La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs Good Day, Bad Day - Round 22
RESULTS: Sat Feb 13 Xerez 0-3 Real Madrid, Sporting GijÃÂ³n 1-1 Valencia, Villarreal 2-1 Athletic Bilbao Sun Feb 14 AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid 2-1 Barcelona, Espanyol 2-0 Deportivo La CoruÃÂ±a, Getafe 2-2 AlmerÃÂa, Racing Santander 0-3 MÃÂ¡laga, Real Valladolid 1-1 Real Zaragoza, Sevilla 1-0 Osasuna
Quique SÃÂ¡nchez FloresÃ¢ÂÂ plan to counter the twin threats of Barcelona's awseome attacking and PereaÃ¢ÂÂs disastrous defending was a simple one: move the calamitous Colombian into the centre of Atleti's rearguard and have him do nothing more strenuous than whack the ball away as often and as quickly as possible.
When Perea is in the full-back position, all kinds of comedy antics occur due to the footballer being forced into unfamiliar manoeuvres such as passing.
However the South American does feel like he is unfairly picked on for being an enormous liability.
Ã¢ÂÂIn the last games my mistakes have been exaggerated,Ã¢ÂÂ complained Perea after the 2-1 win over Barcelona.
PereaÃ¢ÂÂs mistakes were limited on Sunday night thanks to BarcelonaÃ¢ÂÂs complete lack of width that saw Leo Messi repeatedly running into the huddled masses of the Rojiblanco backline and Zlatan barely able to move his big clumsy feet before being hustled off the ball.
If the blog was putting together a Ã¢ÂÂReal Madrid value for moneyÃ¢ÂÂ summer signings chart, it would be tempted to put the cheap-as-chips Alvaro Arbeloa at the top (sorry Karim).
The ÃÂ£3.5 million man probably pips the 17 goals in 17 games Cristiano Ronaldo largely on the strength that he is not a complete tool and has been available to play in most of MadridÃ¢ÂÂs games this season.
On Saturday, the full-back scored his first goal for the club - and only the third of his career - to break the dull-as-ditchwater deadlock in an awful encounter against Xerez.
Ã¢ÂÂAn hour of suffering and half-an-hour of partying,Ã¢ÂÂ noted Santiago Segurola in Marca, in an overgenerous description of the end of the encounter.
Villarreal still seem very out of sorts indeed, especially at the back, and only have their goalie to thank for Saturday nightÃ¢ÂÂs 2-1 win over a typically boisterous Athletic Bilbao.
At 2-1 up in the final minutes, LÃÂ³pez saved a penalty from Athletic to kick-off a furious finale that saw three sendings off on the pitch and the banishing to the stands of Athletic boss JoaquÃÂn CaparrÃÂ³s, who later claimed that he had only strayed out of his technical area to Ã¢ÂÂhave a lookÃ¢ÂÂ at the red card awarded to midfielder Javi MartÃÂnez.
A 3-0 thumping of Racing Ã¢ÂÂ at El Sardinero, too Ã¢ÂÂ sees MÃÂ¡laga with the remarkable record of just one defeat in 13 leaving them five points clear of the relegation zone
It's also reward for the clubÃ¢ÂÂs bosses for avoiding the temptation of firing the booty of coach Juan RamÃÂ³n LÃÂ³pez MuÃÂ±iz after a run of just one win in the sideÃ¢ÂÂs first 14 league games of the season.
Another pee-poor performance from Sevilla saw the side squeeze past Osasuna 1-0 in a game described by MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs suffering correspondent as Ã¢ÂÂboring with few chances.Ã¢ÂÂ
The only one of that few to be converted was a beauty, though, with Fabiano contorting his neck into all sorts of Exorcist-style inhuman angles to fire home Diego CapelÃ¢ÂÂs cross.
Sevilla are now back in the Champions League places, but will only stay there if Mallorca fail to win Monday nightÃ¢ÂÂs trip to Tenerife.
