Carlos Tevez and Jonás Gutiérrez combined to make a little bit of history in England’s Premier League: Manchester City’s 2-1 home win over Newcastle United was the first time two Argentines had scored for different sides in the English top flight. Tevez’s penalty – his 54th in England – also makes him the highest-scoring South American in England, overtaking Uruguayan midfielder Gustavo Poyet. A sprinkling of other goals, including a glut of them in La Liga, made it a respectable weekend for Argentina’s foreign legion. Read all about it right here – and don’t forget I’m still interested in hearing from you if you’d like to contribute to this section.
Tevez‘s penalty – awarded for a foul committed on him – was his fifth goal of the season, leaving him one behind Manchester United’s Dimitar Berbatov and Chelsea’s Florent Malouda at the top of the goalscoring charts. When Jonás Gutiérrez hit his first top-flight goal since his move to Newcastle two years ago – a powerfully taken volley from a knock-down after El Galgo himself had burst into the box – it became the first match in England to feature two Argentine goalscorers. Elsewhere in England, Franco Di Santo played 85 minutes of Wigan Athletic’s 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
In Spain, Lionel Messi returned to goalscoring form, getting the scoring started for Barcelona at home to Gutiérrez’s old club Real Mallorca. No further breakthrough was to come though, and the visitors ended up with a 1-1 draw courtesy of Emilio Nsue’s 42nd minute equaliser. No such problems for Real Madrid; with Ángel Di María and Gonzalo Higuaín scoring once each, they smashed Deportivo La Coruña 6-1 in the Santiago Bernabéu. That’s not all from Spain, though: Diego Perotti scored Sevilla’s second in a 3-1 win at home to Atlético de Madrid, and on Saturday Juan Forlín‘s 85th minute own goal handed Real Sociedad a 1-0 win at home over Mauricio Pochettino’s Espanyol.
Real Madrid 6 – 1 Deportivo La Coruña (Di María’s goal is Madrid’s 3rd; Higuaín’s is their 4th)
Italy’s Serie A saw a Pa-Pa double. Javier Pastore scored in the 37th minute to put Palermo 2-0 up away to Fiorentina, a goal which proved crucial as the islanders ended up winning 2-1, and Rodrigo Palacio was also in on the act; the former Boca Juniors striker got Genoa’s first goal and helped his side to a 2-1 win over Bari. In France, Lisandro López got on the scoresheet again for Lyon, who won 3-2 away to Nancy. The only only notable contribution I can report before I hand over to our correspondents is Matías Iglesias‘ red card for Larissa of the Greek Super League, 24 minutes into their 1-0 away defeat to Panserraikos.
Fiorentina 1 – 2 Palermo (Pastore’s goal is Palermo’s second)
And now to our correspondents. If a name appears clickable, it’ll link to that person’s Twitter account. Links to their blogs are also visible. And remember, if you’d like to get involved and give me a little more detail on Argentines in your favourite league (other than the ones covered below, and England and Spain because I do need to write some of this myself after all), get in touch via the email address on the Contact page.
Ben Shave, author of Cahiers Du Sport, is up first to fill us in on Portugal.
The big game in Portugal this weekend saw Benfica host Sporting Braga at the Estádio da Luz, a crucial encounter for the title ambitions of both sides, and one which saw plenty of Argentine involvement. Pablo Aimar, Nico Gaitán and Javier Saviola started for the Eagles, whilst Andrés Madrid made a second-half entrance following an injury to Vandinho.
Aimar was outstanding in a 1-0 win for the Eagles, with his influence on the flow of the game growing steadily throughout the first half. Fielded in the free role, the little playmaker was involved in most every attacking move. However, it was Saviola who provided the breakthrough after 73 minutes. Fed by Fábio Coentrão, the former River Plate man lifted a precise ball over the Braga defence to Carlos Martins, who crashed home the winner. It capped an industrious display from the little man, who has found his best form since joining the Portuguese giants. Both he and Gaitán were replaced before the final whistle, to generous applause. The latter had less of an impact on the game, but his adaptation to European football continues apace, with promising signs to be found in each performance.
That win put the pressure firmly back on FC Porto, who closed out Round 7 with a trip to Vitória Guimarães. Fernando Belluschi was the sole Argentine fielded by André Villas Boas, with Nicolás Otamendi returning to the substitute’s bench. However, Belluschi was withdrawn after 69 minutes, following a muted performance which recalled those of his troubled first season in Portugal. The game finished 1-1, but Belluschi and his teammates still head into the international break seven points clear at the top of the table.
Benfica 1 – 0 Sporting Braga (Saviola setting up the only goal, and some lovely commentary-free crowd noise)
Tom Clark, whose personal blog you’ll find here, is here to fill us in on the action in Mexico.
On Saturday the ex-Argentine Dario Cvitanich, emerging this season as a key player for Pachuca, contributed an assist to go with his third goal of the torneo to highlight a 3-1 away win over Atlante. On the same day a rare goal by Pablo Quattrochi was not enough to spare Necaxa a 2-1 defeat away to Monterrey.
But the big news in Mexico came on Sunday: Cruz Azul’s first victory since 2003 against their local rivals in the capital, América. After eleven losses and five draws over that stretch, this triumph for the ‘Blue machine’ had been a long time coming. The clásico joven, with league superlider Cruz Azul playing in front of an appreciative home audience, produced but a single goal: a wonder strike (first-time, from distance) in the fifty-third minute from Christian Chaco Giménez, enjoying a terrific run of form with his new club. It was his sixth of the season. Definitely worth a look.
Cruz Azul 1 – 0 Club América
Neil Zimmerman, who runs the Melbourne Victory blog Victory In Melbourne, is keeping us up to date with Australia’s two Argentine footballers.
The A-League’s two Argentinians were both in action over the weekend with both coming away victorious. Former Defensa y Justicia and Velez Sarsfield midfielder, Patricio Pérez scored from the penalty spot for the Central Coast Mariners as they snatched a last gasp 3-2 win over the North Queensland Fury. Pérez, who earlier in the season copped a two match ban for simulation, was also denied a penalty after being clearly brought down inside the box. Marcos Flores was also again in action for Adelaide United as they ran out 2-1 winners over bottomed placed Sydney FC. Flores, however contributed little to the effort and was substituted not long after half time.
And last but certainly not least, Boaz Magal isn’t on Twitter and doesn’t blog, but has suggested I link to this incredible photo essay (entirely non-football related, but utterly fascinating all the same) in place of any of his work, before giving us the lowdown on the Israeli league.
In Israel a round of matches played in a blistering heat saw Pedro Glaban hit the post for Bnei Yehudi Tel Aviv, in a 0-0 draw away to Hapoel Ashkelon, and former Argentine (but these days Israeli international) Roberto Damián Colautti had a header saved by the goalkeeper, even as his side, Maccabi Tel Aviv, beat Hapoel Petka Tikva 2-1.
You can follow the daily ins and outs during the 2010 Apertura, as well Argentine clubs in the Copa Sudamericana, the country’s vast foreign legion and the latest news from the selección during the 2010-2011 season direct from Buenos Aires with HEGS on Twitter. If you’ve not signed up yet you can do so here. You can also join the official HEGS Facebook group, to keep up to date with the latest posts on the blog and discuss things with other fans. You’ll find it here.
Photo taken from ole.clarin.com
What is the local time for Argentina’s next friendly against Japan, on Friday 8?
7:50am Argentine time, which is 7:50pm in Japan. Looks like I’ll be sleeping through that one…