La Liga’s Good Day, Bad Day - Round 16

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RESULTS Sun Jan 3: Almería 1-0 Xerez Getafe 1-0 Real Valladolid Mallorca 2-0 Athletic Bilbao Osasuna 0-0 Real Madrid Racing Santander 2-0 Tenerife Real Zaragoza 0-0 Deportivo La Coruña Sporting Gijón 2-2 Málaga Sat Jan 2: Atlético Madrid 2-1 Sevilla Barcelona 1-1 Villarreal Valencia 1-0 Espanyol

Good Day

Atlético Madrid

At last, Atlético have found a true shambles of a side that are bigger bottlers than themselves and that’s Sevilla.

If you didn't know the result of Saturday’s clash and heard the phrases "opposition down to 10 men" and "injury-time winner" you’d have sworn that Atleti were kicking off the new year with more of the same disastrous but wonderful comedy fare.

However, the kittens were turned topsy-turvy at a Vicente Calderón stadium that went loco in a very different way after Antonio López’s late, late winner.


At the beginning of 2009, the ever-excellent movie critic Mark Kermode reviewed Bride Wars and made the ultimatum that if he saw 10 worse films than that rom-com dross over the course of the year then he would quit his job.

Now regular readers will know that the blog likes nothing more than stealing other people’s ideas, so it is now making the declaration that if sees 10 worse halves of football (that don’t involve Deportivo) than Sunday’s opening 45 minutes between Mallorca and Athletic Bilbao, then it will move to France and start writing La Ligue Folle.

Thankfully, the match got a little better after half-time and Mallorca scored two to make it eight wins from eight at home and move them into fourth.

Which is, quite frankly, mental.

Nikola Zigic

The fickle locals in Mestalla were just seconds away from getting their hankies out for a good old wa... (Easy! - Ed.) at a bunch of players that were being held 0-0 at home by Espanyol.

"Sorry, it's a bit stiff"

A furious duel between Carlos Kameni in the visitors’ goal and David Villa looked like leading to a stalemate before substitute Nikola Zigic used his 27-foot height advantage to score another insanely late winner and make Valencia the only side in the old top four to win this weekend.


“Who’s the daddy!?” (cups an expectant ear to the blog readership).

Yes, it’s Getafe who’s the daddy after the 1-0 drubbing of Valladolid – their third win in a row and the fifth in six.

However, they were a tad jammy this time round with Valladolid’s Alberto Bueno having a perfectly legal goal ruled out for offside.


A 2-2 draw away at Sporting sees the team still stuck in the relegation quagmire but unbeaten in seven.

Only one of those games has been a win, mind, which might help to explain their still perilous predicament.


La Liga Loca still loves this club to bits.

Similar to Athletic Bilbao with their eternal love of long balls and elbows, but possessing that extra aggression and general nastiness that makes them much more pleasurable to watch.

Sunday’s shutout of Real Madrid was Osasuna in “in its purest form” says AS in a comment that, despite its rather snooty intentions, La Liga Loca interprets as a compliment.

Juan Manuel Lillo

The new Almería manager has been away from the top flight for nine years so is quite new to the blog.

However, early probes into his nature have been returned with descriptions of him being like a very narky Alan Ball.

Very promising, indeed.

The blog’s first proper sight of a possible new hero was of a gentleman in his late forties, a tremendous combed-back Lovejoy mullet (is that a legal requirement at Almería?) - and the air of a keyboard player from an '80s prog-rock supergroup.

Incidentally, he began his Almería career with a 1-0 win over Xerez.

"Supergroup, you say?"

Bad Day

Real Madrid

La Liga Loca has a simple policy with buskers. If it likes them, then it may, just may, give them some money.

If it doesn’t, then the blog takes great joy in booting their money pot across the floor. Especially if they're playing flamenco.

Marca and AS have a similar approach to Real Madrid. The previous round’s 6-0 win over Zaragoza saw the side as the champions-in-waiting.

Sunday’s goalless draw against Osasuna is a result that would be shrugged off quite quickly in England in the equivalent fixture.

In Spain it means that Madrid are a shower and Manuel Pellegrini must go. Again.

Gonzalo Higuaín

The Argentinian is never going to be liked by Marca because he scores goals from time to time (unlike, to take one random example, Kaká), isn’t especially sexy or famous and was signed by Ramón Calderón and not Florentino Pérez.

Therefore, Higuaín’s second-half miss in a one-on-one with Ricardo will surely lead to his imminent benching in favour of Florentino favourite Karim Benzema.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Hopefully, the world is laughing and pointing at Ronaldo’s ludicrous first-half bunny-hop penalty-seeking antics.

Simple advice: if you're going to cheat, at least get the timing right.

"Unbelievable, Gonzo, you muppet"


“Champions cannot fail” yells Monday’s Marca in response to Madrid’s missed opportunity to go top of the table after Barcelona’s draw with Villarreal.

"Au contraire" says La Liga Loca. Champions can fail, as the current ones have just proved having gotten away with an indifferent performance on Saturday night to stay top of the table.

Xavi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Barcelona were lucky to avoid having two penalties being given against them thanks to the mercy of the referee, yet both Xavi and Zlatan huffed and puffed their way through the game pouting and complaining like a couple of ninnies over some of the decisions being made against their side.

Diego Forlán

Nothing less than dreadful at the moment. Needs a nun to slap him out of it, Airplane-style.


Over Christmas, José Aurelio Gay was confirmed as the new Zaragoza boss, having impressed his bosses enough with his leadership during the 6-0 tonking at the Bernabeu.

And due to the fact that Victor Muñoz wanted more money.

And Gay began in fine style by dropping Roberto Ayala and striker Ewerthon, saying that “we need 11 players on the pitch, not eight-and-a-half”.

That made little difference on Sunday, Zaragoza starting the new year with a goalless draw against Deportivo.

Incidentally, a Google search to confirm Gay’s full name brought up a curious list of establishments to visit in the Aragonese city.

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