There wasn’t much Argentine action to speak of in England’s Premier League this weekend, but in Italy, Spain and Mexico there were strong performances as ever. There were Argentines on the scoresheet in Catania, and Eduardo Salvio got one for Benfica. Lionel Messi came up with another brilliant finish – this time with his head – for Barcelona, and in Mexico Daniel Montenegro rifled one in from range for América. All this and more is right here.
The main Italian action for Argentines came from Catania, who had eight Argentines in their starting lineup for the visit of Rodrigo Palacio and Mauro Boselli‘s Genoa. Boselli didn’t get off the bench for the visitors, and Palacio failed to find the scoresheet, but both Maxi López and Gonzalo Bergessio (on loan from Saint-Etienne) notched early second half goals for Catania, who claimed a 2-1 win after falling behind in the first half. In Portugal, Benfica fielded five Argentines, with Eduardo Salvio getting a goal in their 2-1 win over Marítimo.
Tom Clark, who blogs here, is here to give us the lowdown on action in the Mexican top flight.
The remarkable reversal of fortune accomplished by Tigres of Nueva Leon over the past few Mexican league torneos – in which they have ascended from the brink of relegation to a present position only one point shy of league superlider Pumas (UNAM) – has owed more than a little to the brilliant work of Argentines; in particular the crafty midfield creator Lucas Lobos, joined this season by the fiery, energetic winger Damián La Chilindrina Álvarez (onetime River man, now a Mexican league mainstay after impressive stints at Morelia and Pachuca).
In the eighth round of the Primera División Clausura, on Saturday 26 February, Tigres made short work of hapless Puebla at home, putting the game well out of reach on lovely first half goals executed by their Argentine connection. In the 25th minute Lobos chipped a clockwork-perfect ball over the middle to Álvarez, who flashed to the endline; La Chilindrina sent back a delayed pass back to the Chilean forward Hector Mancilla, who finished the diamond-like move with precision. In the 42nd minute La Chilindrina flashed across the middle to make space, pivoted and drilled a wicked shot from distance in off the far post.
Both goals are here:
On Sunday 27 Club América, badly underachieving of late, treated their home support at the massive Azteca to a rousing victory over the dangerous Red Devils of Toluca in a wild-and-woolly, back-and-forth affair that came out 4-3 for the Águilas.
Daniel Rolfi Montenegro contributed the home side’s vital third score on a great individual effort, finding space to turn and drive a cañonazo from outside the area, sailing in from right to left just outside the reach of Toluca keeper Talavera.
Here is Rolfi’s golazo.
David Cartlidge contributes to Spanish Football Info, and is letting us know what happened in La Liga.
It was an enthralling start to week 25 of the Spanish Liga, with Atlético de Madrid and Sevilla playing out a 2-2 draw in an extremely lively encounter. Sergio Agüero was his usual lively self for Atlético, dropping deep into midfield at times and linking play together as well as being in a feverish mood around the penalty area himself. His appearance in this game will be remembered for an inexplicable miss however. When team mate Tiago took a quick free-kick Agüero shot the ball straight at the goalkeeper who palmed away from point blank range. Sevilla meanwhile featured Federico Fazio, who is showing glorious form at the moment; he made some crucial interventions, put some crunching tackles in and even had time to knock Agüero off his stride. Diego Perotti‘s form has been off slightly lately, but his contribution to the game was a wonderful improvised knock down with his chest to Álvaro Negredo who gave Sevilla the lead – quite the skill to pull off from the tricky winger. He also spread the play well to provide the second Sevilla goal.
Highlights including Perotti and Kun miss
Sad news for Juan Forlín this week, after Espanyol lost him for 4 weeks because of required hand surgery. Forlín has been ever present, and on form for the ‘other’ team in Barcelona and it’s a huge blow to lose him.
Barcelona travelled to the island of Mallorca at the weekend, and came away with a 3-0 victory over Real Mallorca. Lionel Messi got the opener after a tough 30 minutes for his side. He controlled an awkwardly bouncing ball with his chest, and finished with a looped header. His performance was again not just one of individual excellence but also a collective one has he dropped deep to work the ball out wide, and start moves. His presence here this week was all the more necessary due to the absence of Xavi in midfield, so the Argentine also did dual jobs of striker and central midfielder. Gabriel Milito and Javier Mascherano both made the final match day squad, but both remained on the bench.
Whole performance vs. Mallorca from Messi
Deportivo La Coruña held Real Madrid to a 0-0 draw in the final game of the night, and as has been the norm this season when Depor put in a good defensive performance Diego Colotto is very much part of things. Colotto was again immense, reading the game well and intercepting any possible danger. With a lot of his team’s play based on defence, it’s of the utmost importance players like the former Estudiantes de la Plata man step up. José Sand also started for Depor, but was seldom involved due to the nature of the game with his side on the back foot. Meanwhile Madrid didn’t introduce Ángel di María until the 60th minute, and his one real effort on target was well stopped by the Depor goalkeeper.
Racing Santander and Villarreal had an entertaining 2-2 draw on Sunday evening, with two Argentines getting on the score sheet. Racing’s Ariel Nahuelpan, formerly of Chacarita Juniors, was quickest off the mark with just 3 minutes played, when he tapped in from close range. Marco Ruben responded to level the game though just after the hour mark, when he met a floated cross to place his powerful downward header into the net. Mateo Mussachio played in defence for Villarreal, and didn’t have the best of game as he was perhaps a little too casual with some of his play off the ball – when he should’ve been switched on.
Neil Zimmerman blogs over on Victory In Melbourne, and is keeping us up to date with goings-on in Australia.
Both the A-League’s Argentines were on losing sides this past weekend as the season draws to a close in Australia. In a pulsating match, Marcos Flores‘ Adelaide United crashed out of finals contention as they lost 3-2 to Gold Coast United on home turf with Flores unable to repeat his heroics of the week before. Meanwhile Patricio Pérez‘s Central Coast Mariners will live to fight another day despite losing their two-legged affair 4-2 after drawing 2-2 away to Brisbane Roar. Pérez was influential and should have put his team ahead early in the first half. However the diminutive midfielder redeemed himself with a neat one-two with teammate Oliver Bozanic, which the Australian calmly slotted home for the Mariners’ second goal. Pérez’s Mariners will now play Gold Coast United for a chance to play in the Grand Final.
Pérez vs Brisbane Roar
And Boaz Magal, A.K.A. Biting Flea, is finishing up with our Israeli league roundup.
The Israeli league continues to supply us with Argentina goals. Three this week.
Roberto Colautti (Macabbi Tael Aviv) did better than last week and ended up scoring one and creating another in a 4-2 win. b (Bnei Yehuda Tel-Aviv) did even better; he scored twice in a 3-1 win. Galván has scored ten goals this season and he is the top scorer for his club. Congratulations to both.
You can follow the ins and outs during the 2011 Torneo Clausura, as well as 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. Also remember to bookmark Hand Of Pod, our Argentine football podcast, or if you prefer you can subscribe to it on iTunes here.