Last Week in La Liga

By Jake Appleman

Adding Sight to Spain’s top flight
Because it isn’t beautiful
Unless you’ve seen it.

Back with the weekly La Liga Youtube fix after a break for Euro 2008 qualifiers.

Getafe 1 – Real Madrid 0

Some cliff’s notes for this Spanish video.

  • The clip begins with the announcer finishing his intro to the highlight package “…Nor did they play well, nor did they have any chances, nor did they deserve to win…Given all that, it’s not hard to understand why Capello’s team turned in one of the worst performances in recent years.” Correct on all counts, including the fact that Real didn’t have a shot on goal.
  • “No le gusta TIRO AL PATO” means “Real doesn’t like shooting at the duck”, which is the nickname of Getafe goalkeeper, Roberto Abbondanzieri. Abbondanzieri was also the netminder for Argentina during this summer’s World Cup. (Interesting sidenote: Had the duck not been injured in the quarterfinal against Germany, the Argentines would have probably stood a better chance in the PK shootout against Jens Lehman and his piece of famous paper. This is sad because Argentina, up until their elimination, was the most impressive team in the tournament.)
  • Interesting analysis of the corner that netted Getafe the only goal of the match. Instead of blaming Raul Bravo for letting his man obtain the space to jump over him and score the goal, the analyst defends Bravo’s positional marking, preferring to laud the goal scorer Alexis for a perfectly timed jump that occurred only momentarily before Bravo left his feet.
  • Gist of Capello’s press conference: Getafe deserved to win. I don’t want to talk about the refs. I don’t wanna make excuses. So he wears thick glasses, has too much talent to work with, enforces a “play the right way, grind it out style” and has this really dark way of doing things. All of this begs the following question: Is Fabio Capello the Larry Brown of La Liga?

The Guardian’s Sid Lowe has an interesting take on Capello:

“In Spain, Italy is seen as the home of the anti-football – boring, cynical and dirty – and Capello is the greatest master of its dark arts. After three years without a trophy, all is forgiven if you win – and next week against Barcelona provides the perfect opportunity for reconciliation, but some believe it is Capello’s very defensiveness that has brought Madrid to their knees. He can whinge at the players – some of whom really should have been offloaded in the summer – but the responsibility is his too.”

Tim of La Liga Loca has a good take on the Getafe side of things: “Its just a shame the stadium was half empty due to their ‘Day of the Club’ campaign which forced season ticket holders to fork out another 30 euros for their seats and made everyone else pay up to 100 euros for the privilege of watching what was a pretty dire match, despite the dramatic result.”

I went to school in Getafe last year and I can assure you that they didn’t have the money.

Last word goes to Gonzalo from All-In-White who notes that the Getafe match was “the worst Real Madrid performance this season (which, after the Lyon game is saying something).”

Atletico 2 – Recreativo Huelva 1

A game that featured two penalties that shouldn’t have been called is capped off by an Argentinean prodigy punching the ball into the back of the net. I guess that’s what Sergio “Kun” Aguero needed to do to prove he’s just like Maradona. Even when Atletico are lucky, they aren’t. Maxi Rodriguez went down in the Argentina-Spain friendly and Martin Petrov is out with an injury as well. So much for quality midfielders bulldozing down the left and right sides.

Celta 3 – Valencia 2

Fernando Baiano and co. stun Los Che. Three goals for Celta in 11 minutes. Wow.

Barcelona 3 – Sevilla 1

It’s in this space that I thank myself for not dropping Ronaldinho from my La Liga Fantasy team. I know it sounds very “standardized testing”, but my squad has reached the 97th percentile! Also of note: That diminutive Leo Messi fellow is getting awfully good at dribbling between and around three guys in the box before scoring.

Zaragoza 3- Real Sociead 1

As you can tell from the highlight package, Diego Milito, owner of two of the three Zaragoza goals, is really good.

Athletic Bilbao 3 – Nastic 2

Quite a day for Fran Yeste. If this column was called Yesterday in La Liga, I would have just shortened it to “Yeste” in La Liga for this week. Unfortunately for Yeste and the city of Bilbao, his team sucks.

Bonus Champions league coverage involving teams from Spain.

Real Madrid 4 – Steaua Bucuresti 1

Van Nistelrooy’s immaculate chip is the goal of this match. Also note the reporter at the beginning of the clip calling Getafe (pronounced Heh-ta-fay) Ga-taffy. If the loss to “Ga-taffy” was Dr. Jekyl, then this victory was most assuredly Mr. Hyde. Or vice-versa. You be the judge.

Chelsea 1 – Barcelona 0 (To the tune of Blink 182’s “What’s my age again?” Me neither…)

I caught this one live. Chelsea deserved the points. It’s quite stunning how much better Didier Drogba is than Schevchenko. The match wasn’t all that exciting, but there was a whole lot of Tommy Smyth calling Carlos Puyol “PEW-YOL”. One funny excerpt between Tommy Smyth and Derek Rae.

Rae: Dare I say, Ronaldinho looks rather forlorn out there.

Smyth: Say it again!

Rae refuses to say it again.

Valencia 2 – Shakhtar Donetsk 0

I can’t imagine how many times this year I’m going to type the words “A David Villa double”…