MondayÃ¢ÂÂs Good Day, Bad Day Ã¢ÂÂ Round 9
This is why la LigaÃ¢ÂÂs truly inspired plan of everyone playing Sevilla, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Villarreal in a row is the most ludicrous footballing concept since Christoph Metzelder.
Earlier this season, Sporting were smeared across the windscreen of la LigaÃ¢ÂÂs finest Ã¢ÂÂ and Real Madrid Ã¢ÂÂ with much dooming -and-glooming all round over their top-flight future. Now they're playing teams of more modest means. they've picked up four wins in four.
Whoever dreamed up this lunacy in la Liga should be made to watch Telecinco for a week. For those readers not based in Spain, thatÃ¢ÂÂs a punishment not even Dick Cheney on one of his darkest days would ever dare to dream up.
Ã¢ÂÂA game of truth,Ã¢ÂÂ said Pep Guardiola on Friday as he contemplated a trip down south to take on an in-form MÃÂ¡laga and a tropical storm at the same time. As it happened, Barcelona came out winners on both fronts.
It was a good weekend for Pep: he also got the Formula One result he wanted. Ã¢ÂÂHeÃ¢ÂÂs a Madrid fan, isnÃ¢ÂÂt he?Ã¢ÂÂ asked the Barcelona boss when quizzed on his feelings for Fernando Alonso. Ã¢ÂÂThen IÃ¢ÂÂm for Hamilton,Ã¢ÂÂ he announced. Jokingly, of course.
Even by their nutty standards, October was a ridiculous month for AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid. It was a month where they were beaten by Barcelona, Real Madrid and very nearly by Villarreal, and took a firm botty-smacking from UEFA.
But a new month and the return of Kun AgÃÂ¼ero after a bit of a lie-down sees Anfield-bound AtlÃÂ©tico in chipper spirits after a 2-0 win against the ever-reliable Mallorca.
Ã¢ÂÂThe two-match rest has been like a month in the Seychelles for AgÃÂ¼ero,Ã¢ÂÂ writes IÃÂ±aki DÃÂaz-Guerra in AS on the tiny terror who bagged two on Saturday night. Nice work if you can get it, etc.
Seychelles (AgÃÂ¼ero not pictured)
Hands up who foresaw RacingÃÂ´s 4-2 win over Valencia at the Mestalla. Really? Liar, liar, pants on fire to the lot of yer.
It was all thanks to one of most surprising hat-tricks in the history of the game from TchitÃÂ©, which handed the first league defeat of the season to Unai Emery and moved him firmly into the number one position in La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs sack-race chart.
Now, La Liga Loca likes Getafe a lot Ã¢ÂÂ although perhaps less so this season, under the horrible football stylings of Victor MuÃÂ±oz. But there is no way in Hades that they are the seventh-best team in Spain, as claimed by the current league table.
GetafeÃ¢ÂÂs goal difference of plus one after nine rounds of action will more than likely remain the same at the end of the season with the side only having scored more than one goal on two occasions so far this season.
Athletic Bilbao 1-4 Villarreal! Malaga 1-4 Barcelona! Valencia 2-4 Racing Santander! Valladolid 3-2 Sevilla! And... er... Espanyol 1-0 Osasuna.
HereÃ¢ÂÂs Paul from Barcelona to tell us all about Raul Tamudo missing his 11th penalty of his career.
Ã¢ÂÂA very patchy day indeed. Patchy weather. Patchy pitch, patchy performance and 12 blokes called Patxi (herein lies the gag) supporting their team. A horrible day in Barcelona, heavy rain all day but, to my surprise, it had stopped at kick-off.
First incident was the penalty. It was a clear penalty (BarÃÂ§a fans may use a dictionary at this point). Tamudo continued his run of crap penalties by blazing wide. Let's just say that if Tamudo had shot at John Lennon he'd still be alive today. Both teams created chances. Osasuna's more by accident than design. Second half was brightened up by the goal. Espanyol had chances to increase the lead. Kameni flapped at a few crosses and despite the introduction of EL RIFLE (odds-on to score), the result was never really in doubt.
1) Fantastic reception for Camacho and Pandiani Ã¢ÂÂ well deserved both.
2) Osasuna lacked physical presence. Not a phrase you hear very often. Like "Penalty against BarÃÂ§a".
3) Tamudo misses 40 percent of all penalties. Luis Garcia has scored seven out of seven. A no-brainer.
4) Difficult playing conditions made more difficult by having a ref who tried to play advantage then realised he didn't know what the rule was.
Stray cat count 0, though a member of Matchbox was seen in La Tribuna.Ã¢ÂÂ
A matchbox (Brian Setzer not pictured)
After disappearing off the blogÃ¢ÂÂs radar for much of the season, Valladolid do something slightly interesting with an impressive comeback against Sevilla.
The general opinion of the Spanish press on DeporÃ¢ÂÂs 3-0 Sunday-night win over Betis seems to be "jammy sods".
This is reason number two why whoever dreamed up this seasonÃ¢ÂÂs fixture list should be punished by becoming an X Factor jury member. Athletic Bilbao were admittedly awful against Sevilla, but were determined against Barcelona, unlucky against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu and the better side against Villarreal in the first half on Saturday night. But they have diddly-squat to show for their efforts except five defeats in a row.
If the club have any sense about them, theyÃ¢ÂÂll avoid the temptation of sacking JoaquÃÂn CaparrÃÂ³s, as heÃ¢ÂÂs the best manager theyÃ¢ÂÂll get their hands on at the moment. Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm an unrepentant optimisticÃ¢ÂÂ, said the Bilbao boss, on Saturday. Over the next couple of weeks, heÃ¢ÂÂll need to be.
It's hard to optimistic about the survival chances of these two clubs. Or Camacho not legging it from Osasuna sharpish after another defeat. The relegation of the first gets a shrug of indifference from the blog, although it thinks they have a right purty name. But the banishment of Osasuna means the top flight would be deprived of one of the most entertainingly dirty sides in Spain. LetÃ¢ÂÂs all hope that Recreativo can take one for the team by maintaining their 18th-place position to lend Osasuna a helping hand.
A fine eveningÃ¢ÂÂs work from the Sevilla striker who picked up one yellow for time-wasting and another for a dramatic penalty box tumble.
Ã¢ÂÂThis was like two matchesÃ¢ÂÂ, sighed Paco Chaparro on their somewhat unlikely 3-0 thrashing by Deportivo. To borrow on old clichÃÂ©, Betis are consistent in their inconsistency and are better than their 16th place suggests. However, they have been unable to prove it. Having Edu out for another month and a half certainly isnÃ¢ÂÂt going to help matters much, either.
Watching the match was dull enough, never mind writing about it. And a message to Marca: scoring a goal does not mean that Raul was worth two points in your player rating. Aside from the header, he did absolutely nothing.
You can catch Tim Stannard on pundit duty - and quite possibly reversing his position on Real Madrid's fine captain - on RMTV's Extra Time, 22.05 UK time and repeated throughout the week.