Good Day, Bad Day: Getafe’s prophet & Atlético's magic 20 minutes

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Good Day

Real Madrid
Another win over Atlético Madrid was not the remarkable part of a fine Saturday night for José Mourinho’s men - although his side were given a bit of a footballing leg-up by the meanie-head referee who reduced the Rojiblancos to ten men - instead it was Barcelona losing 1-0 to Getafe, thus doubling the advantage Madrid hold over the Catalan club ahead of el Clásico in a fortnight’s time.
It is a bit of a cliché to say that there’s a very long way to go in the season and anything can happen in football, but the forces of Mordor very much have the power over the hobbits at Camp Nou. And their leader won’t be giving it up without a fight.

Winter window signings tend to fly under the media radar unless they are desperate €50 million season-saving splurges. Valencia picked up striker, Jonas, from Brazilian side Gremio just under a year ago to very little fanfare. In fact, the Mestalla trumpets weren’t even dusted off and lips went unmoistened on the arrival of the forward, who scored three league goals last season. His first of the current campaign on Saturday kicked off proceedings in a very handy 2-1 win at Rayo - a victory that puts Valencia just one point behind Barcelona and with a huge incentive to keep up a solid run that sees just one league defeat in eight.

Before Sunday, LLL saw enough signs to suggest there was still fight left in the old sea dog of Levante, and the blog was proved right with the Valencia club bouncing back with a convincing 4-0 win over Sporting after three defeats. The win keeps Levante in fourth with a five point gap over Sevilla (Málaga yet to play) and probably needing just five more wins this season to stay up.

Still not playing that well, so that’s while they’ll take a 1-0 away win over Zaragoza after a penalty won and converted by Alvaro Negredo.

Luis García
The Getafe manager is surely a prediction king. Or someone who knows about football tactics - two skills LLL completely lacks. “Barça suffer at set pieces as they are not tall, except for Piqué and Busquets,” opined The Prophet two days before Juan Valera’s winner on Saturday from a corner. 

Joaquín Caparrós
The Mallorca manager picked up his first victory in his spell as Balearic boss. And so he should have done too, considering his team were playing Racing Santander.

A 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in the Basque country. Didn’t see that coming.

Iñigo Martínez
This is getting silly. The Real Sociedad defender has only scored two goals this season. But they have both come from inside his own half. The first was against Athletic Bilbao, and the second was Sunday’s late winner against Betis. Quite, quite silly.

Bad Day

Angel di María
Although the Argentinean returned from injury with a goal in the win against Atlético, the little tyke was back with facets of his game that LLL had thought were being phased out - the constant cheating, diving and faking injury. “Pathetic for a good player that doesn’t need to it,” stormed Santi Nolla in Sport.

The Getafe performance was lethargic enough to have Barça fans frustratedly banging the side of their televisions to try and provoke some kind of reaction from the Camp Nou collective. It was only in the dying seconds of the game that Barça started to realise the mess they were in and began to react. To be fair, a goal was incorrectly disallowed for offside when it was a Getafe player, Míchel, who got the final touch of the ball and a post was struck. But seeing as draws are the new defeats in la Liga, the result would still have left Real Madrid with a handy cushion at the top of the table.
The local press reaction to the defeat swung between despair, “we have to be realistic, the league is lost,” wrote Joan Poquí in Mundo Deportivo,” to semi-defiance, with Sport’s headline claiming that “they’ll have to win at the Bernabeu.”
Of course, there’s also room for the barking mad, and the ever-reliable Lluis Mascaró, writing in the same paper, provided a big dollop of paranoid lunacy in Sunday’s edition. “The (Madrid) media cavern will magnify the euphoria with its propaganda campaign which is now unstoppable.” Indeed.

Athletic Bilbao
The home defeat to Granada sees Athletic having picked up just the single point in San Mamés in the three games against Primera new boys, Rayo, Betis and Sunday’s visitors.

A home defeat for Espanyol against Osasuna, means there is even less good will than normal from a grouchy Paul from Barcelona, especially for his side’s neighbours.

“Well that was rubbish. Things we learned from today’s match -
1) Espanyol desperately need a centre-forward. Alvaro, despite scoring, needs more time. Espanyol need an experienced striker.
2) Javi Marquez needs to get fit asap if we don’t want next season’s derby to be against Sabadell.
3) Osasuna ain’t much cop and for the supposed “toughest team in la Liga” they ain’t very tough.
4)  Feigning injury is cheating. If you can get a yellow for diving you should get a yellow for this. Osasuna’s number six (that would be Javad Nekounam -LLL) was a disgrace to football.
5) Injury time is totally random. A sending-off, a player down for nearly two minutes, a team constantly warned for time-wasting, six substitutions, only four mins !!!. Fourth official, you had a shocker.
6) Osasuna’s support among part time Crusties has dropped. You used to see loads of mullets supporting them. Now their away support comes in a people carrier. What’s happened? They used to have good away support.
Something learned from another match - that the Getafe result shouldn’t stand because Getafe are one of the teams Sandro Rosell wants kicked out of the league for being too small.They could be playing Man Utd in Singapore instead. Much more important.”
Paul, Barcelona

Atlético Madrid
For the opening 20 minutes of Saturday’s encounter, LLL’s thoughts were probably echoed by the Atlético supporters. “Why don’t you play like this every week?”

Thibaud Courtois
LLL will probably go with Iker Casillas on whether it was a sending-off for Atlético Madrid keeper, Thibaut Courtois, who brought down Karim Benzema to completely change a game where the Rojiblancos held the upper hand. The Madrid number one said the penalty and red card were probably justified going by the letter of the law but that “I hope they change this rule.”

Diego Godín
Oh dear. Another member of the very large ‘used to be a good defender, then went to Atlético Madrid’ brigade. The Uruguayan was outpaced by Cristiano Ronaldo for Madrid’s second goal, failed to clear a ball for the third and then gave away a penalty and picked up a red card for the fourth. Good work.

Pepe Mel
That’s one point from the last nine games for the Betis boss, who saw his side lose 3-2 at home to Real Sociedad after the visitors’ miraculous late winner. Pepe Mel said that he would understand if he was fired, however that doesn’t seem to be the plan for the moment, probably because Betis neither have the cash to pay him off or fund a replacement.

Racing Santander
Bottom-of-the-table with just the single win and nine points. Oh dear.