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ICYMI – the Pipita edition

October 3, 2011

In case you missed it – Espanyol vs. Real Madrid [2011-10-02, Liga jornada 7, 0-4].

It figures that just when we get some momentum going, it’s time for an international break.  But at least we’re well-positioned going into it, with a newfound sense of optimism, after a week of suffering.

ONE.  What a night it was for Gonzalo Higuaín, who took full advantage of Karim Benzema’s absence to make a strong case for why he should get the start, by scoring a hat trick.  By the way, he had scored against Espanyol in four of the eight previous games in which he had faced this team.

As you can see, his teammates on the field and everyone on the bench were happy for him, knowing all that he had gone through to get to this point.  And I love how Pipita was waiting for Cris to join the celebration, as it was his assist which had led to the goal, but Cris was only interested in celebrating with Kaká.

Pipita seemed to be saying, I’m back!

The second goal of the night really helped to calm me down.  And I love how the goals came off of pinpoint accurate passing!

José Callejón did not celebrate his goal; in fact, he asked for forgiveness from his former fans.  He said after the game, “I knew that if I played and I scored, I would ask for forgiveness.  That’s obligatory, because it was as if I were at home.”

I wonder how he feels about the goal celebrations, since it always seems to involve head and hair caressing, and we all know that José spends a lot of time making sure his hair is standing straight up.

The fourth goal of the night and the third to complete Pipita’s hat trick was the icing on the cake.

TWO.  In the tunnel before the game, Mou tapped out a rhythm that only he could hear, while Joselu and Esteban (looking like the perfect boss-in-training) wished Álvaro good luck.  Sami and Mesut also shared a moment in the tunnel, as did Cris and Kaká.

THREE.  Showing the good ties between these two teams, José Mourinho waited for his counterpart Mauricio Pochettino in the tunnel.  They hugged, and then headed out onto the field arm in arm.

However, Pochettino has still to find the magic formula for beating Madrid, as in the seven games in which he’s faced Madrid as coach of Espanyol, Madrid has won all seven and scored 16 goals.

FOUR.  Even though he doesn’t get to play much, Antonio Adán is a lucky guy.  He gets to hang out with Esteban Granero, gets a field-side seat for Real Madrid games, and gets to spend time with Iker Casillas.  That’s a pretty nice life.

FIVE.  Some random moments: Pipita, as he stood around waiting for the game to start, seemed to have some nervous energy, as if he knew that the night would bring some excitement.  Meanwhile, Sami took advantage of Mesut being down to pull his hair!

This moment made me laugh; it’s like a real life version of Real Madrid bowling or something.  And Cris went down, only to bounce right back up with a double thumbs up.  Sigh…

SIX.  That is some ass that Pipita’s got there.  It’s so pert!

SEVEN.  Iker must have been happy after the game, as he managed to keep a clean sheet, though it wasn’t an easy party.  In addition to making saves and ordering his men around, he also played the role of captain very well, even for the other side.

EIGHT.  What will I need to do to get Sergio to defend me like this?

NINE.  José Callejón made his return to Espanyol and the Cornellà-El Prat, receiving an ovation from the fans when he checked into the game.  He said after the game he felt strange changing in the visitors’ locker room and sitting on the visitors’ bench.  This also happened to be José’s 100th game in the first division (97 with Espanyol, three with Real Madrid).

TEN.  I didn’t like Cris’ hair at all.  The combover doesn’t work for him or for me.

ELEVEN.  The obligatory Sergio momentitos.

TWELVE.  After the game, Álvaro Arbeloa made a beeline for the game ball (we all know how good he is at that) to give to Pipita, who then spent some time celebrating with his teammates, all of whom were happy for him, including Raúl Albiol, Sergio, Marcelo…

… and of course his captain Iker.  Iker also thanked the Madrid fans in attendance, while José thanked everyone.

Iker really got dirty during the game!

