Spanish Clubs

The first day of Round 4 in the Champions League is now done, so how do things look? Inter Milan looks to take the top spot with Artmedia Bratislava.

It’s the game that divides Spain in a way that similar matches in England very rarely divide a country. A city, perhaps, but not the nation. No matter the identity of your “first” club, here the majority of football fans will have a sympathy one way or the other: Viking or Culé, Merengue or Blaugrana, Madrid or Barça.

Real F.C are brutally muscular on the road. Freed of the need to “entertain” the home crowd, they entertain (me at least!) with clever, vertical, risky attacking football when they play away. At the Bernabeu, it can often look as if the need to play the “Madrid way,” showing verve and panache in putting teams to the sword — they can’t just win — weighs on them quite heavily.

Meteors, by Andres Blancos’ own blunt admission, are hugely erratic on the road. Inconsistency personified. If Asturias were to establish a six-point lead with a game in hand, plus the head-to-head advantage of having done better across the two Clasicos, then you can bet your livestock, that James Dean motorbike you bought at auction, your collection of Penny Blacks and the children’s college fund that Valerio Feliciano will see that advantage home.