Oh yes. It’s back! After a bit of a break whilst I packed to come away and settled into my new hometown, Argentines Abroad returns now I’ve got some time and no jetlag. It was a less than spectacular weekend for the usual suspects in the top flights of England and Spain, but two new goalscorers stepped in to fill their places (for Argentina if not for the same clubs), with Eduardo Salvio scoring his first two goals for Atlético de Madrid and former Atléti man Maxi Rodríguez notching his first for his new club Liverpool. In Italy, Diego Milito scored again and in Germany Lucas Barrios got a hat trick away from home. Barrios might not qualify for Argentines Abroad for much longer – after being completely ignored for the selección he’s recently gained Paraguayan dual nationality and looks likely to play for the guaraní at the World Cup. All this and more inside…
In England, the only Premier League goal scored by an Argentine was a first for the player in question, as Maxi Rodríguez notched for Liverpool in their 4-0 demolition of Burnley away. The result relegated Burnley whilst keeping Liverpool in the hunt for a European Cup place next season, and Maxi’s goal was the third with just over fifteen minutes to go, a simple finish.
In Spain, it was Eduardo Salvio who was the hero for Atlético de Madrid. I still suspect Salvio wouldn’t have signed for Atléti in December were it not for Diego Buonanotte’s car crash, but he’s been in promising form since arriving and Sunday brought his first goals for the colchoneros. Salvio scored after 10 and 31 minutes – the first with a little help from the goalkeeper – to put Atléti into a 2-0 lead, and while Román pulled one back for visitors Tenerife, Sergio Agüero finished the job for the hosts with twelve minutes to go to give them a 3-1 win. The only other significant Argentine activity in Spain at the weekend was Nicolás Pareja getting sent off for Espanyol in the last minute, though it didn’t stop them winning 1-0 away to Almería.
Atlético 3 – 1 Tenerife (Salvio first and second, Agüero last)
In Argentine-packed Serie A, Diego Milito was the only meaningful Argentine goalscorer at the weekend, following on from his (offside) goal against Barcelona in the first leg of the European Cup semi-final the Tuesday before. His goal was Inter’s equaliser against Atalanta at home. Having let one in early on, the champions went on from Milito’s leveller to win 3-1 and return to the top of the league with three matches to play. On Sunday, Maxi López scored again for Catania, but in vain – it came with three minutes left merely cut the final score to 3-1 to hosts Livorno.
Internazionale 3 – 1 Atalanta (Milito’s goal is Inter’s first – the second of the match)
Fernando Belluschi scored in Portugal as Porto won 5-2 away to Vitória Setubal. On the same day, Ángel Di María and Pablo Aimar both hit goals to give Benfica a 5-0 win over Olhanense at the Stádio Da Luz which takes them to the brink of their first Portuguese title in five years.
In Germany, meanwhile, Lucas Barrios hit a hat trick away from home to give Dortmund a 3-2 win over Nürnberg. Barrios has been in sensational scoring form all season for Dortmund, but a Paraguayan lawyer with FA connections recently gained (without asking Barrios) dual nationality for the striker, and the former Argentinos and Tigre man – who has a Paraguayan mother – may now play for Argentina’s northern neighbours at the World Cup. Diego Maradona, let’s remind ourselves, is taking Martín Palermo ahead of not only Barrios, but also seemingly Lisandro López and Diego Milito. I ask you. At least his defenders are taking care of themselves – Martín Demichelis asked to be taken off at half time of Bayern München’s 1-1 draw away to Borussia Mönchengladbach after feeling a twinge in his leg.
Nürnberg 2 – 3 Borussia Dortmund (Dortmund are in yellow; Barrios scores all their goals)
In Mexico, Emanuel Tito Villa scored again for Cruz Azul, who could only draw 1-1 at home to Chivas. Neri Cardozo got Monterrey’s strike in their draw by the same score away to Monarcas Morelia. And Alfredo Chango Moreno got the last one in a 3-0 win for San Luis over Querétaro. Sadder news for HEGS cult favourite (sort of) Lucas Lobos, though; he was sent off for Tigres UANL as they lost 2-1 at home to Pachuca.
San Luis 3 – 0 Querétaro (Chango‘s goal is the last)
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.