La Liga's Good Day, Bad Day - Round 25
It was with a tear in the eye when La Liga Loca read GutiÃ¢ÂÂs declaration of intent in regards to his footballing future.
The Madrid midfielder is set to head for somewhere Ã¢ÂÂexoticÃ¢ÂÂ in 2011, leaving the blog with just 823 days of lazy jokes at the hamster-brained oneÃ¢ÂÂs expense.
La Liga Loca can barely remember anything from Saturday nightÃ¢ÂÂs humdrum but very handy win in the Montjuic, aside from GutiÃ¢ÂÂs thunderous free kick which appeared to hit the hat-trick of post, bar and goalkeeper on its way in.
Guti celebrates a rare Good Day appearance
AlmerÃÂa manager, Hugo SÃÂ¡nchez admitted over the weekend that the happy days of his super striker at the club are numbered. Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm afraid we only have a little bit of Negredo left to enjoy at AlmerÃÂa,Ã¢ÂÂ confessed the Mexican coach, noting that he has as much chance of keeping the forward in his side as Guti finishing a crossword.
The former Madrid man popped up with goals number 14 and 15 of the season - almost half his teamÃ¢ÂÂs total to give them a crucial 2-1 over Getafe.
La Liga Loca is not sure if dangerous DiegoÃ¢ÂÂs exploits in Spain for Villarreal and AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid over the past few seasons have erased his reputation as a bit of a duffer in England.
It could be an important point as the Uruguayan is rumoured to be looking for a move away from the CalderÃÂ³n and back to Blighty for another crack at the Premier League.
Although Kun AgÃÂ¼ero dominated MondayÃ¢ÂÂs headlines for his brace against Barcelona, the Argentine striker was quick to praise his striking partner. And rightly so, as it was ForlÃÂ¡n that brought Atleti back into the game at 2-0 with a belting effort and put away the penalty to equalise at 3-3.
For just a few minutes on Sunday night, Atleti fans were reminded that they have one of the best forward duos in European football. They can only hope that the memory will not have faded by the end of next weekÃ¢ÂÂs Bernabeu battle against Madrid.
Forlan larrups home 30-yard opener for Atletico
The blogÃ¢ÂÂs man-love for the Sevilla striker moved up a sweaty notch on Saturday with his two goals to sink Athletic Bilbao in San MamÃÂ©s. The Malian is still the most graceful, smoothest mother of them all out on the pitch.
Mallorca / Osasuna
Both sides continue to defy the voices of doom - La Liga Loca counts itself in this group - by clawing their way out of trouble. OsasunaÃ¢ÂÂs draw at Racing sees the Pamplonan club unbeaten in five, while MallorcaÃ¢ÂÂs away win at Sporting was their third on the trot.
Another club that has slunk their way out of trouble, at least temporarily, is Recreativo. The Huelvans are now in 13th place having lost just once since the start of 2009.
The whole idea of BarcaÃ¢ÂÂs 12-point lead over Real Madrid was that it would be the plumpest of cushions that could be used at the clubÃ¢ÂÂs leisure over the next three months.
Instead, like a lottery-winning smack addict, it has nearly all been blown in just three dreadful days. After the 4-3 loss to AtlÃÂ©tico, poor Pep Guardiola looked in genuine shock for the first time this season.
Like Abel Resino who followed him, he was at a loss to explain away the defeat. He was not the only one.
BarÃÂ§a had enough chances to finish off the game, with Leo Messi looking like he could score at will if he had the mind to, thanks to the handy existence of Pablo in the rojiblanco back four.
Instead, it was a fantastic footballing affair where player power ruled supreme and the two ignored coaches were left waving and whining to no avail on the touchline.
Whilst a panic-stricken Ã¢ÂÂSportÃ¢ÂÂ declared a full-on Ã¢ÂÂCRISISÃ¢ÂÂ on MondayÃ¢ÂÂs front cover, the Primera pundits on TV were musing that there are serious problems over in the Kingdom of Catalunya.
