Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Week 19 review: Real disappointment

Ulloa (left) made Real sweat
Barcelona extended their lead at the top of La Liga to 4 points as Real Madrid suffered a shock draw away at bottom of the league Almeria, dropping points for only the fourth time this season. Barca - who had put eight past Almeria in November for no reply - cruised to a 4-1 victory at home to Malaga.

Madrid handed a first start of the season to Kaka, shifting Ronaldo to centre forward at the expense of Karem Benzema but the return of the Brazilian playmaker could not inspire what should have been a walk in the park. The stats suggest a pretty uninspired approach with Ronaldo repeatedly - maybe excessively - kicking the ball at the goalie. The Portuguese managed to hog the points with 18.5 (including 5 SOTs), while Almeria's Valencia bound keeper Alves managed to be the second highest scoring keeper of the week with 16pts.. Of the rest of the front 5 (of which I had all 4), Di Maria managed a respectable 11, Kaka 2, Ozil -0.5, and Benzema replaced Kaka in the second half, to score 5.5, laying on the assist for another substitute, Granero (who totalled 10.)

Raul Albiol continued his dull form in defence with a 0.5 (booked) and was the first of two players to get booked and subbed for the Dos Donuts.

Like Ronaldo, Messi also only managed a modest score with 14.5 in Barca's victory. David Villa got 2 goals and 24 points, Pedro (1, 15 pts) and Iniesta (1, 14.5). Affellay didn't manage to trouble the scorers, appearing as he did for merely 8 minutes at the end. For Malaga, Duda showed what he's all about with a gem of a free kick to score a late consolation.

On to 3rd placed Villarreal, who, as predicted, triumphed over Osasuna. Ruben was on the scoresheet as was Spanish international Capdevilla, Rodriguez and Cani (with his astonishing halfway strike and highest score of all midfielders with 21.5). Ruben scored 18.5, and was only denied more by a booking. Roma loan signing Cicinho, also made his first appearance for the Spaniads as a late substitute. Ex-West Brom midfielder Bojan Valero scored a very tidy 15pts despite not getting on the score sheet. In goal, I took a punt on Diego Lopez who was let down by conceding 2 and only managed 2.5 points.

Jeremy Mathieu's Pro Evo likeness
Valencia, only 2 points behind Villarreal in 4th placed, kept up the pressure with a 2-0 win over Deportivo. French full back Jeremy Matthieu stunned everyone with a winning goal and a whopping 29 pts (his previous high score was 6). Midfielder Pablo got the second. Hedwigs Maduro let me down in defence, where despite a clean sheet, he managed to get himself booked and substitituted (-2). The lad did only cost me 3.09 though. Juan Mata only got 7.5.

Elsewhere, despite my reservations, Atletico Madrid brushed aside the in form Mallorca 3-0 with goals from Forlan, Reyes and defender Valera. I was chuffed to have Reyes who was second highest midfield scorer of the week with 21 points, costing 16.29, but not as chuffed as I would have been to have goalkeeper De Gea as well, who top scored the week with 32 points! In defence I also managed to have Dominguez Soto as an afterthought at 3.29, but the bargain basement defender failed to materialise.

Refreshingly, the top scoring team this week would not include Ronaldo or Messi, and would have looked like this:

De Gea, 32, Atletico v Mallorca

Mathieu, 29 Val v Depor
Valera, 20 Atletico v Mallorca
M. Gonzalez, 16 RSO @ Getafe
Capdevilla, 15.5 Villa v Osasuna

Cani, 21.5 Villa v Osasuna
Reyes, 21 Atletico v Mallorca
Xavi Prieto, 18.5 RSO @ Getafe

Villa, 24 Barca v Malaga
Callejon, 22 Espan @ Seville
Ruben, 18.5 Villa v Osasuna

Total: 238

11th placed Real Sociedad's 4-0 win at 8th placed Getafe has to be one of the shock results of the week. The Basque playmaker Xabi Prieto looks a bit special: he's got 9+ in the last four weeks and averages 8.76. Maybe a little pricey, now at 15.5 though. Sociedad's M. Gonzalez is not the same Chilean/ South African who once played for Liverpool but a young Real local.

Juanmi Callejon got both the goals as Espanyol punished Sevilla's wastefulness. The Southerner's dominated possession but couldn't take their chances and the Catalans took advantage (see Sid Lowe for more) in clinical fashion. Callejon has 4 from 19 games for the season now and is Espanyol's top fit goalscorer with leading marksman Osvaldo now out for two months.

In Kennedy "Mr Kennedy" Bakircioglü news, the Swedish forward managed 12.5 points even as his side Racing Santander lost at Athtletico Bilbao.

Other results:

Athletic Bilbao 2 - 1 Racing Santander
Real Zaragoza 1 - 0 Levante UD
Sporting Gijón 2 - 0 Hércules CF

League Table

Goal.com's team of the week
Week 19's winning team: Betancunia 2011
Team of the Week: Betancunia 2011

My team: Dos Donuts

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