Monday, January 15, 2007

Royalist Rumble

One gol against Chelsea. That was about the sum total of Maxi Lopez contribution while he was at Barcelona. Most of the time he didn't even make the squad let alone start a game so it was no surprise when he was loaned out to island side RCD Mallorca in the summer. Since joining the Balearic side he's scored two gols in nine starts in La Liga. One of those was last night, against Sevilla, to win the match 1-2 and end the league leaders unbeaten run at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan and get his former side out of the massive hole they left themselves in having lost to Espanyol 3-1, giving the other side from Barcelona their first derby victory in twenty five years.

Barcelona were dreadful on Saturday night (suffer if you must the 'highlights') With Saviola again dropped to the bench despite his two gols against Alaves in midweek, Gudjohnsen toiled upfront in that aimless, useless way of his. 'dinho was again out of sorts and the blaugrana's best player by a mile was Victor Valdes, who kept the score somewhat respectable. Bar
ça haven't won a league match since they squeezed past Sociedad in early December. With FCB looking tired and flat, Espanyol positively blew them away with swift and incisive counter-attacking. Defensively Barcelona were a shambles (again) and Valdes had shots flying at him from all angles. It was real horror show.

The result leaves Barcelona level on points with Real Madrid and two behind Sevilla. Quite how Real, playing like a pub team at times this season are still within shouting distance of the top I don't know. They beat Saragossa 1-0 last night in what was a very poor match indeed.

About the only good news is that Samuel Eto'o will return to training today. He won't be starting a match anytime soon but my it's good to have him back.

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