We’ve had possibly the first transfer of the new window this week, and it involves an Argentine moving from Russia to Spain. Elsewhere Manchester City were once again rescued by Carlos Tevez; Real Madrid had their Argentines to thank for taking three points at home; Ezequiel Lavezzi had a mixed day for Napoli, and there was a quite hideous clash of Argentine heads in the Lima derby, which also happened to be the deciding match of the Peruvian championship…
In England on Saturday, Carlos Tevez scored not once but twice for Manchester City, but it wasn’t enough to prevent an amazing eighth draw in nine league matches as his team drew 3-3 away to Bolton Wanderers on a day when all but three of the Premier League’s nine matches finished in draws. Sunday saw just one match in the English top flight: Javier Mascherano’s Liverpool lost 2-1 at home to Arsenal.
Bolton Wanderers 3 – 3 Manchester City (Tevez’s goals second and sixth)
In Spain, Saturday saw Gonzalo Higuaín grab the headlines, scoring twice for Real Madrid, but he wasn’t the only Argentine getting in on the action – Ezequiel Garay also notched one for the world’s humblest football club as they beat Valencia 3-2. The only other Spanish news is on the transfer front: Alejandro Domínguez, formerly of Quilmes and River Plate, has joined Valencia on a free transfer after passing his medical (pictured above) on Monday. He arrives from Rubin Kazan, with whom he’s just been named the best player of the 2009 Russian championship.
On Saturday In Italy, Ezequiel Lavezzi joined Carlos Tevez in scoring in a 3-3 draw; he opened the scoring for Napoli away to Cagliari in the 21st minute with a low drive. Unfortunately he ended on a sour note: red carded after kicking the opposing manager whilst 3-2 down. He celebrated his side’s late equaliser from the tunnel. On Sunday there was just the one Argentine goal, but it was a significant one: Diego Milito scored his tenth of the Serie A season for Internazionale (that’s more than Ronaldo, Adriano, Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Cristian Vieri got in their first 16 matches whilst at Inter) in a 1-1 draw with Atalanta. As both Juventus and Milan lost their matches, the leaders have stretched their lead just a little as a result.
Milito’s goal away to Atalanta
The French weekend brought another goal for Gabriel Heinze, who headed in from a corner during Marseilles’ 2-0 win at home to Boulogne. And in Portugal on the same day, Javier Saviola scored and Ángel Di María was sent off as Benfica drew 2-2 with Olhanense; Ernesto Farías scored for Porto in a 2-0 win over Vitória Setubal. In Germany, Sunday bought another match and another two goals – in just two minutes – for Lucas Barrios, whose Borussia Dortmund beat champions Wolfsburg 3-1. Barrios now has an average of one goal every other game for Dortmund. A candidate for the selección?
Wolfsburg 1 – 3 Borussia Dortmund (Barrios’s goals first and second)
In Peru Alianza’s Argentine defender Leandro Fleitas – ex-Argentinos – suffered a cranial fracture after a sickening clash of heads with former Racing, Lanús, Argentinos and Banfield man, Universitario defender Carlos Galván. Galván was able to pick himself up again but was sent off for his troubles, whilst doctors declared on Monday that Fleitas’s injury is not life-threatening, though he was out cold for some time on the pitch and will be operated on later this week. As for the match itself, Universitario took the championship with a 2-0 aggregate win; former Boca player Nolberto Solano – on his birthday – scored a tenth minute penalty for a 1-0 win on the day.
Clash between Galván (playing for Universitario in white) and Fleitas (playing for Alianza in navy & white stripes) (please don’t watch this if you’re squeamish, or have just eaten. I won’t be held liable for keyboards rendered useless by vomit.)
And in Mexico there was no joy for the hugely deserving Emanuel Villa. Tom Clark’s here as ever to fill us in on what happened in the Mexican championship final:
In the first leg of the Mexican final, Emanuel Tito Villa, the goleador of the 2009 Apertura, scored once again for visiting Cruz Azul to make up for an early own goal; but the Rayados of Monterrey, playing in the rain and cold of their mountain home, and led by their temperamental but talented Chilean striker Humberto El Chupete Suazo, came back to take a 4-3 victory.
They held the advantage in the return leg back in the capital, silencing Villa and clinching the title on a late goal by Suazo to come out 2-1 winners, thus taking the title – their third – by a 6-4 aggregate.
Which leaves the last hope for an Argentine player with a Mexican club to come out with a trophy to Santiago Solari and Gabi Pereyra, influential members of an Atlante team that faces the tall task of confronting Barcelona on Wednesday night in Abu Dhabi in the World Club Cup semifinal.
Final first leg: Monterrey 4 – 3 Cruz Azul (Villa’s own goal first; Villa’s proper goal fourth)
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