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Good Day, Bad Day: Mou 'flicks the V' as Real sneak win

It's that time of the week again - Tim Stannard runs through the winners and losers of the weekend's action in Spain...


Real Madrid

Well, the ever-so-mature âÂÂYou smell of poo! No, YOU smell of poo!â build-up to the Sporting against Real Madrid clash certainly gave the squawking local media types something to chew on over the weekend â aside from the usual "Just how brilliant is José Mourinho?" debates.

A typical example of the kind of excitement the name-calling nonsense instigated was witnessed by LLL when accidentally switching to Marca TV on Sunday evening. LLL was genuinely trying to snare MTV, which has just arrived on its television, as the blog has become ever so slightly addicted to being appalled and yet simultaneously entertained by the vile characters featured on My Super Sweet Sixteen. And donâÂÂt get it started on Jersey Shore.

Instead, it ended up with 30 seconds of three grown men literally screaming at each other and jabbing their fingers like toddlers fighting over a doll's house.

Basically, Real Madrid showed great persistence to win a cracking encounter in which a fantastically feisty Sporting played their part while José Mourinho was probably quite happy to be hidden in a VIP box at the back of the stadium rather than out on the pitch, like his poor players.

Andrés Iniesta

Billy OceanâÂÂs favourite side in the going-gets-tough, tough-gets-going department with another win when it really, really, really matters. BarcelonaâÂÂs fairly comprehensive victory over Villarreal must be added to the wins over Atlético Madrid, Valencia, Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla on the Dream Boysâ increasingly blood-spattered wall of scalps.

Of course, Leo Messi was brilliant once again with two goals - the Argentinian has more braces than a young Ken Dodd - but it was Andrés Iniesta that most tickled LLLâÂÂs fancy with some fantastic footwork throughout the game.

Athletic Bilbao

What looked like a routine 1-0 win against Almeria was far from it, with referee Velasco Carballo taking exception to Athletic left-backs. Having sent off Koikili Lertxundi, he got the same vexing vibe from his replacement Xavi Castillo, and gave him two yellows as well.

That saw the Basque side defending their 1-0 lead - which came from Fernando Llorente's eighth of the season - for 21 minutes with the San Mamés in incredible rabble-rousing form and making one heck of a racket to see their side through. âÂÂIt was an epic win, full of struggling and suffering,â marvelled the striker known as Superman.

When the final whistle blew, it was if Athletic had won the Copa del Rey with Joaquin Caparros - who is NOT on amphetamines, as one of LLLâÂÂs match-watching companions was insisting having never seen the excitable Athletic manager in action before - babbling that âÂÂthere was a union between the public and footballers who gave everything.âÂÂ

Diego Forlán

The Uruguayan had hit a rough patch of 12 games without a goal, which saw poor old Diego getting the âÂÂpushing up daisies, six foot under, finished as a strikerâ treatment from the Spanish sporting press.

But like Cristiano Ronaldo, David Villa and Karim Benzema before him, the Atlético forward has apparently risen from the Pichichi-chasing dead with two goals against Osasuna. And there was LLL thinking that the Deportivo attack were the only lifeless zombies in la Primera.

Forlán has now equalled Fernando Torresâ total of 91 goals for Atlético in just 170 games. The comparatively slack El Niño took 249 matches.

Royston Drenthe

Hero to the blog, and indeed the universe, Royston Drenthe scored a belter of a second-half free kick to become the first Hércules player not named David Trezeguet or Nelson Valdez to score a league goal, giving his side a 2-1 win over Real Sociedad and ending a run of five games without in the process.

Tino Costa

A lovely strike after just eight minutes was enough to kill off what little fight Getafe had in Mestalla and move Valencia back into the Champions League places.


A goalless draw for dull-Deportivo means that all is good, pretty and shiny with the world again after a worrying couple of rounds which saw both goals and wins for the legendary Galician fun-stoppers.


Manuel Preciado

Reports suggest the Sporting manager, grabbed his genitals and threw a bottle at the Real Madrid bus as it departed El Molinón. The bottle reportedly missed its target and hit a woman standing nearby, according to Marca. Preciado claims that José Mourinho waved two fingers at him whilst a member of the Real Madrid coaching team shouted âÂÂgoing downâ after a match atmosphere that moved from entertainingly sparky to plain nasty.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ten goals against Deportivo, Málaga, Racing Santander and Hércules. None in slightly tough clashes against AC Milan, Atlético Madrid and now Sporting. Just sayinâÂÂ. Nothing more. Stand back. Nothing to see here...

Manuel Pellegrini

Yes, a bad day - thatâÂÂs what MarcaâÂÂs website was claiming Manuel Pellegrini had on Sunday, despite having given Málaga their first win at home in the league this season in just his first league game in charge.

The crime committed by the former Real Madrid manager according to the paper which has a bit of a vendetta against the apparently dithering, indecisive Chilean is that the coach made some changes at half-time with the result that Málaga scored and went on to win the game with a belter from Eliseu.

âÂÂHe made a complete U-turn at half time in changing his strikers,â complained the match report branding Pellegrini âÂÂthe worstâ of the encounter.

AS however, have fewer politically-inspired hang-ups about Manuel and hail the new Málaga manager as âÂÂthe miracle manâÂÂ.

Juanma Lillo

After LilloâÂÂs Almería side failed to break down the nine men of Athletic Bilbao - having never looked like doing it, to be fair - the Almería president and his board asked to borrow a room at San Mamés in what was expected to be a quick get-together to fire Juanma LilloâÂÂs booty.

However, the mop-topped manager appears to have survived the chop for the moment after reasoning that his side were âÂÂsuperior in numbers but never had the emotional superiority,â due to the outstanding San Mamés support.

Lillo will no doubt be expected to pick up points in AlmeríaâÂÂs next two games. Against Barcelona and Valencia. So thatâÂÂs him finished then, isnâÂÂt it?

El Mundo Deportivo

âÂÂHis Machiavellian plan is taking effort but Mourinho still hasnâÂÂt stopped (Barça)â claims Sergi Solé on the Real Madrid managerâÂÂs apparently brilliant conceit to prevent Barcelona victories by controlling referees. And giving the Catalan club offside goals, too, it would seem - #flawedconcept.


âÂÂBarcelona being helped by the referee is back!â claims MondayâÂÂs Marca with the blog opening its balcony doors and peering over the edge in response to both papers.

Jiri Jarosik

The big lovable, goof-headed blunder-dome of a defender had one of his dithering, 'attack of the vapours' moments in the 90th minute of Zaragoza's home defeat to Sevilla, allowing Alvaro Negredo through to give the Andalusian side the 2-1 win and inflict his inane wrist-kissing goal celebration on the watching world.

After the match, Zaragoza manager - just - José Aurelio Gay noted that whilst the coach was always the one responsible for results there wasnâÂÂt much he could do about half-witted, pea-brained defenders giving the ball away in injury time. But in slightly more polite terms.

Ariel Nahuelpan

Racing Santander coach, Miguel Angel Portugal, was claiming that his side should have had a late penalty in the goalless draw away at Mallorca, with Ivan Bolado appearing to have taken a boot in the head.

But it probably wouldnâÂÂt have made any difference, considering the Racing striker, Ariel - a forward reaching levels of Riki-like incompetency - missed an earlier spot-kick awarded to the Cantabrian club before being substituted at half time.


Four red cards in OsasunaâÂÂs away games - the most recent seeing Ignacio Monreal being banished to the bench against Atlético - sees coach, José Antonio Camacho, contemplating some different tactics.

âÂÂWhen we travel away, I am going to train with ten,â mused the prince of Pamplona.