A truncated Argentines Abroad this week, because I’m typing this up late as ever but even more tired than usual. The weekend just gone deserves some mention, though. Lionel Messi hit a double but couldn’t win the match for Barcelona, Javier Saviola scored a fine goal for Benfica and Jonás Gutiérrez finally got his mask out (steady…) for Newcastle United. In Italy things weren’t so happy: Mauro Zárate was shown the second red card of his career and handed a hefty punishment for it. All this and more, right here…
In the English second flight, Jonás scored Newcastle’s fourth goal as they demolished Barnsley 6-1 at St James’ Park, and he finally got his Spiderman mask out to celebrate. His first goal for the club hadn’t been marked with the superhero celebration because of his unhappiness at being linked with a transfer request he insisted he hadn’t made, but things now look a lot brighter. Elsewhere in England, Javier Mascherano played most of Liverpool’s 1-0 away defeat to Wigan at right back, and Emiliano Insúa and Maxi Rodríguez also featured on Monday night.
Portugal saw another goal for Javier Saviola, who’s in a rich vein of form lately. El Conejito put the finishing touch to a move cutting in from the left flank to give Benfica a 2-0 lead they didn’t waste; they went on to beat Paços de Ferreira 3-1. In Italy, Maxi López got his second goal in three matches for Catania, helping his Argentines-packed side to a 2-2 draw away to Cagliari. Not in the good books was Mauro Zárate, who was shown a red card for, ‘insulting expressions and an exaggerated protest.’ He was later handed a €10,000 fine by the FIGC, for what was only the second red card of his career. It’ll be a while before he tries it again…
In La Liga, Messi scored twice for Barcelona but was unable to prevent his side slipping to second in the table after a 2-2 draw away to Almería. Elsewhere, Leandro Gioda – until recently of Independiente – scored for Néstor Gorosito’s Xerez, who thus claimed their second win under their new(ish) boss, 4-2 away to Málaga.
And finally, here as ever is Tom Clark to fill us in on matters Mexican.
The weekend’s action in Mexico began on Saturday the 7th with a 2-1 away win for Cruz Azul at San Luis; with the Cementeros‘ new Argentine front line (Villa/Giménez/Biancucchi) beginning to function fluently together, both goals were coloured strongly albiceleste: Emmanel “Tito” Villa headed home the first, and Lionel Messi’s cousin Maximiliano Biancucchi supplied the second (for Jaime Lozano). On the same day, Neri Cardozo, having a fine torneo for the defending champions Monterrey, set up the day’s first goal (for Hector Morales) in a comfortable 3-0 victory at home to Pachuca.
On the following day Martín Bravo continued his great run of play for Pumas (UNAM), opening the door to the home side’s first goal (by Alejandro Álvarez) with a blast off the cross bar, providing the second (for Oribe Peralta) with a beautifully weighted pass, and finishing the party with a classy 61st minute chipped goal of his own in a decisive 4-1 win over Puebla.
Meanwhile, Atlante, playing at home in Cancún, took an early 2-0 lead over Santos, only to be ultimately overwhelmed 4-2 by a sudden cascade of goals, the first and last of them (at 40″ and 91″) bundled in at close range by the always opportunistic Vicente Matías “Toro” Vuoso. The predatory Vuoso, clear figura of the match, also assisted spectacularly with an overhead pass on Santos’ second (scored by Pablo Barrera), and drew a penalty as well. Not a bad day’s work for the ‘naturalized’ Mexicano, native of Mar de Plata.
You can follow the Clausura and the Argentine sides in the 2010 Copa Libertadores via HEGS on Twitter (including updates during and between matches and similar stories that might not go up on the site until later). I’m slowly gaining followers, but if you’ve not signed up yet you can do so here.