It was great to see how the game ended, with seven (!) Spaniards on the field: Iker, Xabi, Albiol, Arbeloa and Sergio, who had started the game, and Callejón and Esteban Granero, who were subbed in.  Xabi and Esteban even played together for a few minutes, despite Mou’s previous comment that “it’s also difficult to play with Xabi and Granero at the same time.”

THIRTEEN.  Mou was also waiting on the sidelines to hug his players as they came off the field.

FOURTEEN.  The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

FIFTEEN.  In the mixed zone, José Callejón told the press that he was happy for the reception he received from his former afición, and he praised the collective play of his team.  He added, “this has been my home, but now I defend another escudo and I have to do that to the death.  I hope that everything goes well from now on.”  José also revealed what Mou had said to him before he came into the game: “Mourinho told me to play as I know how.”  He also expressed his joy for his new platonic love, Gonzalo Higuaín: “we’re all happy for him because he can play and contribute goals.”

Speaking of Higuaín, when he was asked what his teammates had said to him in the locker room, he responded, “the entire team supports me and loves me.  That shows that I’m important here.”  Pipita also said Mourinho had congratulated him, and that “I suffered a lot to return, and everyone knows I had needed a game like this.”  He also thanked Álvaro Arbeloa for that wonderful pass leading to the second goal: “Álvaro put it perfectly for me and I didn’t hesitate.”

SIXTEEN.  The Mou corner.

In his post-game press conference, Mou talked about going from a “negative” week (Levante and Racing) to a “perfect” week: psychologically, we came out of a very difficult situation with three bad games, even though we won one.  Now we’ve achieved three wins with 13 goals and with confidence.  I’m happy for the people who weren’t playing and who played fantastically.  I’m happy for Lass, Albiol, Arbeloa and Higuaín.”  Mou also said “Higuaín is a great player… Higuaín was good, even though all of you had forgotten him.”  He also praised the players for working hard and Cristiano for “two marvelous assists.”

And when asked what he’s learned in the last two weeks, Mou gave a vintage Mourinho response: “I learned that men are men, and I didn’t learn that now.  Anything can happen.  The important thing is that when we tied in Santander, we said that this had to end and that we had to turn the page to move forward.”  Mou also said that Levante is the team to watch out for.

There was a moment in which I’m sure many journalists were rubbing their hands with glee, waiting for things to explode.  A journalist from Catalunya Radio asked Mou a question in catalan, about whether Madrid had been so superior as to win 0-4.  In response, Mourinho politely requested that he ask the question in castellano (“can you ask me in castellano, please”).  Later on, however, when he was asked a question in English from a Sky Sports journalist, he responded in English, so people are trying to say that he’s slighting catalan, but perhaps it’s because he hasn’t spoken catalan in years and doesn’t feel comfortable speaking it.

SEVENTEEN.  Other notes.

The players had a light training session earlier in the day in their hotel.  Xabi almost looks like a king, waving regally to his loyal subjects.

This next week and a half is an international week, so the team, minus its international players, won’t return to training until Wednesday.  Fingers crossed that everyone comes back healthy!

The Real… interview for this week is Kaká; it will air on Thursday at 22h.

And much like the Bernabéu honors Juanito during the seventh minute of every match, Espanyol does the same in the 21st minute for Dani Jarque.  It’s such a moving, emotional minute.

EIGHTEEN.  While Xabi tweeted about Iñigo Martínez’s golazo in the Anoeta (which I missed when it happened because I was worrying about Javi (!!!)), Sergio celebrated the victory and his 200th Liga game, saying that he’s as excited as he was on the first day, and that he has many dreams left to achieve.  He also congratulated Gonzalo for his hat trick, saying “he brought home with him the ball and everyone’s admiration.”

And how cute is it that MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín put this picture as his twitter profile pic?

NINETEEN.  As for Castilla, they lost for the first time in 25 games, or in other words, for the first time since Alberto Toril took over (playoff games excepted).  Castilla lost 2-4 to La Roda, in a game that saw Denis sent off in the 15th minute (he had gotten his first yellow card for protesting) and Toril as well as he wasn’t at all happy with how things were going.

