An anniversary was marked in fitting fashion by one of our foreign contingent in the weekend just gone, whilst another won a league title and two claimed a Brazilian state trophy – to find out which ones, you’ll have to read on.
The winners in Brazil were Andrés D’Alessandro and Pablo Guiñazú, who helped Internacional do Porto Alegre to the Campeonato Gaúcho – the Río Grande do Sul state title – with a thumping 8-1 win over Caixas. Each of the Argentines scored one. It’s the pair’s second title with Inter, having claimed last year’s Copa Sudamericana.
The national league winner, meanwhile, was Sergio Romero in the Dutch Eredivisie. HEGS readers with long memories might remember me getting rather angry when AZ Alkmaar first bought him from Racing, aged 19, before he’d made a single competitive appearance for the first team (incidentally, after that transfer went through this site’s stats were dominated by people searching for Sergio Romero for about the following six months, and to this day I have no idea why).
Romero’s side actually lost on Saturday, 2-1 at home to Vitesse Arnhem with the young ‘keeper on the bench, but took the title the next day anyway, courtesy of PSV Eindhoven battering Ajax 6-2. He’s played 27 times for them this season, breaking Edwin van der Sar’s Dutch league record for minutes without conceding along the way, almost at the same time as van der Sar was breaking the English league record for the same.
In Serie A, there was only one goal – Mauro Zárate got the only goal of the game as Lazio won away to Genoa, striking halfway through the second period. For Inter, only Walter Samuel and Esteban Cambiasso started as the champions stuttered to a 1-1 draw away to Juventus, with Nico Burdisso replacing Sulley Muntari late on. Martín Demichelis picked up a yellow card in the Bundesliga as his side Bayern München beat Arminia Bielefeld 1-0 away from home to move second ahead of Hamburger SV on goal difference.
Portuguese champions Porto have lost Lucho González for some time after the injury he picked up as his side exited the European Cup to Manchester United last week, but Lisandro López and Mariano González (no relation) both scored as they beat Coimbra 3-0 away, whilst Ángel Di María came off the bench and Pablo Aimar was replaced late on in Benfica’s 4-0 thrashing of Vitoria Setúbal. In England, no goals, but Carlos Tevez played the full match as Manchester United went out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage on penalties after a 0-0 draw with Everton in which he’d dropped deep to impressive effect in the first half. Jonás Gutiérrez‘s Newcastle got back to losing ways against Spurs, and Pablo Zabaleta‘s Manchester City beat doomed West Brom 4-2 at Eastlands.
In Mexico, just the one goal – Walter Jiménez played superbly throughout in helping Santos Laguna see off Atlas 4-1, scoring once and harshly being denied a second when a brilliant shot was turned past the goalkeeper by a defender – thus going down as an own goal.
In La Liga, finally, Ever Banega got the first of three for Atlético de Madrid as they brushed aside Numancia 3-0 in the second half at the Calderón, and here’s that anniversary: Lionel Messi scored the only goal of the game for Barcelona (whose goal difference is now +64. +64!) against Getafe – two years to the day after doing this to them. In spite of receiving the ball eight yards out right in front of goal, he decided to mark the ocassion by turning round and beating a couple of defenders before finishing all the same.
Thanks as ever to the indefatigable Tom Clark for acting as My Man In Mexico.
And ex Boca Juniors Pablo Ledesma, now with Catania, out for an extended period with a torn ACL. Get well Pablo !
Sam, you graciously declined to say why Sergio Romero was on the bench. I’m not letting him off the hook so easily: he broke his fist punching a wall after losing a Cup game. You can watch the unfortunate but rather silly incident here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBwpehvqGIw
Haha, thanks for that Justin! I’d actually completely forgotten. I read about it at the time, but by the time I was writing this up last night I’d totally forgotten why he’d been out of action for a while – I was flicking through World Soccer on my lunch break today and it was mentioned in there, I read it and thought ‘oh for God’s sake, I can’t change that article now…’