Magnificent beards, cheaty Sevilla and Merciful Zeus

Monday's Good Day, Bad Day – Round 24

Good day

Barcelona

"Yes, the league is on!" squealed Mundo Deportivo, just a few days after dismally declaring claiming that all was lost. La Liga Loca recommends that all caffeine is removed from their offices to stop some overheated hack hurling himself out of the window, over the next three months.

"Barcelona are doing things well, but it doesn't mean they are playing well," opines the shy and retiring Johan Cruyff, who claims Frankie Rijkaard's side are "surviving".

That sounds a fair assessment of team who squeezed out
another three points on Saturday night, in rather
controversial circumstances, but are not yet showing
the kind of form needed to overhaul Real Madrid –
something Carles Puyol is fully aware of.

"The league
is still tough. Five points is a lot," admitted the
curly-haired captain.

Luis Fabiano

An INCREDIBLE 17 league goals from 16 starts for Fabbo
Fabiano (as The Sun would write it) has put Sevilla
back on track for a Champions League place - something
that will stop club president, Del Nido, packing a
sandwich box, squatting on his drive and flogging the
club's wares on the transfer market, this summer.

Villarreal and Atlético Madrid - the two sides
currently in the top four hot seats - are hardly
showing the kind of form that suggests they are going
to stay there for the rest of the season.

Nevertheless, an awful lot rests on whether Sevilla
can balance their league and European demands. And -
to come over all Chandler Bing - can Freddie Kanouté
be any more miserable?

Edu

Betis may only have one trick in the footballing box
but it works a treat. Charge down the right, lob the
ball into the area and hope that Edu gets on the end
of it.

And this has worked five times now in the league and
has helped the Betis striker to seven goals - a figure
that lifts the Brazilian into the club's all-time top
10 goalscorers chart... with 30. Not that impressive,
really.

AS opened their English dictionary, on Monday, to
consider whether Betis are a 'one man club', as
opposed to having a player who is a 'one club man'.
And that sounds about right.

Levante

Still 10 points from safety and unlikely to be
playing the likes of Osasuna at home, every week,
there is still no hope in Hades that Levante will stay
up. But two wins in four - or two wins in 11, if
you like - has given manager, Giovani di Biasi reasons
to be cheerful, having said that he has turned down
offers from Italy to stay with the Primera's
bottom-dwellers.

Javi Martínez

Although he should have been hacked down, the maziest
of 80 yard runs from the Athletic Bilbao
midfielder set up his side's equalising goal in the
Calderón - a ground where the Basque club had not won
for eight years. "A magnificent move", beamed Joaquin
Caparros after the game.

Like Betis, Athletic Bilbao are still one defeat from
being back in the relegation mire, but Sunday's away
win was a very handy one, indeed.

Diego Alves

Almeria's brilliant Brazilian stopper can wish for no
greater honour than appearing in La Liga Loca's good
day section for the second week running. Alves has now
gone 617 minutes (six games) without conceding a goal.

And that's a good thing, as Almería are not the most
prolific of sides with five of their last six wins
being 1-0's – the most recent being against what
appeared to be against an unlucky Murcia.

Pablo Garcia

The Murcia midfielder may have been on the losing
side, but his beard is looking quite magnificent.

Bad Day

Giuseppe Rossi

A cracking encounter, by all accounts, but some of the
worst finishing seen this side of a trip to Carrow
Road. "Nobody wanted to score", claimed Marca on the
goalless draw between Villarreal and Racing Santander.

Leading the way in the misfiring forwards was the
Italian young gun, whose normally reliable shooting
prowess left him has he prodded a potentially match
winning penalty wide of the post.

Villarreal still hanging on in there, in fourth,
despite only one win in four. And La Liga Loca is
still to predict one of their results, correctly.

Espanyol

Cheaty Sevilla! Controversy for Barça! And Espanyol's
fifth defeat six! 'There Will be Blood!' cries Paul
from Barcelona in a heavily-cleaned-up-for-the-wholesome-442-readership rant.

"Basically, the ref Delgado Ferreiro should be
sacked,a ****** embarrassment. Poulsen should have
gone for two identical fouls as Zabaleta, who did get
sent off. He booked De La Peña for a foul he
committed. Should be investigated by UEFA and FIFA.

Diego Capel is a bigger cheat than Messi and Geovani
and half the player. You'll all come to hate him mark
my words.

Sevilla are the most negative team I've seen. 10
minutes of counter attack. 80 of 50 yard back passes.
Palop kicked the ball more than any other player. A
disgrace, Kanouté apart.

Delgado Ferreiro has actually made me question if I
want to watch football any more. It really was that
bad. 'Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?' John
Lydon."

Paul, Barcelona

Real Zaragoza

The handballs from Henry and Juanfran will no doubt be
discussed in the Madrid press for decades. And ignored
in the Catalan papers. "Barcelona's 'together we can
do it' included the refereeing team", sniffed Marca.

But the whole affair was worth it just to see
Juanfran's bug-eyed hysterical reaction to the penalty
award for his handball. Worthy of a part in a 28 Weeks
Later
sequel for its arm waving wackiness.

Aside from the full-back, another gentleman who was not
at his best in his response to the late d'inho penalty
was Zaragoza president, Eduardo Bandrés, who ranted
his way through the post match interview, Joe Pesci
style, whilst Joan Laporta stood alongside him  with
that smug Mitt Romney look on his face that makes you
want to smack him with a frying pan.

Bandrés wasn't finished with his complaints and
declared, on Sunday, that he would be writing a stern
letter to the Federation about "our enormous disgust
with what happened in La Romareda, on Saturday night".
Because that'll work.

'Get over it', 'Swings and Roundabouts' is the rather
stern and completely unhelpful message La Liga Loca
has for the pumped up Presi.

Atlético Madrid

Merciful Zeus. The most common words in the papers on
Monday are 'Atlético' and 'suicide', after their
spectacular 1-2 defeat to Athletic Bilbao. The match
saw yet another red card for the rojiblancos - the
club with the worst disciplinary record in the league
- and a tremendous rant from Enrique Cerezo.

"Playing like this, it will be difficult to hold
fourth, fifth or even sixth place" fumed the club
president, after the match. "Not very helpful" was the
gist of the reply from Antonio Lopez on the outburst.

La Liga Loca's dreams of weekly Champions League
football is starting to look rather bleak. Again.

Marcelo

Even if Gabriel Heinze has to have his legs strapped
to stilts to hold them together, he will be prodded
onto the pitch to take on Roma, on Tuesday, such was
Marcelo's performance against Betis, on Saturday
night.

To be fair, he wasn't helped by team-mates who "could
have killed the game off in the first half an hour",
according to Mundo Deportivo, but failed to do so in
spectacular style.

And as to the matter of why this happened, don't look
to Bernd Schuster for an answer. "It's not a question
for me, it's for those out on the pitch," grumbled the
German boss, who looked as if he had just had his
favourite cat put down.

Beto

The Recreativo defender celebrated a thumping headed
goal by lifting up his shirt to show off his tattoo.
Cue second yellow card and cue his marching orders.
Fortunately, his team-mates were playing Deportivo so
came away with a 3-2 win.

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