Footie Forever
Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Spanish soccer - Quick hits from week 19

It's a little late in the week (bad week for downloads, I'm afraid!) to really give a whole lot of analysis, so I'll just give you a few isolated comments to sum up my reactions from the games this past weekend.

Real Madrid 4 - Sevilla 2: Quite a display put forth by men in white, was it not? Apart from the goal barrage, the best part of the effort, for me, was the quick, short passing that had the usually tough (14 goals against in the previous 18 Liga matches) Sevilla defense in almost constant panic. It really was quite lovely to see Guti and Zidane (both playing very well of late) work the whole team into the attack. Probably the best game of the season.

I think the captaincy is beginning to fit Guti - who woulda thunk it?

Can Zidane keep up this pace, or will we see more of the niggling injuries?

Barcelona 2 - Athletic 1: I like Deco as a player, but he let nasty Gurpegui get the better of him and the higher-ups have seen fit to suspend the Bra...Portuguese midfielder two matches.

I also think Eto'o has been an amazing striker the past year and a half, but it is too bad he seems to act before thinking so often. Spitting at a player's face??? So much for being professional, eh.

Depor 0 - Alavés 2: Oy vey! What the hell happened to Depor here? Granted, Alavés tends to play better away from home, but they still don't actually play well.

Valencia 2 - Osasuna 0: Valencia is starting to look quite solid, aren't they? Up to third now, breathing down Osasuna's back, and looking likely candidates to secure a CL spot. As for Osasuna, are we witnessing a repeat of last season's post Christmas swoon? I don't think so. They're actually playing at quite a high level, and have had some rotten luck the past couple of weeks. I don't expect them to stay on Barcelona's trail, but a top six finish is certainly a strong possibility.

Zaragoza 3 - Mallorca 1 The boys from Aragón are making quite a run up the table, I see. We will have to see if this is the usual mid-season run of form (to be followed by an equally dramatic dip), or if this is the real McCoy this time around.

Betis 1 - Atlético 0: What's more suprising: the result, or that at this point in the season Betis is positively thrilled with just such a showing. Atletico are in deep (deeeep) trouble if the interim manager can't work a little more magic than Bianchi, who was sacked last week. When a team with players of the caliber of Torres, Kezman, Petrov... keeps finding clever and imaginative ways to lose matches, you have to wonder when the ultimate implosion will arrive, because arrive it WILL. Atleti is now in 14th - just THREE points from relegation.

Racing 1 - Villarreal 0: Racing putting together a nice string of results, this time at the expense of the Riquelme Express. I suppose it's true that as Riquelme goes (or doesn't), so goes (or doesn't) the team.

That'll do it for this weeks match commentary. Here's looking forward to some interesting mid-week Cup matches. Best overall tie should be Valencia/Deportivo, but all of them look capable of providing enough intrigue.
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The Table

1 Barcelona 55
2 Valencia 49
3 Real Madrid 48
4 Osasuna 46
5 Sevilla 41
6 Celta 39
7 Villarreal 38
8 Deportivo 37
9 Atlético 35
10 Zaragoza 33
11 Getafe 30
12 Racing 27
13 Real Sociedad 25
14 Espanyol 24
15 Athletic 22
16 Alavés 22
17 Cádiz 22
18 Mallorca 22
19 Betis 22
20 Málaga 20


Etoo 18
Villa 15
Ronaldinho 12
Diego Milito 12
Ronaldo 10
Tristán 9
Riquelme 9
Güiza 8

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