumstances anyway, and thatÃ¢ÂÂs the concept of a good team in poor form dropping points away from home.
LLL is never surprised by what life can throw up - sometimes literally - so it is not quite ready to declare Barcelona as the league title winners just yet. However, the blog should probably take note of the fact that if mad TomÃÂ¡s Roncero, the biggest Madridista of them all, has given up hope then this strongest of hints should be taken.
Ã¢ÂÂA team that canÃ¢ÂÂt win at Mallorca, Levante, AlmerÃÂa and Osasuna canÃ¢ÂÂt believe that is has the right to win la Liga,Ã¢ÂÂ stormed the AS man on Monday.
A third league game in a row without a goal and the rather churlish complaints after the match that OsasunaÃ¢ÂÂs only strategy was to Ã¢ÂÂboot the ball up field and wait until the end of the game.Ã¢ÂÂ
DoesnÃ¢ÂÂt say much for Ronaldo nor his team-mates if that was enough to beat them does it?
Arriving on Monday morning, all with the Marca and AS Ã¢ÂÂinfamy, infamy, the refs have all got it in for me,Ã¢ÂÂ itÃ¢ÂÂs Paul from Barcelona at his grumpiest ever after watching a 1-0 home defeat by Villarreal.
Ã¢ÂÂIsnÃ¢ÂÂt it strange that in a week when all the talk was about an official not knowing the offside rule, that Spain should produce three clowns who didnÃ¢ÂÂt know it, either. To be fair to the officials they didnÃ¢ÂÂt know any of the other rules either. The only one they got right was the goal. Blind luck.
A fantastic game of football spoiled by the ineptitude of three people who you wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt want in charge of a three-year-oldÃ¢ÂÂs back garden kick-about.
Villarreal won thanks to a goal from Ã¢ÂÂlucky to be on the pitchÃ¢ÂÂ Rossi with a shot Kameni should have covered at his near post. Sergio GarcÃÂa missed three oneÃ¢ÂÂon-ones and Diego LÃÂ³pez saved their skin as per usual.Villarreal missed a couple of sitters too.
A minibus load of Villarreal fans and a very angry correspondent saw the game. To paraphrase Danny Baker - football is a trillion euro industry, billions of spectators and billions at stake, played by millionaires, but the most important person on the pitch is a shopkeeper from Avila. And to think they moaned about Howard Webb. The Spanish federation need to get their own house in order.Ã¢ÂÂ
ItÃ¢ÂÂs a question that could have philosophers chin-stroking for weeks - better to be down to ten men with Luis Perea sent off, or eleven men with the defender still on the pitch and doing his particular footballing thang?
Quique SÃÂ¡nchez Flores plumped for the latter with the Atleti boss claiming that the players had a plan that was coming together before the very unfair sending off of the Rojiblanco stopper after the ludicrous awarding of a penalty to Athletic (which was missed), but soon fell apart once Athletic had scored their first in the final seconds of the first half.
AS are panicking that AtlÃÂ©tico are Ã¢ÂÂin free fallÃ¢ÂÂ, five points from the European places and with just one league win in five. With Quique looking a man who knows his managerial goose is cooked, fans staging their routine rebellions against the board and an uncomfortable Monday that could see more of their want-away players being poached, AtlÃÂ©tico are facing some very dark days. Again.
It was hard to assess who was more incompetent in SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs 3-3 clash between these two sides on Saturday night. Deportivo have a claim for their fine effort of turning a 2-0 lead into a 3-2 advantage for Sevilla with the Andalusian side down to ten men.
Sevilla are also contenders for suffering the shame of conceding not one, but two, but three goals against the normally goal-shy, dreary Deportivo, including a late effort to drop two points.
But the winner has to be AndrÃÂ©s Palop who handled the ball a good metre out of his box but still had the stones to complain to the referee afterwards when the Sevilla goalkeeper was rightfully sent off.
Before the weekend the Balearic side had only conceded four goals at home this season - it was a total that was doubled by Sporting on Saturday in possibly the weekendÃ¢ÂÂs most peculiar result.
With a run of just one point from twelve, Getafe really are going to have to get something against Deportivo at the Coliseum next weekend, if MÃÂchelÃ¢ÂÂs men arenÃ¢ÂÂt going to go over LLLÃ¢ÂÂs knee.
Bottom of the table after an horrendous home defeat to Zaragoza but this time the fans and players couldnÃ¢ÂÂt moan about the referee as the cause of the sideÃ¢ÂÂs demise as they did against Valencia, last weekend. Nevertheless, some 20,000 black balloons were waved by fans in protest over the Mestalla mayhem, the result of which saw Manuel Pellegrini sitting in the stands serving out a suspension.