La Liga Loca's Good Day, Bad Day - Round 37

Good Day

Barcelona

Inaccuracy, exaggeration, sensationalism and downright provocative, childish flimflam are just four of the characteristics LLL is proud to possess.

But this week it has an excuse for these journalistic crimes, as every single one of La Primera’s round 37 games was played on Saturday at nine. This means that the blog only got to see one of them.

And that particular encounter didn’t feature Barcelona. It didn’t feature Getafe either, which would have been the destination of choice for the blog.

So all it can glean from the seven minutes of highlights it managed to see, on Sunday, is that Barcelona seemed to be comfortably winning 3-0 and about to launch their third league title-winning party of the season before the defence nodded off to allow Sevilla back to make it 3-2 after dinky strikes from Fredi Kanoute and Luis - the only man thinking more about the World Cup than Kaká - Fabiano.

The big talking point in the Madrid press and television - well, whining point, considering they are overlooking the whole Amorebieta business - is the Piqué/Puyol sandwich that Kanoute found himself in during the closing minutes of the game - a sandwich that they feel should have ended with a penalty rather than a horribly mixed metaphor.

For the record, LLL doesn’t think that it was a penalty but is normally completely out-of-line with the common Joe or José on these kinds of decisions feeling that only full-on David Batty style GBH is worthy of a foul in football.

Bojan Krkic

The 19-year-old really is in back in business after a tough two years under Pep Guardiola. The Spaniard’s whizzy performances of late kept Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the bench once again in what was a huuuuuggge game for Barcelona. Bojan paid back that confidence with his third strike in three games.

Real Madrid

If a bunch of tickets for Barcelona had been thrust into one of the blog’s hands for their final games of the season and another for Real Madrid’s, then LLL would like to think that it would have chosen the latter.

The ‘Floren Team 1’ - as Marca like to call it - have been thoroughly entertaining of late but not in the way that the club’s big cheese perhaps would have liked.

The defending has been shambolic at times - Raúl Albiol having a bit of a ‘mare at the moment - the midfield has been a tad 'meh' with both Kaká and Esteban Granero faffing about like nobody’s business, but the attack has been outstanding.

No matter how much of a mess Real Madrid have found themselves in, the players have always had the skill - and cojones, to be fair - to dig themselves out of it and have fulfilled Manuel Pellegrini’s promise of forcing Barcelona to win the league title with 99 points. Which is a bit nuts, really. (Highlights here)

Karim Benzema

LLL has been happy to pat Gonzalo Higuaín on the back when required - but only because it is about the only entity in Spain to do so - so it will say a ‘Bravo!’ and a ‘Mange-tout, Mange-tout Rodney!” to Karim Benzema for a tidy strike against Athletic.

Now if the club holds its mental marbles together by getting Benzema both psychologically and physically fit next season, and keeping Higuaín out of the Premier League’s clutches, the Castle Greyskull club could have a formidable front-line.   

Christoph Metzelder

Got a warm hand on his entrance before the Athletic clash in saying good-bye to the Bernabeu with his move to Schalke announced. And after the game the blog probed the German stopper as to whether he was looking forward to returning to a country with a sensible, serious media.

“For me it was nice here, because no-one asked me anything. I could do my stuff and go home,” pointed out the defender who has only started two league games this season.

Sporting & Zaragoza

Wheezing and dragging themselves over the line like Maniche after a brisk jog for a bus, Sporting and Zaragoza are now safe for the season, despite neither side winning their respective games.

Sporting failed to overcome an Atlético Madrid side made up predominantly of youth team players in a 1-1 draw, whilst Zaragoza were overcome by a wonderful Xerez side.

Xerez

And speaking of the amazing Andalusian outfit, Xerez go into the final game of the season still with a chance of survival after their 3-2 victory over Zaragoza.

The chance is somewhat slim to be fair with the side on 33 points and the rest of the relegation contenders on 36 - in fact, Sport note that a ‘specialist in numerical probability will be needed’ to work out what needs to happen for a remarkable story to have a very happy ending.

Valladolid

Despite sharing the same amount of points as Racing, Málaga and Tenerife, Valladolid’s 2-1 victory over the first of that group of doom sees Valladolid out of the relegation zone due to a rather complex head-to-head mini-league system that the blog will go into more detail about later in the week, once it can pluck up the enthusiasm.

