Nothing changes in the Spanish La Liga. Barcelona win 2-0 against Espanyol in the derby without really exciting anyone, while Real Madrid somehow make it through a thrilling match against Celta Vigo, winning 4-2 as Chicharito establishes himself as the second best striker on the team all of a sudden.
Yes, Javier Hernandez, forgotten until two weeks ago on the bench, has been scoring nonstop, with a brace against Celta and three goals in the last three matches. Hernandez has a lot of limitations, but he’s always been extremely dangerous inside the box and an expert with his unique positioning, even if it means missing three or four times from close range before scoring a goal. For a player who struggled in creating chances for himself or his teammates with the ball at his feet, that’s quite an accomplishment.
Someone who is helping Hernandez keep Real Madrid in the championship race is Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo didn’t score in the win over Celta, a rarity this season and in general since he arrived at Madrid, but he has three assists over the last three matches. The joke about Ronaldo is that he doesn’t pass and is selfish, but these assists tell a different story, don’t they?
Kobe Bryant has a lot of assists too, but he’s still a selfish player. He just has the ball in his hands a lot, so he’s not going to shoot every time. The same goes for Ronaldo. With so many touches in dangerous areas, it’s not going to be a shot at goal every time, although he does his best to make it happen on some matches. Despite the assists, he’s not Lionel Messi.
Messi scored a goal in the derby win, always a difficult encounter, remaining his excellent, boring self. Regular Messi means not doing anything spectacular, or maybe he’s done so many of them it’s hard for us to tell what’s special and what’s not. If Eden Hazard would have put on that kind of performance, the English press would be talking about him as the next best thing. For Messi, it’s just another, mundane day at the office.