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Monday’s Good Day, Bad Day - Round 8

Good day

Villarreal

If La Liga LocaâÂÂs Friday predictions had been even half-right so far this season, Villarreal would probably have been top of the table before this weekendâÂÂs round of action.

Instead, Ernesto ValverdeâÂÂs men were bottom of the pile after a miserable run of footballing failure that saw them without a league win.

But all that ended with a domineering, deserved (in the nervous, desperate and scared as kittens sense) victory over Málaga, who now take VillarrealâÂÂs place as the prime losers of the Primera.

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Barcelona

So far in la Liga, most pigeonholes of expectation have been stuffed.

Florentino PérezâÂÂs impatience with his imperial project, another Atlético meltdown, infighting in Mestalla and even a total goof-up from Guti.

The Madrid midfielderâÂÂs latest blunder was to get so befuddled by the time change this weekend that he arrived at SundayâÂÂs training a full two hours late.

And if you do some maths, you will see how this is doubly dumb.

But the one great missing moment from the current campaign was Barcelona thrashing the pants off some hapless ringers thrown to the Camp Nou lions (the 5-2 against Atleti doesnâÂÂt count).

Thankfully, that happened on Sunday night with the Catalan clubâÂÂs 6-1 mauling of Zaragoza.

Asked to explain away the crushing defeat, Zaragoza manager Marcelino noted that âÂÂOne team was better than the other.âÂÂ

Carlos Kameni

There was one save in particular during EspanyolâÂÂs goalless draw against Sevilla that showed why Kameni can be one of the best and one of the worst goalies in the business, at the same time.

The Cameroon keeper was clearing a simple ball upfield, but booted it straight to Jesus Navas.

The Sevilla midfielder sent it back with some venom but Kameni was able to pull an acrobatic effort out of his big mad-bag to save the goalbound shot.

Pablo Hernández

The away match at Almería whiffed heavily of inevitable failure for Valencia.

But three lovely goals from David Villa, Juan Mata and best of all, Pablo Hernández, moves the men from Mestalla back into the top four - kicking Deportivo out in the process.

Happy days are here again.

Mallorca

La Liga Loca must get down on one knee, eat its hat and bake a big humble pie.

It must also apologise to Mallorca for suggesting that they were just spawny shysters who didnâÂÂt deserve their top-six position.

A nine-man Mallorca were fantastic against Atlético and always looked the more dangerous side in the encounter, despite the theoretically sexier nature of their opponents.

The injured Aritz Aduriz in for the hopeless Pierre Webo would surely have given Mallorca all three points instead of just one.

Roberto Soldado

The Getafe striker finally scored his first goal since the opening day hat-trick against Racing.

To quote the young people of today, the former Madrid man looked âÂÂwell up for itâ in the 2-0 win over Athletic, a team who tried a bold experiment in rugby tackling in a game were they were truly thrashed.

Valladolid

The first home win of the season for Valladolid came in a 4-0 win over Deportivo, which should have given the Pucela side bonus points, in La Liga LocaâÂÂs rule book.

Bad Day

Atlético Madrid

While AtléticoâÂÂs players were on the pitch throwing yet more points away, new boss Quique Sánchez Flores was in the stands scribbling away in a notebook.

Either that, or the eyeliner-wearing one was penning the worldâÂÂs quickest resignation letter.

âÂÂQuique doesnâÂÂt have to coach this team,â wrote Iñaki Díaz-Guerra in AS after the 1-1 draw against Mallorca, âÂÂhe needs to produce magic.âÂÂ

The former Valencia boss got an immediate idea of the peculiar nature of the Calderón club when he had to welcome some special guests that had come to his "closed-doors" training session on Sunday.

AtléticoâÂÂs Ultras had demanded to go to the session and meet the clubâÂÂs captains - no doubt to offer them their full support in their time of need as well as threaten to shatter their kneecaps.

Their request was agreed to by the rojiblancos and produced a fetching fascists-meet-footballers fiesta.

Kaká

SaturdayâÂÂs match-up against Sporting was the perfect chance for the former Milan man to strut his stuff.

Rather than being jammed out on the wing to accommodate Raúl and Benzema, Kaká would play as a second striker against supposedly inferior opposition.

But it didnâÂÂt work out that way and Kaká was just as rubbish as the rest of his team-mates against an admirably spirited Sporting.

The Brazilian and the Real Madrid No.7 produced just three efforts on goal between them.

âÂÂItâÂÂs either Kaká out there, or a perfect clone,â muttered Marca.

Deportivo

Ha!

Athletic Bilbao

Although they have somehow gotten away with it and are still 11th in the table, Athletic have been fairly poor of late.

The 2-0 defeat at Getafe sees the side picking up just one point from their last five league games.

Not even the usual excuse from supporters â Basque-hating referees â can be rolled out to explain that lamentable record.

Instead, it may be due to the stresses and strains of a Europa League campaign that Athletic are taking fairly seriously.

Which is a pleasant change.

Osasuna

Osasuna were oh-so-close to a handy away win at Racing, but a fifth-minute-of-injury-time strike from the home side brought the score back to 1-1.

Juan Ramón López Muñiz

With Málaga now bottom of the table with just one win all season, the clubâÂÂs manager moves into third place in La Liga LocaâÂÂs Sack Race table, nestled nicely behind Manuel Pellegrini and Quique Sánchez Flores.

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