La Liga is back! Can you hear the noise? No, of course you can’t. And not just because there isn’t anything to shout about, but because no-one is there. It could, however, be a great time to be in the multi-coloured tarpaulin business. We think this season’s must-have graduated seating covering might just be a better and more technologically advanced alternative to La Liga boss Javier Tebas’s “virtual crowds” (see above). In our humble opinion it doesn’t do much to improve the ambience offered by an empty seat, but we’ve been wrong before and we’re willing to bow to popular wisdom. In any case, armchair football fans are getting a sneak-peak of the atmosphere awaiting us at the Qatar World Cup in a couple of years. By that time, we might have got the knack of getting excited about some millionaire pinging one into the top corner from twenty yards to the same resounding silence that met your similar effort in the Sunday League in 2007 (similar in your head, that is). Actually, woven plastics specialists should literally get ahead of the game and get the Doha money-men on the phone now. Why wait to offer a disappointing and inaccurate imitation of a pulsating crowd with virtual fans? Rainbow tarps can also keep off the dust (as well as the blood, sweat, and tears of thousands of exploited migrant workers) in the meantime!
Blood, sweat, and tears are three bodily fluids that have been in short supply on the pitch at RCDE Stadium this year. Espanyol have La Liga’s most laughable home record, but on Saturday they took the three points against a frankly pathetic Alavés side, which means they haven’t lost at home in the league since late February! Yea, we know… We’ve got loads of those though. Who would have thought the pericos would still be a top-flight side come June? No?
In all seriousness, though, the promised land of sticking around for another year of this, whenever and however it might be on offer, is now only three points away. Words would struggle to do justice to Bernardo’s shouldered opener (lovely feint with his head), and Wu Lei’s calm clincher. Also, we’re tired and it’s hot. Here are the highlights:
The football is back! Sort of. If you can’t wait for the next instalment, you really don’t have to. Espanyol are taking the AVE tomorrow morning and will meet Getafe at the misleadingly named Coliseum in the evening. Let’s hope Bordalás’s side can’t be arsed, either. Salvation beckons!