La Liga Loca’s Good Day, Bad Day - Round 34

Good Day

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

It’s no wonder the Barcelona players and press have been desperately trying to get the Camp Nou crowd used to the largely unfamiliar notion of cheering rather than booing players they claim to support, ahead of Wednesday night’s Inter clash.

Having ‘groan’ tired of doing their Barça best at putting Dmytro Chygrynskiy off his game since his arrival at the club, the Catalan crazies turned their ire on Zlatan Ibrahimovic during the Xerez clash by jeering after the admittedly plodding Swede lost control of the ball. Again.

Seconds later, Zlatan scored Barça’s third of the game and his 16th of the season in La Liga. Somehow this most temperamental of types resisted the urge to give the home fans the finger - a finger that would have been well and truly deserved.

Kaká

The normal behaviour after taking a 42 day long sickie (something that Real Madrid’s Brazilian forward has been accused of, but certainly not by LLL who fears the lightening bolt wrath of both Kaká’s God and wifey)  is to return to work looking a bit pasty and kitten-like to silence any doubters.

Being super-sparkly in a meeting and wowing clients with omnipotent perkiness is considered a no-no within hours of a return to work.

But that’s precisely what Kaká did - in a footballing sense - with his winning effort against Zaragoza in a cameo appearance from the bench where he didn’t wince once about his supposedly knacked groin as he metaphorically hobbled towards the metaphorical coffee machine.

Raúl

“Who said Raúl was finished?” blasted Marca’s editorial on Sunday in response to the Madrid captain becoming the third highest goalscorer in La Liga with his opener against Zaragoza.

Well Marca did actually, with the paper’s lead story on 11th February claiming without any foundation that Raúl was moving to MLS side New York Red Bulls in the summer, thus ending his contract at the club one season early.

Villarreal

Once again, the blog is showing why it is winning all the awards year-after-year, and entertaining the Cruz sisters week-after-week with its visionary prediction some weeks back that Villarreal would make the Champions League places - a concept that even the club’s most loyal supporters branded as La Liga Loca lunacy.

Dropped points for both Mallorca and Sevilla and a Santi Cazorla-inspired win away at Racing has now put Villarreal four points from fourth with four games to go.

It’s only a matter of time before Juan Carlos Garrido and his yellow-bellied battlers are back in the European elite. Oh yes.

Getafe

La Liga Loca sat through the infernal tedium that was Valencia against Deportivo on Saturday night - more on that in the Bad Day section - but missed Getafe’s 4-3 win over Sevilla a day later through the excuse of being footballed out. And really lazy.

And The Powers That Be gave the blog its due punishment with an insane encounter that was won by Getafe in injury-time with a twice taken penalty by Dani Parejo.

Manucho

Goal number four means that the Valladolid striker now has just 36 strikes to go in the final matches of the campaign to fulfill his pre-season goal tally promise.

Javier Clemente

Through shouting, (probable) threats of physical violence, very long talks and a liberal use of profanity, the Valladolid boss has now lead his side to eight points from 12 in his spell in charge with the Pucela outfit conceding just one goal in that four match period.

Mallorca

Normally bullet-proof at home, Mallorca had to rely on a very late and very controversial goal to save a point in the Ono Estadi in a 1-1 draw against Málaga.

With just seconds left, Aritz Aduriz headed home after a goalmouth scramble from a set-piece. The problem was that fellow striker Alhassane Keita had crashed into opposition keeper, Gustavo Munúa, to take his legs out from under him - an action that left the already excitable goalie screaming blue murder towards the referee after the game.

Still, at least it was a healthy way of releasing tension unlike the method Aduriz and Keita shortly before which was to have an on-the-field barney and shoving match over a non-pass in the Basque player’s direction.

“That wasn’t good,” admitted Mallorca boss, Gregorio Manzano. “There were a lot of nerves at the end of the game and they chose the worst way of getting rid of them.”

Salvio

Most footie fans in Spain had genuinely forgotten that Atlético had splashed out €10 million on the winger-forward type thing from Lanus during the winter transfer window.

Injury and a period of adjustment - or understanding the fundamentals of football tactics as Quique Sánchez Flores had hinted at - had delayed the Argentinean’s league debut until Sunday.

But blimey, Salvio made up for lost time with a two strikes against Tenerife in a 3-1 win - the second being a rocket that would still be travelling now if it weren’t for the net.

Bad Day

Gonzalo Higuaín

If you were to spend your days in the office secretly inserting obscenities into your colleague’s presentation slides, downloading naughtiness onto their PC and generally trying to get them fired, you would be considered a cad, a rotter and - dare the blog say it - a bounder.

But this type of behaviour is no different to that displayed by Alvaro Negredo, last week, and Gonzalo Higuaín against Zaragoza on Saturday - namely the dramatic fake face clutch and fall to the floor designed to get a fellow professional sent-off and suspended.

But these two miscreants are the mere thimble of an iceberg of the kind of behaviour regularly displayed by footballers who will do anything, anything, anything to screw each other over footballers who then run to the press to complain about referees they have been trying to trick and deceive for the entire game.

Rafa Márquez

Giving away a goal to Xerez by playing his own secondary offside line and an immediate substitution by Pep Guardiola must mean the end of days at Barcelona for the Mexican stopper.

Valencia, Deportivo

A 1-0 win for Valencia that was so insipid, the referee even blew his whistle to end the first half a minute early to spare the fans more brain-mashing tedium.

Sadly, the players pointed out his error and the match continued for 60 more soporific seconds.

Sporting

Four defeats in a row without a goal being scored sees La Liga Loca’s mood over the Gijón club’s current form turn from mild concern to downright running around naked panic.

Fernando Soriano, Nico Pareja

The Almería midfielder responded to his side’s 1-0 defeat at home to Espanyol by giving the Espanyol defender a bit of a slap in the face, like a big girl’s blanket.

It was an act that produced a yellow for Soriano but a red for Pareja after he reacted aggressively - but quite reasonably - to the assault.

A most peculiar decision from the referee.

Zaragoza Fans

Dimwits. At one point in the game, Iker Casillas decided to change his gloves - a process that can take some time considering they are the size of dustbin lids and the complexity of a modern mobile phone.

During the time when Iker was getting himself set, the Zaragoza fans booed and jeered the keeper for time-wasting, apparently oblivious to the notion that the score was 0-0 at the time and Madrid needed every frackin’ minute available to avoid blasting their title chances into space.

Deportivo (again)

Deportivo’s last win was on the 6th March. Good.

*You can catch La Liga Loca in glorious visual form on RMTV’s La Liga review show, Extra Time, from 22.05 UK time on Monday and repeated throughout the week.

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