The majority of the players who so failed to distinguish themselves last Wednesday were rested by their clubs on their return from what Sir Alex Ferguson, Carlos Tevez’s boss at Manchester United, called ‘Mars’ this weekend. A few Argentines were in action, though, so here as ever is the rundown – a rather briefer one than normal.
We’ll start in Mexico, which Tom Clark has as ever been keeping a roving eye on. The main Argentine gritos (that’s ‘shouts’) were two penalties from Christian Giménez for Pachuca as the champions drew 2-2 away to Santos Laguna. Atlas and Monterrey drew 2-2, with Darío Botinelli scoring for the hosts and José María Basanta for Monterrey, whilst Martín Bravo scored for Pumas as they beat Cruz Azul 3-2 in the Mexico City derby. For Necaxa, Federico Insúa scored a penalty to win the game 2-1 against Jaguares de Chiapas, but the goal of the weekend by any Argentine anywhere has to be Eduardo ‘Chacho‘ Coudet’s 50th minute equaliser for the same team: Necaxa are in white here, and Coudet’s is their first goal.
In Spain, Sergio Agüero played but had a quiet one for Atlético de Madrid, who lost 4-2 at home to Osasuna. Whilst most of the other national team players were rested or had only bit part roles, there was some joy for an Argentina hopeful – Gonzalo Higuaín scored the only goal of the game for Real Madrid away to Málaga in superb style, bursting forward with the ball from inside his own half and brushing off a couple of challenges before stroking the ball home.
In Serie A, Germán Denis got a 90th minute equaliser for Napoli to draw 2-2 away to Sampdoria. In England, meanwhile, Jonás Gutiérrez returned to Newcastle to find that, between his national manager and his new club boss, he’s got two Messiahs and laughably little experience of managing football teams. His team-mate Fabricio Coloccini continued his baffling drop-off in form since leaving Deportivo de La Coruña as Chelsea beat their hosts 2-0.
Elsewhere, there were some Argengoles in Greece. Ismael Blanco scored for AEK Athens away to Panthrakikos in a 1-1 draw, and Luciano Galletti bagged the winner for Olympiakos, who beat Levadiakos 2-1 away, with Blackburn Rovers’ Matt Derbyshire having equalised for the Athens club (I only mention this because I had absolutely no idea he was on loan there until I looked these scores up).