So the good news is that the win over a direct relegation rival in what was a niggly, spicy affair with two red cards was rather a timely one.

But that’s pretty much were the good news runs out considering Valladolid are away at Barça next week - and not even an A-Team constructed, armour-plated battle-bus parked in front of their goal is going to save them.

“I’m going to call Villar (the Spanish FA president) and ask him to end the league now,” joked Valladolid coach, Javier Clemente.

Filipe Luis

Snapping your ankle in two in January and being back at the beginning of May? Not a problem for the Deportivo fullback who is half footballer and half Heroes-Cheerleader-Mutant type thing, it would appear, with his return to action in the 1-0 win against Mallorca.

Roberto Soldado

LLL got a look from a Spanish journalist that implied the blog was a buffoon of the highest order when it admitted it felt that the Getafe striker was distinctly average despite 14 league goals this season.

The last of those came in a tough encounter against Málaga in what was a 2-1 win for the Coliseum club leaving them with just another victory needed to guarantee Europa League football, next season

Those three points will have to come at the Vicente Calderón against an Atlético Madrid side caught between two finals.

Bad Day

Mallorca

What a terrible time for Deportivo to return to their horrible, dogged, grinding-out-a-scrappy-1-0-victory ways.

The victim of the Galician side’s first win after an 11 match drought blew the chance of keeping Champions League qualification in their own hands going into the final match of the season after Sevilla’s defeat to Barcelona.

“It’s difficult but not impossible,” claimed Gregorio Manzano on Mallorca’s final day hopes, which rest on Almería beating Sevilla at home.

Athletic Bilbao

No, it probably wasn’t a penalty against Fernando Amorebieta as Gonzalo Higuaín's shot was going to hand and onwards towards the moon.

And no it probably wasn’t a red card either, even had the spot-kick been correctly given.

But frankly Mr Shankly, it’s tough old wizened titties and raspberries to the Basque club.

Athletic Bilbao have been awarded nine penalties in the league, this season - five have been missed otherwise the side would probably have been top of the table.

La Liga Loca has seen all of them and would say that at least five were as soft as a kitten’s tummy or complete dives - usually from Gaizka Toquero.

The blog is generally against video technology for such decisions on the grounds of swings-and-roundabouts and everything sorting itself at the end of the year. That argument still stands after the events of Saturday night.

And if Barcelona fans are grumbling over the fate of Amorebieta, they should cast their minds back to November’s 1-1 draw in San Mamés, a match were the centre-back kicked Leo Messi full in the face when both were in the standing position, an act that went unpunished but was inexcusable unless they were both working at the Folies Bergère at the time.

Tenerife

It could have been a whole pile of poo worse for Tenerife, despite the Canary Islanders only managing a 2-2 draw against nothing-to-play-for Almería in their own stadium.

Tenerife were 2-1 down going into injury time but a goal from the tireless Nino gave the home team the point, but the two wasted sees Tenerife second-from-bottom and relying on other teams slipping up and themselves getting something from their final match of the season in Mestalla against Valencia.

Racing Santander

Two seasons ago, Racing were looking at the final game of the season as a chance to play in Europe for the first time in the club’s history.

Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Valladolid sees them looking to the home game against Sporting as a last, last chance of survival in la Primera.

Málaga

Aside from Xerez, perhaps the other favourites to be relegated next weekend.

The defeat against Getafe was the club’s 10th game without a win. That run is likely to be extended to 11 with Real Madrid in town for the final match of the season.

Sergio Asenjo

A rotten season for the supposed Atlético Madrid number one ended in tears against Sporting.

Having lost his spot to David de Gea after a promising summer move from Valladolid, Asenjo had the chance to show his goalkeeping stuff on Saturday with de Gea being rested.

Unfortunately, the keeper knacked his knee after just 12 minutes and is out of the game for six months. Not the first footballer to regret hearing the words "Atlético Madrid want to sign you."

Joan Capdevila

The Villarreal fullback will be suspended for the final game of the season - a rather crucial one in the chase for a European place - having responded to a red card being issued to Joseba Llorente by asking referee, Clos Gómez, if “it was for Busquets?”

When the defender got a yellow for such (amusing) dissent, he repeated the question and found himself joining the striker on the sidelines thanks to the legendary sense of humour possessed by Spanish referees.

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