Jesé and Dani Carvajal scored for mini Madrid.  The scare of the game came when MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín felt some discomfort and asked to be substituted.  But since Castilla had already used up all their substitutions (and remember, they were down to 10 already), he received treatment and returned to the game, playing the last few minutes with pain.  Some of the players tweeted their displeasure with the referring of the game.  Castilla’s next game is against Tenerife.

Again, I am reminded that I am in the wrong profession.

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29 Comments leave one →
  1. manie permalink
    October 3, 2011 16:52

    Again, I am reminded that I am in the wrong profession. — Me too, Una, me too.

    I am really happy for pipita, it’s good to have him back! Hopefully benz gets better during the break. About the game, I know we’re good at countering, but yeeeesh, our midfield problems were still there. We looked really lazy out there, which I didn’t like. it’s good to see we can still pull out a 4-0 win though.

  2. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    October 3, 2011 17:02

    Me2, this international break couldn’t come in worse time, we are just getting back, I still don’t think 4-0 reflect the performance, BUT pipa scoring 3 from 4 chances, he was by far the best man on the pitch yesterday!
    I agree with Mourinho, I don’t think pipa disappeared or myself forgotten about, hat-trick Valencia anyone? His disallowed goal in Barcelona? Again anyone? I seriously don’t think he is back, he already was, but his speed in :p

  3. October 3, 2011 17:21

    lmao Morata is such a fanboy for Cristiano.

    I also think that Mou would have gotten even more shit if he had answered the question in Catalan, as we all know what are Madrid’s feelings regarding Catalonia.

  4. mickymacky permalink
    October 3, 2011 18:07

    pipita’s ass’ past life: tribal drums of war

    …once you tap, you can’t stahp…

  5. October 3, 2011 19:23

    “perhaps it’s because he hasn’t spoken catalan in years and doesn’t feel comfortable speaking it.”

    I didn’t even know Mou spoke Catalan which made the whole debacle all the more ridiculous to me. According to a NYT interview (here: http://nyti.ms/nytmou1) he speaks English, Italian, French, Spanish (and obviously Portuguese) but not Catalan. I know he used to work as a translator at FCB but I always assumed it was Spanish not Catalan he was translating

  6. Pat permalink
    October 3, 2011 19:37

    Great post Una !!! Great game and I’m very happy for the win and the hat-trick of Higuain. He was fantastic and sexy . Kisses from Brasil !!!

  7. Nehal permalink
    October 3, 2011 20:35

    Eight! I want him to defend me like that too!

  8. Alyssa permalink
    October 3, 2011 20:40

    One. I AM SO HAPPY FOR PIPITA!

    “…but Cris was only interested in celebrating with Kaká.” Almost makes me happier than Pipita’s hatrick.

    Four. That’s ALL I want in life! Except maybe for my “hanging out” with Iker to be of a different nature 😉

    Eight. Wow.

    Twelve. Of course Arbeloa would do that. He literally seems like he’s one of the greatest friends someone could have, an amazing guy to have by your side.

    Fifteen. I’m happy Callejon was able to come on and to score. His reaction to that also shows that he’s an incredible person. I’m really glad he’s one of ours :).

    Eighteen. Baby Álvaro’s twitter photo is soooooooooo cute! Jokes about his man-crush aside, I love how much he looks up to Cris! And I can’t wait for the day HE is the best player
    in the world and can reminisce about the time he spent with the legend, Cristiano Ronaldo <3.

  9. mumblo permalink
    October 3, 2011 21:58

    I agree with your trepidation over the internation break, Una. The last break seemed to really throw the guys off the incredible stride they reached during pre-season and the early part of this season. Hopefully we won’t see a repeat of that and everyone will come back uninjured and ready to pick up where they left off! *crosses fingers*

  10. shan permalink
    October 3, 2011 23:10

    1) wait. Castilla played La Roda?! I had no idea. I love that town. The lose is more bearable when it’s a place I like…
    2) I was so happy to see Higua play so well. I enjoy him quite a bit.
    3) I was actually just quite happy with the line up. I didn’t miss Di Maria or Pepe at all (sorry, I know it’s kinda mean) I think everyone that played deserved it. I was the most happy seeing Granero finally get some play time. But no drama, nadie haciendo el payaso, just solidly nice futbol.

