Villarreal let Spanish side down as Barcelona win heaven sent thriller
Much like this blogger doing his household chores, the Spanish football collective attempted a perfect clean sweep this weekend, but couldnÃ¢ÂÂt quite finish the job.
The Champions League chumps of the la Liga quartet were Villarreal, who lost 3-1 to Bayern Munich. But considering the fact that the visitors had nothing to play for in a Champions League campaign thatÃ¢ÂÂs gone all Arizmendi on them, avoiding a heavy hammering and scoring a goal in Germany can perhaps be considered a bit of a Brucey bonus.
Ã¢ÂÂThe league and cup are a priority for us now,Ã¢ÂÂ admitted Villarreal boss, Juan Carlos Garrido, in what must be Spanish pop music to the ears of Manchester City fans hoping that the east coast club can do them a favour and nick some points off Napoli on matchday six.
TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs other match, Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂs 6-2 win over Dinamo Zagreb, was an utterly pointless waste of time, with the Croatian visitors doing their best to run away from the oncoming Madrid forwards, failing to put in a tackle and helping their hosts to a four goal lead in just 18 minutes. Ã¢ÂÂThey were smashed immediately,Ã¢ÂÂ said JosÃÂ© Mourinho after the game with perhaps not quite as much smug self-satisfaction as youÃ¢ÂÂd imagine.
Nevertheless, the Madrid press were never going to doubt the importance of a match so ridiculous that JosÃÂ© CallejÃÂ³n was on a hat-trick and Esteban Granero played 45 minutes. This saw Marca pull out all the insanity stops on Thursday by publishing a front cover demonstrating in graphic detail that the brace-scoring Karim Benzema had transformed from a simple cat to Ã¢ÂÂPuss in BootsÃ¢ÂÂ.
Meanwhile, mad TomÃÂ¡s Roncero in AS was ready to declare the 2011/12 Madrid vintage as being Ã¢ÂÂthe best squad in historyÃ¢ÂÂ and this would surely be the year of Ã¢ÂÂThe TenthÃ¢ÂÂ.
What LLL feared might be a rather drab, overly-tactical affair in the San Siro between AC Milan and Barcelona on Wednesday evening ended up being a game sent down from football heaven in a carriage pulled by Penelope Cruz and her better-looking sister. The scintillating clash swung one way then the other, and even contained a controversial BarÃÂ§a penalty that had some members of the Madrid press hammering away Ã¢ÂÂno penalty!Ã¢ÂÂ on Twitter just a fast as their Catalan cousins had done on Saturday after Gonzalo HiguaÃÂnÃ¢ÂÂs chest/arm affair in Mestalla.
The 3-2 win leaves Barcelona as the winners of the group and a very happy Josep Maria Casanovas writing in Sport that the Champions League clash had Ã¢ÂÂa great win, a great Xavi, a great BarÃÂ§a, a great game.Ã¢ÂÂ There was also a complaint that UEFA that did not allow PepÃ¢ÂÂs Dream Boys to walk out onto the pitch wearing t-shirts to support second-in-command, Tito Vilanova, who had just had surgery to remove a tumour from this throat. Ã¢ÂÂUEFA showed they have no heart,Ã¢ÂÂ growled the Sport columnist, showing that he hasnÃ¢ÂÂt really been keeping a close on European footballÃ¢ÂÂs governing body over the past 20 years or so.
The big bust up between Pep Guardiola and Zlatan Ibrahimovic never took place, with the BarÃÂ§a boss suggesting that Ã¢ÂÂthe enormous, Swedish, bottling coward didnÃ¢ÂÂt dare to face me and thus avoided a mighty smiting.Ã¢ÂÂ However, the Milan striker did get to score a goal but said that his celebration was not a personal swipe at his former manager. Ã¢ÂÂI scored a goal against BarÃÂ§a, not against Pep.Ã¢ÂÂ
Although Valencia were stuck away in a Champions League backwater somewhere, the Mestalla men managed to cause one or two rumblings with a 7-0 victory over Genk, which included a hat-trick from Roberto Soldado, who itÃ¢ÂÂs fair to say is in fine form at the moment. That win and ChelseaÃ¢ÂÂs defeat sees Valencia having to travel to Stamford Bridge needing either a win or a score draw in their final group stage fixture, for reasons that LLL really canÃ¢ÂÂt be bothered explaining. And not because we're too thick to work out...
All in all, itÃ¢ÂÂs an A- for Spanish teams this week, with two clubs already group winners, another with a 50/50 chance of passing through to the next stages and one who is being forced to stand in the corner, feeling very sorry for themselves indeed.