With league titles on the verge of being decided across Europe, there were some important contributions made by Argentines this weekend, and at least one other could come on Tuesday when Lionel Messi‘s Barcelona take on Chelsea in the European Cup semi-final first leg. To see who did what over the weekend just gone, though, read on…
Messi himself opened the scoring after combining wonderfully with Andrés Iniesta as Barcelona started promisingly but eventually stuttered slightly to a 2-2 draw away to Valencia. Daniel Díaz featured as Getafe lost 2-1 at home to Villarreal, whilst for Real Madrid Gonzalo Higuaín thought he’d leave the scoring to Raúl for a change as they won 4-2 away to Sevilla. Last Tuesday, Pipita had been instrumental, scoring twice – including a 90th minute winner – as they beat Getafe 3-2. Back to the weekend, for Atlético, Sergio Agüero got the third, two minutes after half-time, as the hosts beat Sporting Gijón 3-1.
In Italy, there were no Argentine scorers. Diego Milito played 90 minutes for Genoa (who lost 2-0 to Bologna), whilst Ezequiel Lavezzi and Germán Denis both started for Napoli against Inter, to be replaced by Jesús Dátolo and Uruguayan Marcelo Zalayeta, who scored the only goal of the game. For the visitors, Julio Cruz came off the bench and Walter Samuel, Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso all played the full match.
In Portugal, Lisandro López scored both of Porto’s goals in a 2-0 win at home to Vitoria Setubal. In Greece, Luciano Galletti scored a penalty as Olympiakos beat Thrasivoulos 2-0 away.
In England, Emiliano Insúa let Geovanni get away from him as the Brazilian scored Hull City’s consolation in their defeat to Liverpool – a match Javier Mascherano also played in, rather fortunately winning a free kick from which the Reds went 1-0 up. At Old Trafford, several of Carlos Tevez‘s team-mates credited his half time introduction with changing the game as, in spite of not scoring, he helped give Manchester United more drive and they overcame a 2-0 half time deficit to win 5-2 against Tottenham Hotspur. Juan Carlos Menseguez also scored his first goal in England for West Brom, who beat Sunderland 3-0.
In Mexico, finally, there was one Argentine goal in the midst of all those empty stadia, a symptom of the swine flu sweeping the continent. Ezequiel Maggiolo got the opener for Indios de Juárez in a 2-0 win over Puebla. It could prove a vital goal – Indios are struggling against relegation at present.
Thanks, as usual, to Tom Clark for his Mexican input