One let-down on a weekend of generally good displays by Argentines in Europe, this one. On Saturday, Carlos Tevez didn’t have the best of days for Manchester United, who went down 1-0 at the Reebok Stadium to Bolton Wanderers. Tevez having only got off the plane back from Buenos Aires the day before the match was rushed into the starting XI, and the gamble didn’t pay off.
The same day Gaby Milito and Lionel Messi were enjoying themselves much more for Barcelona as they helped their side to an easy 3-0 home win over Recreativo de Huelva. Milito scored the first, heading in a corner, and Messi got the third from the spot after being fouled in the box.
Similarly good news in Italy, where one man just keeps on living up to the most impossible of forbears. When Ezequiel Lavezzi plays for Napoli, they win. He didn’t score this time round, but he did set up both goals for Uruguayan Marcelo Zalayeta, and was man of the match for his side’s 2-0 win against Catania in the San Paolo. Julio Cruz, on Saturday, scored one and set one up as Inter beat Atalanta 2-1.
In Portugal, Lisandro López scored in the fifth minute to set Porto on their way to a 2-0 win over Vitoria Setubal, whilst back in Spain, Mariano Pavone scored but couldn’t help Real Betis as they lost 4-3 to bottom side Levante, and Andrés D’Alessandro got an equaliser with nine minutes to go to earn Real Zaragoza a 1-1 home draw with Getafe.
The performance of the weekend, however, goes to Maxi Rodríguez, who grabbed more headlines than his young forward partner Sergio Agüero for once, scoring twice and carrying Atlético de Madrid to a last-minute 4-3 win over Real Valladolid in the Vicente Calderón (the third straight Atleti match which has seen seven goals, incidentally). A Pablo Múñoz own goal finally earned the hosts the points, but Maxi had already earned his share of the credit, equalising twice in six minutes early in the second half.