Good Day, Bad Day - Round 21

RESULTS: Sat Feb 6 - Valencia 2-0 Valladolid, Real Madrid 3-0 Espanyol, Barcelona 2-1 Getafe. Sun Feb 7 - Zaragoza 2-1 Sevilla, Racing Santander 1-1 Atletico Madrid, Osasuna 1-0 Tenerife, Mallorca 1-0 Villarreal, Malaga 0-0 Deportivo, Athletic Bilbao 3-2 Xerez, Almeria 3-1 Sporting Gijon.

Good Day

Real Madrid, Barcelona

Right. That’s it. The blog can’t take any more of this. It’s heading for the roof. Goodbye, cruel world.

After watching Saturday night’s Spanish footie, La Liga Loca was fairly optimistic that it would be a nice, normal week in the wacky world of the Spanish sports media - a world that the blog has to sift through on a daily basis.

After all, the weekend saw two wins and five nice uncontroversial goals for Real Madrid and Barça.

What’s more, two explusions for the Catalan club that seemed to be fair dinkum would mean that both warring camps could agree that there isn’t a pro-Barcelona refereeing conspiracy underway and put the past fortnight’s nonsense to bed.

Sadly, it was not too be.

That Gerard Pique should be banned for life for his tackle and that both of Barcelona’s goals were offside was the vibe from the Madridista press.

“More than beating Getafe, Messi had to beat the referee,” claimed Josep Casanovas in Sunday’s Sport, a paper that feels that both red cards were outrageous and the result of relentless pressure on referees to punish Barcelona, pressure instigated by Marca and AS.

The blog's helpful suggestion in response to all this is that both teams and their fans s*d off to an unpopulated atoll somewhere in the Pacific, set up their own league, with their own referees and leave everyone else alone.

NEWS: Nine-man Barcelona beat Getafe
NEWS: Guardiola rises above refereeing debate

Gonzalo Higuaín

Remember, Barcelona and Atlético fans, every goal from the Argentine striker causes an extra wrinkle of rancour on Florentino Pérez’s face.

Especially when it coincides with another finger-up-nose display of apathy from Karim Benzema.

And especially, especially, when Higuaín’s goals are absolute corkers, too.

Leo Messi

Thanks to the wondrous footballing stylings of little Leo, we all saw the same future at the same time, when four Getafe defenders followed the Argentine forward on his run, whilst failing to notice the downwind Xavi.

Osasuna

Four very good days for Osasuna sees Camacho’s men picking up 12 points from 12 and snug in mid-table.

And four very good days for La Liga Loca, too, means that the blog has not had to sit through any of the tedious, hoofing encounters that brought about those victories for the Pamplonan side.

Mallorca

Putting every ounce of energy into their home games and defending their goal as if their lives depended on it sees Mallorca with 10 wins from 10 at the Ono Estadi and having conceded just three goals in the process.

The manager behind this brilliant madness, Gregorio Manzano, was in full hailing mode after their latest triumph, a 1-0 win over Villarreal.

“The win is worth so much as it was against a side who have designs on the European places.”

As usual, most Mallorca fans couldn’t be bothered attending the encounter with just 12,000 showing up for Sunday afternoon’s clash.

NEWS: Mallorca maintain perfect home record

Ever Banega

Poor Diego Maradona is currently caught in 1,000 tiny minds over which players to take to the World Cup, having called up 102 in the past year-and-a-half.

However, Ever Banega is making life a little easier for the confused international coach with some outstanding displays for Valencia and some cracking goals along the way.

Despite a rather limp start to his career in la Liga, Banega is a midfielder who is really coming on strong this season.

Fernando Llorente

The Athletic striker dug his side out of the deepest of holes on Sunday with two goals to force a narrow 3-2 victory over Xerez, of all teams.

Almería

Despite losing defender Chico after just two minutes after a fine one handed clearance - “a great save” notes AS - Almería survived a bruising battle against Sporting to pick up three points.

And that is a very bad thing indeed for a blog that desperately wants the southern side dropping out of the top flight and replaced with the infinitely more interesting Betis.

Zaragoza’s new boys

The law of averages suggests that at least some of Zaragoza’s seven winter signings would work.

And that’s the case with the new centre-back pairing of Matteo Contini and Jiri Jarosik, whose mean and moody ways and all round tightness have given Zaragoza more security to go forward - a security that has produced back-to-back wins against Tenerife and Sevilla.

The blog is less convinced by newly-arrived striker Humberto Suazo, who appears to have based a career in South America on having big googly eyes and little else.

Only one of his 11 shots in Sunday’s Sevilla clash were on target.

Bad Day

Miguel Angel Portugal

La Liga Loca is going to be honest and admit that it hasn’t seen a second of Racing’s late clash with Atlético Madrid.

It was going to have a little look on Monday morning but after reading yet more moans and complaints about fouls, cards and referees, it really doesn’t have the heart to do so.

So, it calls on the great blog readership to take one for the team and explain why the Racing boss felt the need to call the referee for the 1-1 draw a “son of a b*tch” after the encounter.

Tenerife

Unlike John Terry, Tenerife are less keen on playing away this season.

The side’s eighth defeat in 10 away from the Canary Islands came at Osasuna on Sunday.

“We’re lacking confidence,” noted the side’s astute manager, José Luis Oltra.

Alvaro Negredo

A hopeless, gutless performance from Sevilla in the 2-1 defeat at Zaragoza topped off a fine week for one of its star players, Alvaro Negredo.

The former Madrid man was substituted in the first half of the midweek cup clash with Getafe, much to the striker’s displeasure.

His mood must have worsened a further notch after scoring a headed own goal and receiving a red card for managing the impressive feat of both tumbling to the ground in a dive whilst booting out at Zaragoza defender Contini.

Juan Carlos Garrido, Onésimo

Two new managers at the helm of Villarreal and Valladolid respectively made excellent starts to their new jobs with a couple of defeats.

Onésimo at Valladolid looks the far more entertaining of the debutantes with the former ‘B’ team boss being an angrier, more snarling version of predecessor José Luis Mendilibar.

And that really is saying something.

Guti

The Madrid midfielder built on last week’s Oscar award-winning backheel by doing diddly-squat against Espanyol.

After allowing Perico winger José Marqués to go past him twice unmolested - as it were - Manuel Pellegrini finally banished Guti to the bench.

Pablo Alvaréz

The dirty man of Deportivo should have seen red for a handball and then knocking an opponent out in a somewhat violent challenge.

Instead, the midfielder eventually got his marching orders after a supposed dive that seemed a little harsh to a blog that feels that the ends probably justified the means with Alvaréz’ eventual sending off.

Espanyol

Without an away goal in the league since September. And didn’t look vaguely like getting one on Saturday night against Real Madrid.

Luis García has never looked more narked.

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