Our weekly round-up of Argentinos plying their trade around the world has goals galore from twelve different leagues. Any that you feel deserved a mention and are not here then feel free to leave a comment….
We begin in Italy where Juventus fans were given a glimpse of the potentially one of Europe’s most feared strike pairings in Gonzalo Higuaín and Paulo Dybala. The €90 million summer signing scored two goals in the first ten minutes to send the Bianconeri on their way to a 3-1 victory over Sassuolo in Turin. Higuaín’s first, a clinical low shot into the corner having been fed by Dybala on the counter was swiftly followed by a sensational volley and although the visitors pulled a goal back, Miralem Pjanic wrapped up the points.
Staying in Serie A and Mauro Icardi was once more on target as he spared Inter Milan’s blushes with a late brace to earn victory against Pescara. Frank de Boer’s side have yet to settle this season and were trailing to the hosts until the 77th minute when the predatory Icardi headed in an Éver Banega cross from the right. Not content with just salvaging a point, the 23-year-old rifled in a winner in injury time to given Inter a first win of the season. Three goals already this season for Icardi – how much longer can Argentina ignore the number nine?
Roma came from behind to snatch a dramatic late win against Sampdoria and while Francesco Totti stole the headlines with the winning penalty there were plenty of Argentinos on display. Diego Perotti created Mohamed Salah’s opener for the home side but the lead had been reversed before half time with Ricardo Álvarez setting up Fabio Quagliarella’s for Sampdoria’s second.
The big news of the weekend in Spain was Barcelona’s defeat to relative minnow Alaves in the Camp Nou. Luis Enrique’s side struggled following the international break and with Lionel Messi only fit enough for a 30 minute at the end even the best player on the planet couldn’t prevent the Catalan giants from slumping to a 2-1 loss. Javier Mascherano certainly didn’t have one of his best games in defence but credit should go to Alaves manager Mauricio Pellegrino.
Ezequiel Garay made his Valencia debut following the defender’s big money switch from Zenit St Petersburg and it proved to an eventful afternoon for the 29-year-old. Already a goal down to Real Betis, the task facing Los Che became significantly more difficult when captain Enzo Pérez was shown a red card for a rash two-footed challenge and shortly after Joaquín doubled the lead. However, the Mestella was given hope when Rodrigo pulled one back and sent into rapture when Garay fired in a debut goal. Just as it looked as though Valencia would claim an unlikely point, Rubén Castro popped up with an injury time winner.
Another side who required an injury time winner were Jorge Sampaoli’s Sevilla, who were poor in their clash with Las Palmas and needed a slice of luck when awarded a 89th penalty to equalise. While none of the Argentine contingent got on the scoresheet, youngster Carlos Fernández headed the decisive 94th minute goal.
Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid were far more emphatic in their win and eased past Celta Vigo by four goals to nil. Koke and an Antoine Griezmann brace put Los Colchoneros in control during a dominant second half and a minute from time, Ángel Correa rifled in a fourth from close range. The 21-year-old got some minutes under his belt for Argentina last week and needs frequent playing time in Spain to really aid his progression.
On Friday evening, Pablo Piatti was again on target as Espanyol drew 1-1 with Real Sociedad. The former Estudiantes winger beat Gerónimo Rulli from range to give the visitors the lead but Willian José forced an equaliser twelve minutes from time.
The big match of the weekend in England was the Manchester derby and Nicolás Otamendi produced his best performance in a City shirt to help Pep Guardiola’s side to a 2-1 win at Old Trafford. The Argentina defender returned from international duty to give an outstanding display and despite Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho’s claims that the 28-year-old should have been sent off, it was a masterclass in powerful, committed defending that had Guardiola raving: “He was amazing, amazing. I knew Otamendi has a lot of character, he deals with long balls, and fights but with the ball, he showed his quality as well.”
Nicolas Otamendi’s game by numbers vs. Man Utd:
100% tackles won
4 aerial duels won pic.twitter.com/er6pHAaxfV
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 10, 2016
Roberto Pereyra’s start at Watford is proving to be very fruitful and the 25-year-old played a vital role in the Hornets remarkable turnaround against West Ham United at the London Stadium. Manuel Lanzini was back in the Hammers starting eleven as they raced into a two-goal lead but Watford were level before the break and shortly after half time, Pereyra crossed for Étienne Capoue to smash the visitors in front before Jose Holebas wrapped up an outstanding 4-2 win.
