La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs Good Day, Bad Day - Round 33
Whether itÃ¢ÂÂs down to the relentless rain in Madrid clearing away the weekend barf-patches from the barrio, or the thought that an Icelandic volcano might spare LLL from having to sit through 90 minutes of LiverpoolÃ¢ÂÂs Ã¢ÂÂspecialÃ¢ÂÂ football stylings at a damp Vicente CalderÃÂ³n on Thursday, but the blog woke up in the chippiest of moods, this morning.
So it is delighted to report that a manic midweek round of matches, combined with the weekendÃ¢ÂÂs results has suddenly booted a bit of life into a Primera campaign that had been passed out the pavement.
The title-race is suddenly fun again, there are four teams battling for the final Champions League spot and the survival battle has now extended its embrace to bring seven teams into its bulging bosom of doom.
Happy days, indeed.
Reading SundayÃ¢ÂÂs editorial in Marca ahead of the Valencia clash, LLL had the distinct impression that the paper was actively willing Madrid to miss the opportunity handed them by Espanyol to close the gap on Barcelona to one point and roger things up royally against the men from Mestalla.
After all, if Manuel Pellegrini were to actually win the league title in his first season, it would jam a big old spanner into the works of the ongoing Florentino PÃÂ©rez-inspired campaign to boot the Chilean coach from the Bernabeu.
Even by MadridÃ¢ÂÂs wacky standards, it would look more than a little ludicrous for the club to ditch a Primera-winning manager for the fourth time in a row.
So, all this back story sits behind the paperÃ¢ÂÂs vile, mean-spirited headline on Sunday that Ã¢ÂÂit would be unforgivable if Pellegrini were to throw away EspanyolÃ¢ÂÂs giftÃ¢ÂÂ and the attack on the Madrid manager for an apparently off-the-cuff comment that he didnÃ¢ÂÂt know if he would watch the Catalan derby on Saturday night.
Ã¢ÂÂHow bad for a Primera manager not to see such an important clash,Ã¢ÂÂ sneered Marca.
Insult was piled on top of injury on SundayÃ¢ÂÂs back page with the paperÃ¢ÂÂs Real Madrid editor, Miguel Serrano, responding to the reality that neither Wenger, BenÃÂtez, nor Mourinho will realistically be coming to the Bernabeu in the summer, by drumming up support for the appointment of former player and current Getafe boss, MÃÂchel - an idea that should strike a ice-cream tub of fear into Madridista hearts.
Ã¢ÂÂMÃÂchel was born to manage Real Madrid,Ã¢ÂÂ blurbs Serrano, dictating the fax that came straight from FlorentinoÃ¢ÂÂs office, perhaps.
In response to the subsequent victory for Madrid, MondayÃ¢ÂÂs editorial praises Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂs robustness against Valencia but throws few crumbs of comfort in PellegriniÃ¢ÂÂs direction.
Instead it is Cristiano Ronaldo (of course) that is praised to the gods in the paperÃ¢ÂÂs Top Ten of the weekend with his Ã¢ÂÂvoracityÃ¢ÂÂ and Ã¢ÂÂnever giving up a ball for lost.Ã¢ÂÂ
Running, working and sweating buckets in a manner rarely seen away from the Cornella El-Prat, this season, saw happy days indeed for Espanyol against Barcelona, on Saturday night.
And a stomping, woolly mammoth of an update from Paul from Barcelona, with the chunky highlights here...
Ã¢ÂÂEspanyol will see this as two points dropped and BarÃÂ§a as a valuable point won, as it could have easily been none.
1) Dani Alves: there was a small minority (200 out of 39,000) making monkey noises and this is shameful and hopefully action will be taken against any moron caught doing this.
2) Guardiola / Valdes: that's how you do a press conference, Xavi. Show a bit of class and admit that you were lucky to escape with a point.
3) Men of the match: Any one of Espanyol's back line and Forlin was excellent too. For BarÃÂ§a, Pique, by a country mile. Best defender I've seen this year, pity he's such a (rude word alert!- LLL).
4) Supporters: Fantastic hostile atmosphere created by the Pericos while the 350/400 BarÃÂ§a fans sat in silence (maybe they thought it was a home game?) and no scarves, banners or anything. Might as well have stayed at home.
5) The ref - all he did was favour neither side and that's all we ask for.Ã¢ÂÂ
Reduced to whacking in high balls to get their kicks these days, Sevilla put in a workmanlike performance in the 3-0 win over Sporting, but in the Spanish sense of the word: barely effective in short bursts and limply half-hearted for the rest.
The only shiny, proud follicle in SevillaÃ¢ÂÂs bold spot of despair was another goal for young cantera full back, Juan Cala, who has now scored in his three last games for the club.
VÃÂctor ValdÃÂ©s & Diego LÃÂ³pez
Bickering over who should be SpainÃ¢ÂÂs third choice goalkeeper is a bit of a pee-take to an EnglishblogÃ¢ÂÂs ears, considering Fabio CapelloÃ¢ÂÂs choice for the actual number one spot is between a 50-year-old whose nickname is Ã¢ÂÂCalamityÃ¢ÂÂ and an accident prone, soon-to-be-relegated bumpkin who used to play for Norwich.
But thatÃ¢ÂÂs been one of the background hums in Spain, this week, with the louder murmuring supporting the case to take ValdÃÂ©s to South Africa.
And rightly so, as the BarÃÂ§a stopper was solid, once again, against Espanyol and may well have won a point for his team with a cracking stop against Osvaldo in the Catalan derby.
However, the Villarreal keeper showed that it would be a tad unfair to discard him from the Spanish ranks at such a late stage with a fine performance against the AtlÃÂ©tico attack - and the last two words were written without the slightest hint of a giggle.