But the word Ã¢ÂÂcrisisÃ¢ÂÂ was going a little bit too far. Especially with the likes of Valencia in the division.
La Liga Loca agrees, for what itÃ¢ÂÂs worth. Like Ever BanegaÃ¢ÂÂs mouse mat, Barcelona were always going to have a sticky patch, at some point in the season.
It happens to have come with Madrid in the middle of their third best winning streak in the clubÃ¢ÂÂs history.
Henry double not enough for league leaders
The alarm bells are now ringing in La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs abode after an away defeat to AlmerÃÂa for Getafe.
Victor MuÃÂ±ozÃ¢ÂÂs men are now just three points from the drop zone and have failed to win in five. A worrying state of affairs for the Coliseum crusaders who will be looking to the Soldado / Uche axis to get their booties in gear next week against MÃÂ¡laga.
Wow. To put it very bluntly, indeed, Valencia are completely screwed.
Construction work has stopped on the new stadium due to lack of funds, the old ground has yet to be sold, the squad apparently remain unpaid and on the playing side the team has failed to keep a clean sheet in 21 matches and has been knocked out of Europe.
The latest moment of Mestalla mayhem was on Sunday night with a dreadful 2-1 defeat to Valladolid.
Ã¢ÂÂWe are in our worst moment of the season,Ã¢ÂÂ sighed Unai Emery the clubÃ¢ÂÂs 6th place position. Level with Deportivo. La Liga Loca suspects that even darker clouds are gathering on ValenciaÃ¢ÂÂs horrible horizon.
Still a waste of space. But still fourth. Having taken a 2-0 lead away at Betis, the visitors proceeded to blow Santi CazorlaÃ¢ÂÂs fine work to come away from the Ruiz de Lopera with just the single point.
WhoÃ¢ÂÂd have thunk it? Espanyol to beat BarÃÂ§a and then give them even more grief with a home defeat to Madrid at the Montjuic. Paul from Barcelona was there to watch the (non) action.
"Well that's the good run over, then. Well, not quite. In the first half Espanyol were easily the better team and really should have gone in at half time a goal up.
BarÃÂ§a fans will be pleased to know that a first minute tackle from "Lass" which was way worse than Keita's last week didn't even warrant a yellow, and so it went on for the rest of the match. A pretty poor one it must be said.
I understand why Guti gets slagged off for being Beckham-lite for his play. But every time I see him live, he plays well. He changed the match when he came on. A pointless foul on him led to a free kick which Guti curled in via Kameni's hand and the post. It was that sort of day.
Real scored a second with Espanyol in disarray and that, dear readers, was that apart from a few scuffles in the stands, aggravated by Real fans who were sitting in the home fans section.
1) Didn't think Real looked that good apart from about 15 mins. Espanyol held them comfortably.
2) David Garcia was excellent again. Messi last week, Robben this. Both played poorly. Coincidence? I think not.
3) Tamudo looked sharp when he came on. This is good news.
4) Despite what EL Periodico and Mundo Deportivo seemed to think. Espanyol didn't lose on purpose to pee off BarÃÂ§a. El Periodico's 'Friends as Always' headline was well out of order."
Garcia keeps Robben in close quarters
Perhaps the only side in an intriguing relegation battle who you can say with complete certainty that they will be in La Segunda next season. SundayÃ¢ÂÂs home defeat to Deportivo was the clubÃ¢ÂÂs seventh loss in a row.
It was a 2-0 home defeat to Recreativo for Antonio TapiaÃ¢ÂÂs titans in perhaps the most surprising result of the round. It also meant that MÃÂ¡laga missed out on the three points which would have lifted them up to 42 - and survival for another season.
The GÃÂjon clubÃ¢ÂÂs complete inability to draw games is starting to cost them dearly and sees them fourth from bottom of the table, just two clear of Osasuna. Sporting have now won nine matches - the same as Espanyol and Osasuna combined - but have lost 16, conceding 54 goals in the process.
The latest defeat was a 1-0 home loss to, relegation rivals, Mallorca - a match where a point was the least that should have been achieved.