There were Argentine goals in seven European leagues this weekend, as well as plenty in Mexico from players both old and new to that league. Carlos Tevez’s strike for Manchester City against Chelsea was the highest-profile one of the weekend, but Fernando Cavenaghi also got on the scoresheet, getting his first two since his move to Real Mallorca, and also among the goals were Ezequiel Lavezzi, Christian Giménez and more. There was also an early retirement, as Luciano Galletti was forced to call time on his career on Monday. All this and more is right here…
Don’t forget, if there’s a league you follow especially closely, and you’d like to write a paragraph or two on the exploits of the Argentines in it for this post each week, please get in touch via the details on the ‘Contact’ page (under ‘About’ in the header menu). England and Spain (me), Mexico, Portugal and Israel are already taken, but all others are open to offers.
Tevez‘s fine goal, which handed Premier League leaders Chelsea their first defeat of the league season at Eastlands on Saturday, was the only Argentine goal of the weekend in England. Pablo Zabaleta also put in a good shift in an unfamiliar position over at left back for City. Elsewhere, Wigan manager Roberto Martínez left both Franco Di Santo and Mauro Boselli on the bench for his side’s trip to Birmingham. Both have failed to score so far in this campaign, and although Di Santo came on in the second half, his biggest contribution was to be fouled in a tackle that will keep him out for a couple of games at least.
We’ll go to Greece next, if only to make up for the fact that I normally overlook it. It does help that this week it got a bit silly where Argentines were concered. Only two scored – Emanuel Perrone for Atromitos in a 2-1 win at home to Panserraikos and Mauro Poy from the penalty spot in a 1-0 win for Xanthi over PAOK Salonika – but there were no fewer than three red cards. In the Atromitos vs Panserraikos game, Perrone’s team-mate Lucas Favalli was red carded on the stroke of half time (Marcelo Sarmiento also turned out for Atromitos).
Asteras Tripoli, meanwhile, finished with nine men in their 3-0 defeat away to Olympiakos after two of the five Argentines in their starting lineup were sent off. Sebastián Bartolini, the former Talleres de Córdoba defender who left Newell’s Old Boys’ youth setup without having made a first team appearance, was one, and with a minute to go Adrián Bastía, the veteran former Racing and Estudiantes midfielder, followed him. Asteras’ manager is Roberto Carlos Mario Gómez, the man who took Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy into the Primera División as champions of B Nacional back in 2005.
The footnote to the Greek section is that, as already mentioned, Luciano Galletti has retired from football aged 30. This was due a renal problem which isn’t going to affect his health too seriously, but is debilitating enough that he’s been advised not to play any longer. ‘The act of returning to play was too risky,’ he announced. ‘I want to take some time to rest in Argentina and enjoy my family. I still have to think about my future, but I’d like to remain close to the world of football.’ Galletti played for Estudiantes on two occasions, and also for Napoli, Real Zaragoza and Atlético de Madrid, before moving to Olympiakos in 2007, where he’s remained until this year. From midfield, he scored 74 goals in 402 matches over the length of his career.
In Italy, Ezequiel Lavezzi scored, and his Napoli side were boosted by his 72nd minute equaliser and went on to steamroller their hosts Cesena in the dying minutes, winning 4-1. Mauro Zárate‘s strike for Lazio in the 69th minute (after having missed an improbable number of chances previously) was the only other Argentine goal of the round in Serie A; it meant his side won 1-0 away to Chievo Verona. Champions Internazionale only had Esteban Cambiasso and Diego Milito on the pitch (and nine others who weren’t Argentine, of course) as they lost 1-0 away to their former companion Nicolás Burdisso and his Roma team-mates.
Chievo Verona 0 – 1 Lazio
In La Liga, Gonzalo Higuaín and Ángel Di María were both guilty of misses as Real Madrid could only draw 0-0 away to Levante, but there was one Argentine scorer elsewhere: Fernando Cavenaghi introduced himself to Spain with a double strike for Real Mallorca, who thus beat Real Sociedad 2-0. After falling out of favour at Bordeaux in France, Cavenaghi’s made a good start to life on the Spanish island.
Real Mallorca 2 – 0 Real Sociedad
The other goals in Europe came from Lucho González, who hit Marseille’s second in a 2-1 home win over Sochaux in France’s Ligue Un, and from Matías Suárez, who scored the third in Anderlecht’s 5-0 thrashing of KV Mechelen in Belgium. A mention too for Sergio Romero, who for the second match in a row kept a clean sheet as AZ Alkmaar beat Utrecht 1-0 in the Netherlands.
Olympique Marseille 2 – 1 Sochaux (Marseille are in white; Lucho’s goal is their second)
And now, to our correspondents.
Boaz, AKA The Biting Flea in our comments, is going to be filling us in on the action from the Israeli Premier League from now on. All three Argentines played 90 minutes for their teams in the forth round of the Israeli Premier League. Ignacio Canuto and Pedro Glaban faced each other as Beni Yehudi Tel-Aviv (Glaban) played Macabi Haifa (Canuto). Macabi Haifa won the game 3-2, however Glaban had the better game, scoring both goals for Beni Yehuda and missing a further good chance in front of goal. Christian Gonzales defended well for Beitar Jerusalem in their first win for the season: 5-1 against Hapoel Be’er Sheva.
