It was a subdued effort from most of the Argentine foreign legion last weekend, but here we are to round it up as usual. The most notable Argentine contributions of the weekend past are right here, including a championship win which, for some reason, didn’t get as much coverage as Angel Cabrera’s US Masters win…
In Spain, Lionel Messi proved he is indeed human by missing a penalty, but Barcelona beat Recreativo de Huelva 2-0 in Camp Nou anyway. Tuesday saw Messi start again (Pep Guardiola had wanted to rest him, but injuries to others meant he was obliged to play) in a 1-1 draw away to Martín Demichelis‘s Bayern München to go through to the European Cup final 5-1 on aggregate.
Back to the weekend, though, former Vélez midfielder Hernán Pellerano, now playing at left back, saw red for Almería as they crashed 2-0 away to Real Mallorca. Pablo Piatti also featured for the visitors. Sergio Agüero enjoyed himself more: the forward scored in a 2-1 victory for Atlético de Madrid away to Deportivo de La Coruña.
In England Jonás Gutierrez’s Newcastle United got a point in spite of Alan Shearer’s management in a 1-1 draw with Stoke City, whilst Javier Mascherano returned to the Liverpool midfield as his club thrashed an absolutely useless Blackburn Rovers side 4-0 at Anfield. On Tuesday night in the European Cup he was withdrawn early, for some reason, in an extraordinary 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge which saw Chelsea progress to the semi-final after a 7-5 aggregate victory.
In Serie A, the argengol of the weekend was Mauro Zárate’s blistering 25-yarder for Lazio in only the 4th minute of the Rome derby. That made it 2-0 (Goran Pandev had scored even earlier) and Lazio eventually ran out 4-2 victors.
The latest round of matches in Mexico saw goals from Argentines in four matches. Daniel Ludueña set Santos Laguna on the way to a 2-0 win over Jaguares de Chiapas with a smartly-taken left-footer from the edge of the box; Bruno Marioni and Federico Insúa scored a penalty apiece in a 4-1 win for the former’s club, Atlas; Martín Bravo got the equaliser for Pumas as they came from behind to beat Puebla 3-1, and Pachuca kept their lead in the championship thanks to two assists from Damián Álvarez (the second of which laid on a goal from Blas Pérez, who some readers may remember as the Panamanian star of the Cúcuta team who came so close to sending Boca out of the Copa Libertadores at the semi-final stage a couple of years ago) and a goal from Gabriel Caballero, to win 3-1.
And finally, news of a championship win for one of Argentina’s footballing ambassadors. Gabriel Calderón, formerly a player during the 1970s and ’80s with Racing, Lanús, Independiente, Real Betis and Paris Saint-Germain among others, as well as the Argentine national side (he won the 1979 World Youth Cup as a team-mate of Diego Maradona), has won his first championship as a manager. A 2-1 win for his Al-Ittihad side over Al-Hilal was enough to hand the Jeddah club, Saudi Arabia’s oldest, their 8th Premier League title. ¡Felicidades, Gabriel!
Thanks, as ever, to Tom Clark for the recconaissance on the Mexican league.