ßThis week’s edition of the Monday Six Pack brings us back to reality. It’s the time of year when teams begin to make their respective runs towards a title or not, to avoid relegation or not, and make a statement or not.
Not So Seventh Heaven: Madrid knew that they had to win regardless after Barca won in Mallorca. Little they would expect that Riazor would be the place where they would slip up. After “short-handed” Barcelona won in convincing fashion at the Iberostar Estadi 3-0. Real Madrid had the task in their hands and all they would need to do is score a goal against Deportivo in order to come out with a win and keep pace. They were acing one of the worst offenses in Spain but they would be facing one of the hottest goalkeepers in La Liga in Dani Aranzubia.
It would take an inspired Aranzubia to fend off the Merengue attack, three posts also helped the Galicians come up with a point that very few people would have even dreamed of getting despite their dramatic draw against Almeria last week. The point that they earned against Madrid extended their unbeaten streak to three.
Crash Landing: It is a memory long gone for Juventus fans that they beat Inter in the Derbi d’Italia. Two losses and Luigi Del Neri’s job is more on the ropes than ever. La Vecchia Signora had another big blow and their European pretensions look ever so impossible to reach and the club continue their downward spiral. Marco Di Vaio would be the nightmare that would dance in the heads of the Juventino faithful.
Done And Dusted: Bayern Munich were looking for a win in order to make the Bundesliga more interesting but instead they were outclassed by league leaders Borussia Dortmund. The men from the Ruhe Valley came to Munich as they knew they would have to overcome a 20-year jinx in order to take a big step towards ending a decade-long drought. Guess the hype was more than the match itself as Dortmund came out and took a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes and never looked back. Lucas Barrios, and Nuri Sahin would give Dortmund the lead and Mats Hummels would seal the deal and give the yellow and black a 14-point lead over the defending champs with 10 matches left in the Bundesliga season.
The Emperor In Roman’s Empire: Julio César Falcioni has not had it easy as Boca Juniors coach to say the least. Now the impending drama at Casa Amarilla is the fact that the boss is not in the best of terms with Juan Román Riquelme. This week’s soap opera where Riquelme said he was ready to play against All Boys yet Falcioni came out with an opposite version and did not include him on the list.
The result was not the best for Boca as they could only muster up a scoreless draw much to the dismay of Xeneize fans who chanted Riquelme’s name for a good part of the match.
If there is a silver lining for Falcioni it is the fact that the No Riquelme= No Loss equation is still intact. Good luck to him in trying to convince the Boca faithful with that one.
San Lorenzo brought down: San Lorenzo were looking to make a move in the table and become the contender for the title that many thought they would be. After two rounds unbeaten, they knew that a win would have them atop the table with a surprising Olimpo side. But it would be a player that many might only have heard of become the impact player for Racing over Ramón Díaz’ team. Colombian international Teófilo Gutiérrez would debut as a starter and would dedicate his first goals in Argentina to fallen teammate and fellow compatriot Giovanni Moreno.
Unlucky Seven: When coaches are given support by their club presidents, we all consider it the kiss of death. When a coach is given a “one percent chance” to keep their job, things are really bad. That is the case with Palermo coach Delio Rossi who saw his team fall to Udinese 7-0.
Oba-mination: Arsenal looked to be headed to injury time and the Gunners were poised to get their first trophy in six years as they faced Birmingham City in the final of the Carling Cup. Wow, would Arsenal fans get a rude awakening courtesy of Obafemi Martins as he Blues would get the win in the dying minutes of the match and the boys from London would snatch defeat away from jaws of victory. I guess the best way to see this is by just watching as the boys from St. Andrews win a trophy for the first time in 48 years.
This is a time where we have to repudiate the actions of one Luis Moreno. The Panamanian midfielder for Deportivo Pereira kicked an owl that had become a symbol of the Junior crowd as well as a good luck charm. Good for the people of Barranquilla who absolutely berated him and that man should have gone to jail for animal cruelty. An evil man without a doubt. Don’t think that the fact that Pereira’s have gone 11 months without winning. Yes 30 matches. Their last win came on March 27th of last year. With this particular act, I think that Colombian football are probably going to root for Pereira to go down as unfair as that may be. I think they will root harder to see Moreno either behind bars or out of the country.
Another person that saw the wicked side of Karma was that of Deportivo Cali coach Jaime de la Pava. He resigned after Cali lost to Chicó 2-0. For De la Pava, it was karma that he faced as he lobbied for the job in the early part of last tournament criticizing Jorge Cruz of the job he had done up to that point. Cruz would be relieved of his duties just four weeks in to allow De la Pava to take the reigns and fail to make the playoffs. Hope Cali brass come back to their senses and bring back a man that has given so much to the club.