But considering that the Balearic club have only won once on their league travels this season, Sevilla should be just fine.
Espanyol may have rolled over for their tummies to be tickled at the Bernabeu last weekend, but they meant business on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Deportivo witnessed by Paul from Barcelona:
Ã¢ÂÂEspanyol played well. Depor were rubbish and the ref was OK despite disallowing a perfectly good goal for Espanyol.
He got the red card right and Depor were lucky to avoid two more. Not much else of note to be honest, apart from:
1) Verdu scoring against his old team. Again
2) And my travels with Espanyol are nothing compared to the Espanyol season ticket holder from Wakefield. My cap is doffed. Some season ticket holders of a well known team won't cross the street to watch their team. Only Roy Castle can sing the appropriate song. All together now: Ã¢ÂÂDedication...'Ã¢ÂÂ
CouldnÃ¢ÂÂt make a pass if he was horny, three sheets to the wind and a strutting Elsa Pataky was preening past.
And this seemed more relevant to BarcelonaÃ¢ÂÂs defeat than any deficiencies to be found in the back four.
Aside from that, La Liga Loca doesnÃ¢ÂÂt remember much more about the encounter, having spent most of it huddled in a ball in the stands trying to stay conscious as the temperatures hit -60ÃÂC.
However, the Barcelona press were ready for the worst against AtlÃÂ©tico and are in sprightly, stiff-upper-lip mood on Monday with SportÃ¢ÂÂs front cover admitting that the defeat was a slip-up but noting that the Catalan club are still leaders.
If Getafe are to deliver their president Angel TorresÃ¢ÂÂ laudable but improbable goal of a top-four finish then they could do without half-wit, spanner goalkeepers dropping the ball in the 93rd minute at 2-1 up.
ThatÃ¢ÂÂs what happened on Sunday against AlmerÃÂa and it resulted the visitors equalising and two points dropped.
Forget Shakespeare, Cervantes and Larsson.
The most beautiful literature of all is DeportivoÃ¢ÂÂs recent league record: two wins in 10 - a record that no longer sees them larking about in the Champions League places which was one of the most embarrassing footballing sights in Spain to since Angel Arizmendi.
The bottom dwellers proved again, as they did against Barcelona, AtlÃÂ©tico and Villarreal, that they know how avoid losing games at home - by hefty margins, at least.
What they are incapable of doing is winning them.
It was a plucky, hardworking effort to keep Real Madrid at bay for 70 minutes but as soon as the home side ran out of steam, and starting dropping back deeper and deeper, then XerezÃ¢ÂÂ footballing days were numbered against the second-placed side.
Ã¢ÂÂA bittersweet result,Ã¢ÂÂ lamented Unai Emery after ValenciaÃ¢ÂÂs 1-1 draw at Sporting.
The visitors certainly had the chances to polish off their opponents but could only manage one measly goal, leaving the Mestalla men 10 points behind second-placed Madrid.
Miguel Angel Portugal
The Madridista press will no doubt have something to say about this over the next few days, but there were post-match rumblings that it was a very good time for the attacking Racing trio of TchitÃÂ©, Colsa and Munitis to pick up cards which sees suspensions for all against Barcelona at the Camp Nou next week in a game Racing appear to have written off.
Ã¢ÂÂThey were not under orders,Ã¢ÂÂ grumbled Racing boss Portugal after the 3-0 home defeat to MÃÂ¡laga, denying any deliberate stroppiness from his footballers.
New manager, same old Valladolid who are mired in the relegation zone after a 1-1 draw against 10 man Zaragoza on Sunday. Ã¢ÂÂValladolid are giving up,Ã¢ÂÂ sigh El PaÃÂs, Ã¢ÂÂbit by bit.Ã¢ÂÂ
Not a single minute for Zaragoza against Valladolid Ã¢ÂÂ a very cold bench to sit on.
Special bonus link: Unnamed genius getting photo taken with Florentino Perez while holding an "off-message" scarf
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