Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético all may have won in week two, but it is the reinstated team from a town of 27,000 who are looking down on Spain’s top tier
Week Two ended with the team that was relegated at the end of last season top of the table. It also ended with the team that just celebrated its first title in 34 years bottom; with the team that presented their beautiful new striker in their beautiful new stadium in front of 10,000 supporters goalless again; and with the team that returned to the Champions League this week, a fifth Spanish club whistling Zadok the Priest, getting whistled by their own supporters. It ended with 80,000 fans chanting the name of a new hero being shown the door; with the treble winners getting rescued by a thumping finish from a man who had gone so long without scoring that he admitted he didn’t know what to do next; and with the man who couldn’t score scoring again and the men who couldn’t stop scoring not scoring again.
Confused? It was that kind of week. So let’s explain. Week Two was the week in which Málaga, the only team to remain unbeaten against Barcelona last season, extended their run without conceding a goal against them to 254 minutes until, with nerves frayed and fans fretting, with Málaga midfielder Juankar almost scoring from inside his half – and yes, that really is his name and yes that really is how you say it – Thomas Vermaelen smacked in a 72nd-minute winner. “I didn’t celebrate because I am not used to scoring and I didn’t know what to do,” he said, so he just smiled a bit. Continue reading...