  11. October 3, 2011 23:39

    I loved this game…not just because of the win but because players like Lass and Pipita played so well after having some difficult previous games. Kaka continued to play well and Arbeloa had a really good game too. Although he can play on the left, his strongest side is the right, imo.

    Well done to Cris for his help in all three goals and for passing the ball to Callejon for his goal. He probably had a good chance to score but saw Callejon was a better option and passed to him. If Cris was selfish as so many claim, he would have taken the shot.

    The passing was beautiful and such a joy to watch. I must admit that I was a bit nervous on a few occasions but our defense did it’s job.

    Poor Castilla. 😦 They had a great run though so even though it’s a loss, it says nothing about their quality. 25 games without a loss is a phenomenal feat. Also, playing with only 10 men for 75 minutes made it all the more difficult. I hope ABMM is okay.

    Una, I hope you’ll forgive me for going off topic but it’s about Javi (!!!). I saw the Bilbao game but my stream was kind of crappy. I thought it was Javi (!!!) that was taken off but as the stream was in Spanish, I didn’t know what was being said about what happened. It looked scary nonetheless. Is he okay?

    • unamadridista permalink*
      October 4, 2011 14:03

      Yes, it was Javi. He collided with a rival and suffered chest trauma. He was taken off the field and brought to a hospital for tests, which showed that nothing was broken, so he was sent home. His family was at the game, so he returned to Ayegui with them, as he’s not expected in Madrid until Wednesday.

      • Mouah permalink
        October 6, 2011 21:20

        Ando will he be ok for the La Roja games ?

        • unamadridista permalink*
          October 7, 2011 16:25

          Yes, luckily he’s fine.

  12. noim303 permalink
    October 4, 2011 00:02

    First of all, you couldn’t have chosen a better name for the ICYMI, he really was outstanding! I love the photo where he’s holding the ball, signed by his teammates (and some of them wrote pretty funny things!). I’m sure they have tons of balls, why don’t they give me one? A tiny ugly dirty one, I don’t care! 😛
    I was surprised by the huuge applause that Callejón received when he entered, you don’t always see that when a player leaves a team and it show how much they appreciate(d) him!
    And I laughed a lot when both Cris and Ozi fell at the same time, and seeing it in the gif made me laugh again, they looked so coordinated that I can hardly believe that it happened by chance! 😛 Btw, have you noticed that they have (the same) new boots? I like them!
    Pff, when Ozi was on the ground I thought it was something serious as he was rolling around in pain. Then Sami patted him in the head as saying ‘it’s ok, you’ll be fine, mate’. They’re so adorable!!
    In that picture of Sergio “defending”, he actually looks like he’s trying to pull the other player’s pants down, LOL. Wonder if that has ever happened… hmm…
    Hm, Una, I’ve read some pretty weird interview of Ozi’s father for a German newspaper (actually, I used Google translator to translate it from Turkish so my source is not very trustful…) saying that Barça plays for Messi (their 10) but Madrid doesn’t play for Ozi (our 10) and some other stuff and I didn’t understand if he was trying to suggest that Ozi’s not confortable in Madrid… it kind of worries me :S Have you heard about it? :S

    • noim303 permalink
      October 4, 2011 15:46

      Don’t worry, I found it in Spanish and as far as I understood there’s nothing to worry!
      I just saw again the gif you named Real Madrid bowling and it reminded me that I’m angry: how can some (major) Spanish (Catalan) newspapers say that Real Madrid won ‘con un empujoncito del árbitro’ when clearly in this game we weren’t benefited but the ther way round? That’s not information, that’s an outright lie! It’s just about making Madrid look bad all the time… :S

  13. @ulonghaz permalink
    October 4, 2011 02:56

    oh Una, you are such a good writer
    can you tell me your secret
    i am learning to be a blogger

    two thumbs up for you Una

    • unamadridista permalink*
      October 4, 2011 14:28

      Jajaja, my secret is having no journalism, writing or blogging experience, English as a second language and simply a healthy love for my team!

