Last night Argentina claimed another victory and an impressive attacking performance in what is now all building towards the World Cup in Brazil next year. Argentina were dominant throughout and the scoreline does little to illustrate the gulf in class between the opposition.
Alejandro Sabella set the team up to combat the danger in Zlatan Ibrahimovich, with the back four protected by Fernando Gago and Javier Mascherano. This gave the attacking quartet the freedom to attack the Swedish defence at pace. Led by captain Lionel Messi and ably supported by Angel Di Maria, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuian the Argentine attack always looked dangerous.
It took only 2 minutes for Argentina to lead in Stockholm when a quick break found Higuain and his shot was deflected off Lustig past a hapless Andreas Isaakson. The lead didn’t last too long as Jonas Olsson headed them level from a corner. This was always going to be the danger against a big strong side like Sweden and going forward to the World Cup is something that Sabella will want to look at.
Sweden’s joy was short lived as once again the pace and guile of Argentina’s front men was too much for the aging Swedish defence. Angel Di Maria slipped a beautifully weighted pass between the defence and Aguero ran on to it before applying a delicate chip over the on rushing Isaakson. Before half time Argentina got their third of the night when Isaakson failed to hold a shot from Lionel Messi and Higuain was on hand to tap in the rebound.
The second half continued in much the same way, with Argentina looking dangerous. Lionel Messi came as close as possible to getting his name on the score sheet, as is always expected but Andreas Isaakson somehow managed to scramble back to his goal and clear Messi’s lofted finish off the goal line. Perhaps there would have been more appeals if this hadn’t been a friendly.
In injury time Rasmus Elm smashed home a 30 yard free kick to make the score line a flattering 2-3. In truth Argentina should have won this far more comfortably but the positives are there to see. The system is seeing Messi link up well with his attacking team mates and Argentina look full of goals. The one question mark may still lie with the defence but it is a good win against European opposition and now the focus can shift back to qualification with some difficult games ahead. There is work to be done but with Messi and Co there is still the possibility of lifting the World Cup in Brazil! A dream for any Argentine football fan