Ben Shave, who writes for In Bed With Maradona and also writes the excellent Cahiers Du Sport, a blog mostly about Portuguese football, is going to keep us up to date with goings-on in the western end of Iberia.
Javier Saviola and Nico Gaitán lined up for Benfica in their away trip to Marítimo. Saviola partnered Óscar Cardozo up front, whilst Gaitán was again operating on the right-hand side of a diamond midfield. Both players were impressive in a first half which saw chance after chance go begging for the Eagles. Gaitán in particular was causing Marítimo all sorts of problems out wide, although he was guilty of wasting an absolutely golden opportunity just before half-time. The Boca youth product, who has just received a call-up for Argentina’s upcoming friendly with Japan, failed to connect cleanly from six yards out. Saviola also failed to get on the scoresheet, although not for lack of trying. The little striker met his match in Marítimo keeper Marcelo, who somehow prevented his numerous efforts from finding the back of the net. Both players were replaced by their fellow countrymen in the second half, but neither Franco Jara nor Eduardo Salvio made much of an impact on the game, which finished 1-0 to Benfica.
Another Nico made the headlines for FC Porto. Nico Otamendi has had to wait for a string of crucial games to pass before making his debut, but make it he did on Saturday evening, at home against Olhanense. The centre-back put in a fine performance, which was capped with a goal on 23 minutes. It was the easiest of strikes for the former Veléz man, who tapped home after Hulk’s powerful shot was parried directly into his path. Otamendi had little to do after that, with Olhanense offering next to nothing going forward. Fernando Belluschi was also involved in the goal, having fed Hulk with a precise ball into the box. Otamendi completed the full 90, whilst Belluschi was withdrawn after 81 minutes. The game finished 2-0 to Porto.
Elsewhere in Portugal, Marco Torsiglieri was an unused substitute in Sporting’s 1-1 home draw with Nacional, whilst Andrés Madrid was also warming the bench in Sporting Braga’s 3-1 win over Naval.
Neil Zimmerman, who runs Victory In Melbourne, is with us too to fill us in on Australia.
Former Newell’s Old Boy and Union de Santa Fe midfielder, Marcos Flores was the only Argentinian in action in the Australian A-League on the weekend. Flores, who has been earning rave reviews for Adelaide United, was again influential as his side ran out 2-0 winners over Perth Glory. His influence this season has seen Adelaide remain unbeaten so far this season, helping turn around the fortunes of a team that finished last season in bottom position. He is quickly becoming a fan’s favourite and with goals like this you can certainly see why.
Marcos Flores goal against Newcastle Jets
And it’s a very, very warm welcome back to AA’s first foreign correspondent, Tom Clark (whose mostly non-football related blog is here), who’s back to hold our hands through the ups and downs of the Mexican championship and the Argentines who play in it.
The ninth week of the Mexican season kicked off on Saturday September 26 with a surprise win at home by Necaxa (back up in the top division after a season of relegation) over an in-form Cruz Azul. All the goals in this one came from Argentines: Dario Gandín, twelve minutes in (his fourth), and last season’s Argentine Clausura-winning striker Nicolás Pavlovich, newly arrived from Argentinos Juniors, after 36 minutes, put the home side ahead, and they managed to hold on to win 2-1 despite a second half strike in the 65th minute from a man who every week looks more and more like he was born to wear Cement Machine blue, Christian Chaco Giménez (his fifth of the campaign).
Excellent afternoons were also had by ex-Argentine Vicente Matías Vuoso, whose back-to-back first half strikes, after 29 and 36 minutes (the fifth and sixth goals for El Toro this season) were the margin of difference in a surprising 3-1 home win for América over Santos; and by the dashing Martín Bravo, whose two second half scores, in the 53rd and 83rd minutes (bringing his count for the campaign to three) comprised the day’s production for Pumas (UNAM) in a 2-2 home draw to Atlante.
Then on Sunday the 26th ex-Argentine Darío Cvitanich tallied his second of the season in the 59th minute to help build a lead that held up for a 3-1 Pachuca victory at home to Estudiantes Tecos, whose late goal of honour with five minutes to go came from Mauro Cejas (his third). And finally, on the same day the veteran Alfredo Chango Moreno made his first goal in an Atlas shirt stand up for a 1-0 win at home to Puebla.
Club América 3 – 2 Santos Laguna (América in yellow; Vuoso’s goals are América’s second and third)
Elsewhere in the Americas, Guillermo Barros Schelotto scored a penalty for Columbus Crew in a 2-2 draw away to New England Revolution. Finally, former Banfield manager Juan Manuel Llop has stood down as manager of Barcelona de Guayaquil in Ecuador, seemingly for non-footballing reasons to do with team spirit. After narrowly missing out on qualification to the championship’s later stages, Llop insisted that, ‘it’s a decision I’ve been thinking over in the last few days, it seems to me to be the best thing to do, so that by Wednesday things [for the club] can be different.’
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Photo taken from ole.clarin.com