Like many of his Argentina teammates, Ángel Di María only managed 30 minutes for Paris Saint-Germain on Friday evening and couldn’t do anything to prevent Saint-Etienne snatching a point from the Parc des Princes.
The Bundesliga is one of Europe’s top leagues not swamped with Argentine players but that didn’t prevent Pablo de Blasis claiming the fastest league goal of the season so far when he nodded Mainz in front with less than three minutes on the clock against Hoffenheim. The former Gimnasia and Ferro midfielder added a second after 23 minutes and when the home side took a formidable 4-1 lead the points looked secure. However, three goals in the final 20 minutes earned Hoffenheim a point from an enthralling 4-4 draw.
In Portugal, Lisandro López headed Benfica’s second in the Águias’ 2-1 win over Arouca but they remain two points behind leaders Sporting Clube de Portugal after the Leões maintained their 100% start to the season. Alan Ruiz started in the Estádio José Alvalade and created Joel Campbell’s first for the club in the 3-0 win against Moreirense.
Following his pretty disastrous loan at Lanús last year, which was better known for fracturing his skull with a gym weight, Sebastián Leto got himself on the scoresheet in Panathinaikos’ 3-1 win over Levadiakos. The former Liverpool midfield had only come off the bench eight minutes earlier but slotted in the third from close range to all but wrap up the points.
Perhaps the goal of the weekend came in Liga MX where Guido Pizarro sliced through the Morelia defence from half way to give Tigres an early lead in the Estadio Morelos. The 26-year-old has always remained on the fringes of a move to Europe since his days at Lanús but this outstanding solo effort (albeit aided by the softest defending) set Ricardo Ferretti’s side on course to victory.
As always Mexico provided plenty more goals but there were none more dramatic than Silvio Romero’s brace for Club América which saw Las Águilas come from three-down in the clásico Joven to claim victory. The home side raced into a three-goal lead during an open first half but saw the game turn on its head when Aldo Ramírez was harshly sent off. Oribe Peralta immediately pulled a goal back, Romero reduced the deficit further with a fine header, Rubens Sambueza crossed for Pablo Aguilar to equalise and in stoppage time the former Lanús forward volleyed the winner.
León scored an important victory over Atlas to move away from the foot of the table and maintain hopes of a push for the Liguilla. Germán Cano nodded La Fiera in front before Guillermo Burdisso doubled the lead and paved the way for a comfortable 4-1 win.
Necaxa continued their impressive start to life in the top flight with a 2-1 win over Santos Laguna despite falling behind to a goal from a former Banfield player, Colombian Mauricio Cuero. Fabián Espindola eventually fired the home side in front but Los Rayos owe as much to former River goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero, who excelled in between the sticks.
Elsewhere, Neri Cardozo’s early goal for Queretaro couldn’t prevent Los Gallos Blancos falling to a 4-1 defeat to Pumas in the Estadio Olímpico Universitario….
Julio Furch headed a fine winner for Veracruz against Pachuca and Pablo Barrientos created one of the goals in Toluca’s 2-0 win over Puebla.
Down in Brazil, two Argentine strikers are proving to be quite prolific and on Sunday Andrés Chávez made it six goals in nine games for São Paulo – a substantial improvement on his form while at Boca Juniors. The 25-year-old scored the first and laid on the third as the Tricolor beat Figueirense 3-1.
Ramón ‘Wanchope’ Ábila wasn’t on target in Cruzeiro’s 2-0 defeat to Botafogo on Sunday but did net in the win over América on Thursday, taking his tally to nine goals in eleven matches and sparking talk of a possible call-up to the Argentina squad and a €10 million offer from Valencia.
In Chile, Diego Buonanotte followed up his goal in the clásico a couple of weeks ago with another in Universidad Católica’s 3-1 win against Everton but they remain a little off the pace of leaders Deportivo Iquique and O’Higgins, who defeated Huachipato by two goals to nil thanks to a brace from former River Plate and Quilmes forward Cristian Insaurralde.
The MLS didn’t provide as many goals as it often does and aside from a Gastón Sauro own goal in Colombus Crew’s defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps and Federico Bravo being sent off for New York City FC, it was left to Gonzalo Verón to steal the show. And by steal the show I mean score an incredibly scrappy header in New York Red Bulls 2-2 draw with DC United.
And finally in the Chinese Super League, Walter Montillo scored in Shandong Luneng’s 1-1 draw with Changchun Yatai. The 32-year old steered in Lui Binbin’s knock-down but Felix Magath’s side couldn’t hold on for all three points and remain near the bottom of the table.
Any missed from around the world, let us know!