Juan Carlos Garrido
With the appearance of a hard-bitten, hard-drinking and hard-swearing New York homicide detective, Garrido took over from the discarded Ernesto Valverde in January and has done a splendid job in dragging Villarreal into Champions League contention.
VillarrealÃ¢ÂÂs 2-1 win over AtlÃÂ©tico, the sideÃ¢ÂÂs fourth from five, also inspired the weekÃ¢ÂÂs most inane question award with one bright spark asking Garrido if the victory - which moved Villarreal into sixth - meant that Ã¢ÂÂEurope was possible?Ã¢ÂÂ
Whenever giant paellas are wheeled into the field of battle in Spanish football, you can tell that a football club in la Liga is in deep, deep trouble. Or Maniche is in town.
On Sunday, it was TenerifeÃ¢ÂÂs precarious situation in the relegation zone that inspired the creation of an enormous rice dish to bring forth a victory over visiting Getafe to leave Tenerife with back-to-back wins in the league and just one point from safety.
A hat-trick from the previously goal-shy Nino may have had something to do with the win too, to be fair.
The blog actually thinks a point in such a testy, tripwire-laden encounter is a fairly good one, but with La Liga Loca surrounded by the hysteria of the Madridista press, it might as well join in on the Ã¢ÂÂall is doomed, doomed!Ã¢ÂÂ fun after the goalless draw in Cornella. Just so as not to feel left out.
Ã¢ÂÂIt was not a great game from Barcelona, but you canÃ¢ÂÂt really blame them for anything,Ã¢ÂÂ wrote Josep MarÃÂa Casanovas in neat summary of the vibe from the Catalan clash.
Joan Laporta & Daniel SÃÂ¡nchez-Llibre
Ã¢ÂÂInfantileÃ¢ÂÂ was the insult thrown by the Barcelona president at his Espanyol counterpart in the quarrelling pairÃ¢ÂÂs ongoing feud.
Ã¢ÂÂCucumber!Ã¢ÂÂ was the probably mistranslated response from the Perico president.
Ã¢ÂÂGrow up or get a roomÃ¢ÂÂ is La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs riposte to the duelling duo, with the latter leaving the most unsavoury of images in mind.
The PPM - pouts per minute - monitor hit an unprecented 20 during the Valencia clash, with Cristiano inspiring Roberto Palomar to write in MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs Monday edition that Ã¢ÂÂthe Real Madrid match delegate has to think seriously about the possibility of offering two balls to the referee: one for the game, and the other for Ronaldo.Ã¢ÂÂ
Although Quique repeated his Ã¢ÂÂmea culpaÃ¢ÂÂ performance of the midweek defeat to Xerez after SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs Villarreal loss, the Atleti boss could not hide his disdain for centre-back, Alvaro DomÃÂnguez, after he lost his man for GodÃÂnÃ¢ÂÂs goal and was promptly substituted after 26 minutes.
Ã¢ÂÂIt pains me to see us returning to the same mistakes of five months ago,Ã¢ÂÂ complained the Rojiblanco ruler on the defender who very nearly blubbed like a baby whilst peering out from the AtlÃÂ©tico bench.
On a side note, the AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid manager now appears to be a shade of atomic orange, as if he has spent the week sleeping inside the Large Hadron Super-Collider.
An enormous waste of money. Nearly three seasons at the Vicente CalderÃÂ³n and naff-all to show for it.
Ã¢ÂÂWe are going to win the five games left,Ã¢ÂÂ claimed the Portuguese winger saying that his team-mates would be working their Rojiblanco socks off to undo the damage of three league defeats in a row. Ã¢ÂÂPoppycockÃ¢ÂÂ suggest LLL.
The sneaky little so-and-so faked being slammed in the face by a push-off from SportingÃ¢ÂÂs JosÃÂ© Angel to inspire a second-yellow for the full back and a sending off.
The sight of the sly Sevilla striker, dabbing away at his mouth whilst the rest of the Sporting team accused Negredo of being a cheat was a sorry one, indeed.
Three defeats in a row sees Sporting just four points from the relegation zone, a part of the table Manuel PreciadoÃ¢ÂÂs men have no business being in after what had previously been a fine campaign.
LLL can only imagine the commentator for TV channel, La Sexta, tasked with narrating the highlights of the MÃÂ¡laga v Valladolid goalless draw was having his shaven gonads zapped with bolts of electricity whenever the ratings slipped during the broadcast.
Ã¢ÂÂDonÃ¢ÂÂt go away, itÃ¢ÂÂs such a wonderful spectacle!Ã¢ÂÂ yelled the commentator in desperation with the first-half summary of balls being whacked over the bar all but over. Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs a match of drama! Of fear!Ã¢ÂÂ
No...it was an unending stream of footballing puke....
Deportivo & AlmerÃÂa
....And not unlike the goalless encounter between these two sides, the highlight of which was DeporÃ¢ÂÂs Juan RodrÃÂguez charging up field, attempting a shimmy and falling flat on his useless posterior.
Athletic & Zaragoza
The blog scarred its retinas with half-an-hour of this drivel before heading up to the Bernabeu. Yet another goalless scoreline makes LLL assume that even less happened than during the wholly uneventful thirty minutes it sat through, before.
Although it has, of course, no bearing on the Valencia strikerÃ¢ÂÂs overall quality, David Villa has been utter rubbish on every single occasion that LLL has seen the striker playing in person for his club.
SundayÃ¢ÂÂs useless, half-arsed display against Real Madrid was no different.
You can catch LLL in pundit mode on RMTVÃ¢ÂÂs(Sky Dig 446) review show Ã¢ÂÂExtra TimeÃ¢ÂÂ, on Monday at 22.05 CET and repeated throughout the week.