Argentines Abroad: 9th,10th and 11th January 2010

Lionel Messi celebrates club goal number 99...

The first proper Argentines Abroad of the new year sees a narrow spread of criollo achievement, but an impressive one nonetheless. Lionel Messi started the defence of his numerous player of the year awards with a hat trick. His next goal for Barcelona will be the hundredth of his club career. In England, Manchester City played Blackburn Rovers in the only match to involve any Argentines and there was another hat trick, this one from Carlos Tevez, fresh off the back of his Premier League Player Of The Month award for December 2008. This took Tevez past 100 goals for his own career outside Argentina. Liverpool sealed the transfer of Maxi Rodríguez from Atlético de Madrid. The Spanish club will use the proceeds to sign Eduardo Salvio from Lanús. In Italy, meanwhile, there was mixed news for Lazio’s Argentines. All this and more lies in wait. Just read on…

In La Liga, both the pacesetters won once again, and once again their star Argentines were to thank. Real Madrid’s victory over Real Mallorca was started off early on by Gonzalo Higuaín’s eighth minute goal. Trivia buffs, here’s one for you: it was the first match played in snowy conditions at the Bernabéu for 30 years. Lionel Messi helped keep Barcelona’s noses in front in the title race later on though, scoring his hat trick to move to 99 goals for the club (from just 186 matches) and help Barca to a 5-0 away win over Tenerife. At other points of the weekend, Sergio Aguero – who may be Chelsea-bound if rumours in England are to be believed – scored Atlético’s fourth in a 4-0 win away to Real Valladolid.

Tenerife 0 – 5 Barcelona (Messi’s goals first, third and fourth)

Real Zaragoza’s poor season got worse with a visit to Mauricio Pochettino’s Espanyol. A 2-1 loss saw Juan Pablo Carrizo, on his return to the first team, take the blame for both the hosts’ goals. Leonardo Ponzio had something of a shocker as well. Cristian Alvarez, at the other end, had a happier day even if he did concede an own goal from Moises Hurtado.

In Italy, Ezequiel Lavezzi started for Napoli but had to be substituted with an injury after just 22 minutes, but it was a stroke of luck in a way for his team. Although Lavezzi will be out for around three weeks, his replacement – fellow Argentine Germán Denis – scored the only goal of the game against Sampdoria, to win it with 19 minutes left. He also had one disallowed for a marginal offside. On Saturday, Diego Milito and Walter Samuel both scored for Internazionale to contribute to a seven goal thriller – thanks also to a Wesley Sneijder double (!) Inter ran out 4-3 winners at home to Siena.

Napoli 1 – 0 Sampdoria

And in Greece there was a shower of goals from Argentines to make up for all the snowed-off matches and continuing winter breaks further north in Europe. Nacho Scocco scored for AEK Athens, as did Ismael Blanco in a 3-3 draw at home to Atromitos. Emanuel Perrone definitely scored twice for the opposition, though – and what’s more he got them both in the space of one minute. Javier Cámpora scored twice for Aris Salonika in a 4-2 win over Iraklis, and Luciano Galletti got Olympiakos’s second in a 2-1 victory at home to Larissa.

AEK 3 – 3 Atromitos (Scocco third; Blanco fourth; Perrone fifth and sixth)

And in England Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers, packed with hard-as-nails Lancastrians as they both are, braved the cold snap sweeping Europe on Monday night to play only the third Premier League match of the ‘weekend’. City ran out easy winners, with Carlos Tevez getting them off the mark only seven minutes in, before adding two more in the second half – the third a brilliantly floated chip from outside the box with three defenders in front of him blocking his path to goal. Embeddable goals for Premier League games are, of course, nigh-on impossible to track down, but you can click these links to watch Tevez’s goals: here’s his first; this is his second; and here’s his third.

You can now follow HEGS on Twitter (including updates during and between league matches and similar stories that might not go up on the site until later). I’ll keep mentioning this until I’m happy with the number of followers I’ve got, so save yourselves the misery and do it now.

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8 thoughts on “Argentines Abroad: 9th,10th and 11th January 2010

    1. Yes I did David, thanks for the correction. I mis-read the score summary on Soccernet. Still, I was only as bad as Olé – they claimed Scocco had scored twice for AEK and totally ignored Blanco’s goal!

  1. I saw the Barca match, and while Messi did score a hat trick, and was instrumental in many of the offensive forays, I have to agree with the ESPN announcers… he wasn’t exactly at his best during this game.

    That really doesn’t speak well of Tenerife, not that their position in the Primera does, either. One wonders just what the score would have been like had Messi & Co really played up to their full abilities.

  2. No mention of Saviola? He was voted player of the month of December in Portugal, scored 5 goals in 5 games and is unanimously thought of as the best player in the Portuguese league. As a Benfica season ticket holder I’m fortunate enough to see him play most weeks and he’s simply outstanding, linking play both intelligently and effortlessly between midfield and attack. He works tirelessly and is completely unselfish and despite his small stature, he’s absolutely deadly at corners, constantly appearing at the far post to connect with corners played deep.

    He’s scored some spectacular goals this season, a long winding run from the half-way line against Belenenses and a sublimly chipped goal against Académica. But my favourite came last weekend against Rio Ave, he managed to kick a ball bouncing wildly just below head hieght with power and precision few if any could replicate.

    I love the guy and hope to watch him play for many years to come.

    What are the chances of him making the world cup squad or team? Argentina just have far too many good players up front right now and his height makes him easy to leave out. It’s a pity, can’t think of a better second striker I’ve seen since Peter Beardsley.

    1. I’m with you Steve, but I fear Saviola will lose out. I think he is a much more effective team player than Aguero and just as dangerous. But it will take a miracle for Diego not to pick Aguero, and with Tevez’s drastic improvement in form, well…alot of runts to battle through. Still a long way to go though and anything could happen.

      A crying shame that Saviola wasted so much time at Barcelona and Real Madrid. I remember when I lived briefly in Barcelona and Saviola got about 2-3 weeks of playing time due to multiple injuries in front of him. He scored a bushel full of goals and then straight back to the bench.

      1. Thanks for dropping by Steve, the truth was I just plain missed Saviola’s performance last weekend. I’m happy to see him doing well after his time in Spain, and what’s more he seems to have brought on something of an improvement in Pablo Aimar since I visited you in Lisbon!

      2. He scored another one last night, , yet another goal from a cross at the far post. He’s just incredible, knows his limitations yet has the intelligence to work around them.

        The improvement in Aimar is very much down to Saviola, but the improvement in the whole team is down to him. Benfica paid €5m for him, it has to be one of the best signings in the club’s history.

        I guess the reason he’s doing so well is the freedom he’s given at Benfica and movement of the players to his quick passing, which must be rehearsed relentlessly in training. He’s just brilliant, the first player who’s ever made me want to have a replica shirt with his name and number on the back, the homage must be made!

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