  14. emily permalink
    October 4, 2011 03:53

    PERT!!!
    It was a great night for Pipita! He must be so relieved.
    As always, great post Una. You always write about the little things that I see and enjoy, then I think to myself, ‘Ooh, I wonder if Una is going to include that in her ICYMI?’ Like last week when Mou stuck out his tongue… Sure enough, there it was… And this week, the warm welcome between Pochettino and Mou before the tunnel.
    Incidently, the English announcer for ESPN really made me angry, yet again. Again, he criticized CR, saying something to the effect of ‘maybe if he thought about passing the ball to his teammates more often.’ I wanted to punch my screen. First of all, he does share the ball a lot these days. Second, he is one of the best shooters in the world. If he’s on my team, I want him to have the ball a lot. He can hold the ball all he wants!!! It just angers me that these people are watching the game and still aren’t willing to pay attention and admit that the guy is growing up and making more selfless decisions.
    I’m no CR apologist, by any means, but I just get tired of the constant barrage of inconsiderate drivel that paid professionals continue to spew about a player, just because of his history, thereby, reinforcing the notion to the listeners who are unwilling to accept that CR is maturing into a more well rounded player.

  15. black widow permalink
    October 4, 2011 04:07

    how cute is OFC? he’s such a CR7 fanboy! so sweet.

    i’m thrilled for pipita. he needed this (as did we!). i only wish the same for pirata one day. 😦

    when mou links arms with his opposing manager and walks out onto the field arm-in-arm … THAT’S the mou i love. that made me smile.

    iker all dirty and bossy … sigh. and how badass was he, intervening and being all captain-y with the espanyol players like that?!

    speaking of badass, that second .gif of xabi … wow.

    i think it’s wonderful that dani jarque is honoured like that. it’s so very, very sad what happened (i remember iniesta wearing his shirt at the world cup final last year) but what a lovely way to keep his memory alive.

  16. jean permalink
    October 4, 2011 04:40

    Good game.I am very happy for pipita;this performance will boost his confidence.And for Cris what more can I say he is the best! Im very happy with the way he is playing.
    3rd in the league , not bad.

  17. LadyRain permalink
    October 4, 2011 09:12

    The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

    My reason for living. Seriously!

    • Kelsey permalink
      October 4, 2011 17:17

      Agreed! And King Xabi has a nice ring to it…

  18. wandering permalink
    October 4, 2011 11:06

    Those passes were fantastic. Slowly boys and we’ll get there. iHala Madrid!

  19. Happy permalink
    October 4, 2011 12:42

    Pipita, welcome back~~~~
    A great hattrick, great finishing!!!!!
    Very happy to see pipita’s smile again!!!!

  20. Jennifer permalink
    October 5, 2011 00:18

    What a surprise, I also missed Iñigo’s goal because I was panicking over poor broken Javi. (It seems that Gorka missed it for similar reasons, but we won’t go into that…)

    Cris’s hair also provoked a hilarious, simultaneous reaction of horror from myself, Michelle, and Michelle’s boyfriend, so you are definitely not alone in your opinion…

    And last but not least, I can’t recall seeing so many canteranos on the pitch at the same time (playing FOR Madrid, anyway) – which made me both happy, and slightly depressed.

    • unamadridista permalink*
      October 5, 2011 16:19

      You and I really do think alike!

  21. SeattleMadridista permalink
    October 5, 2011 01:56

    I think Sami was taking Mesut’s headband off…like he was afraid his circulation to his brain was going to be cut off from an ankle injury? Strange…

    Who in madridistaland ever forgot about Pipita, as Mou stated? I would suggest that not many…I was always fully aware that he was sitting on the bench, chewing at his finger nails.

    Couldn’t be happier for Pipita…he earned this day!

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