La Pelota no se mancha (The ball doesn’t stain)

Just when you thought that LaLiga might stay interestingly competitive, Leo Messi decided that he’d had enough of democracy and that he’d prefer a return to dictatorship.  Espanyol, who a month ago were looking like serious contenders for the Champions League places, have now lost four on the trot and hey presto, lie ten points behind their illustrious neighbours who destroyed them 0-4 at the Cornella-el-Prat.  Wanna win the league? Well – you’ve gotta find some consistency, pick a pocket or two or even better, sign a Leo Messi. Continue reading “La Pelota no se mancha (The ball doesn’t stain)”

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Barcelona, Atleti, Madrid and… Alavés?

Review of LaLiga’s 14th week

Granted, if above all things you’re a Real Madrid fan or an Atletico supporter, or even a Barcelona one, you’re probably not thinking much of this LaLiga season so far. But if you enjoy the game as much as your team or if you support any of the other 17 clubs, these first three months have been a gift from the gods. It’s not only the fact that only five points separate the top five teams, but especially that feeling of unease when Real Madrid, Barcelona or Atletico play and you can’t really bet the house on them because they’ve only won 21 of their 42 matches so far. Continue reading “Barcelona, Atleti, Madrid and… Alavés?”

Seville thrill, Madrid skid

Ave Princeps! We have a new leader! Step up to the podium Sevilla FC, who have already been there twice this season, but who had to wait quite a while before that – since the 2006-7 season to be precise, under the currently unemployed Juande Ramos.   They took over the top spot from Barcelona, (who drew in the last gasp at the Willy Wanda) by defeating Valladolid 1-0 in slightly controversial circumstances, the visitors having had two goals disallowed.

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Andre Silva sends ’em wild in Seville

Continue reading “Seville thrill, Madrid skid”

That was the weekend that was

Well shiver me timbers – what an awesome three days of matches in Spain! Just when you were thinking that it couldn’t remain so interesting and competitive, and that things were gradually reverting to the old hierarchies, LaLiga comes up with a cracker whose glow will warm the Spanish firesides for the next fortnight.   The teams that won can spend the international break all smiley and positive in training, whilst the victims can search in the rubble for the positives and just keep on working, as the clichés go. Continue reading “That was the weekend that was”

Home sweet home?

What do Valencia and Real Sociedad have in common, apart from the obvious fact that they both have football teams?  Well, neither of them has won at home yet, and Valencia’s only (away) win this season to date was at….yes, you’ve guessed it, Real Sociedad.  Huesca and Rayo have also failed to win at home, but maybe that’s not so newsworthy.  Bottom-placed Huesca almost made it on Sunday but visitors Getafe pooped their party by equalising in the 91st minute, and Rayo were looking as though they might break their hoodoo against the unlikely presence of Barcelona, but the Catalans have a tendency to break local hearts in the final minutes, and thus it proved, a 2-1 turning suddenly into a 2-3 in the final ten minutes of the game.  Another member of the homeless club is Villarreal, which is something of a surprise – with a mere three goals scored in six games. Continue reading “Home sweet home?”

Chronicle of a Defeat Foretold

It was the match of the weekend, one of those occasions on which we all expect to see top players make an extra effort. However, only one team came along. While Barcelona performed in their most solid version, Real Madrid failed to show up. Funnily enough, the Madridista’ display was consistent with what they’ve done so far. “This 5-1 is what we’ve done all season”, said Casemiro in the post-match interview on the sidelines of the pitch, the Camp Nou still packed with fans celebrating Barcelona’s win. Any listener could probably replace “5-1” with the word “crap” and Casemiro’s sentence, already clear, would become an even more eloquent statement. Continue reading “Chronicle of a Defeat Foretold”

Clásico Conundrum

Every cloud has a silver lining, eh? Just when Real Madrid thought that things couldn’t possibly get much worse, in the 25th minute of Barcelona v Sevilla, Leo Messi took on his compatriot ‘Mudo’ (the mute) Vázquez, toppled over and injured his arm.  The world stood still, Dembele replaced LM (who had already scored and set up a goal) and hope returned to the Bernabéu, where the grey-suited chiefs sat hunched in Saturday night pow-wow over the future of Mr Lopetegui. Ah, alas poor Julen – we thought we knew him.  From seeming like a thoroughly sensible bloke running the national team with serious-faced efficiency, his boat floated too close to the Siren shores of the Bernabéu. Julen dived into the water, and the rest is history. Continue reading “Clásico Conundrum”