Our weekly round-up of Argentinos plying their trade around the world has goals galore from more leagues than you can shake a stick at. Any that you feel deserved a mention and are not here then feel free to leave a comment….
Gonzalo Higuaín made the headline of the weekend as the €90 million striker scored the winner for Juventus against his old club Napoli to help the bianconeri take a tighter grip on Serie A. The Argentinian scored a record 36 league goals for Saturday’s opponents last season and displayed his ruthlessness in rifling in Juve’s second goal of the evening after Napoli had cancelled out Leonardo Bonucci’s fine opener. The result, without the injured Paulo Dybala, puts Juventus four points clear of Roma, who were held to a goalless draw by Empoli, despite another excellent performance in midfield by Leandro Paredes.
Another Argentine in Italy creating news this week was Alejandro Gómez, who stated that he would accept a call-up from Italy after being ignored by Argentina since lifting the under-20 World Cup with La Albiceleste in 2007. Papu rifled in Atalanta’s third in a comfortable victory over Genoa that took La Dea up into sixth.
One of Gómez’s teammates from that under-20 side that lifted the title in Canada was Sergio Agüero and the Argentina striker served up a reminder of his talents in Manchester City’s 4-0 win over West Brom. The 28-year-old drilled the opener past Ben Foster after 19 minutes and soon added a spectacular second from the edge of the box. With many questioning his place in the national side and even talk of the striker not being in Pep Guardiola’s plans, a clever assist in the second half in addition to his first half brace was the perfect riposte.
For a change in La Liga there was little to say about Lionel Messi as the Argentina captain failed to have too much of an impact in Barcelona’s underwhelming 1-0 win over Granada. However, Diego Simeone’s impressive Atlético Madrid continued to at least keep pace with a 4-2 win over Malaga. Nicolás Gaitán limped off injured and is a doubt for Argentina but his replacement Ángel Correa contributed with an assist for Yannick Carrasco.
Jorge Sampaoli’s Sevilla lost a little ground after being held to a 1-1 draw by Sporting de Gijón but Luciano Vietto notched his fourth of the season with a fine finish and elsewhere Gerónimo Rulli kept another clean sheet as Real Sociedad moved up to sixth with a 2-0 win away to Leganes.
In the Bundesliga, former Rosario Central full-back Santiago García scored his first goal in two and a half years with a wonderfully taken volley after running onto a lofted one-two. However, the strike was a mere consolation as Werder Bremen fell 3-1 to Freiburg.
Ángel Di María made something of a return to form after a diffcult few weeks as Paris Saint-Germain beat Lille 1-0 to at least not lose any ground on leaders Nice. El Fideo should have got his name on the scoresheet and had a goal chalked off for a handball but did create Edinson Cavani’s winner in the second half.
Oscar Trejo chalked up his third assist of the season as Toulouse lost to Lyon and Emiliano Sala was once more on target for Nantes but couldn’t prevent a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Mario Balotelli’s inspired Nice.
Benfica remained five points clear at the top of the table in Portugal after a convincing 3-0 win against Ferreira on Friday evening. The highly-rated Gonçalo Guedes latched onto Franco Cervi’s pass to smash in the opener and Eduardo Salvio tucked away the second after the break.
In the Swiss Super League, Matías Delgado scored twice to give Basel a 2-0 win over Zurich Grasshoppers. The 33-year-old tapped in Seydou Doumbia’s unselfish pass before scoring from the penalty spot as Basel stretch their commanding lead at the top.
Pablo Batalla scored his fifth of the season, just one behind Super Lig top scorer Abdou Traore, as Busaspor beat Konyaspor to remain in fourth and close the gap on Galatasaray in third.
In Greece, Sebastián Leto’s recovery from a nightmare return to Lanús last year continued with the 30-year-old bundling in Panathinaikos’ opening goal against Iraklis. The 2-0 win meant Oi Prasinoi were able to reduce the gap with fierce rivals Olympiakos at the top of the Super League.
Elsewhere, Nicolás Fernández scored the only goal for Asteras Tripolis in their win over Levadiakos but the side remain only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.
Lastly in Europe, Facundo ‘Chucky’ Fereyra scored his fifth of the season as Shakhtar Donetsk maintained their unbeaten start (11 wins & 2 draws) to the Ukrainian season. The former Vélez and Newcastle striker pounced on a bad goalkeeping error to open the scoring as Shaktar beat Chornomorets Odesa to move six points clear.
Switching attention to Liga MX, where top of the table Tijuana booked their place in the playoffs after a 1-0 win over Toluca. Los Xolos have leaned heavily on their Argentine imports and after riding their luck, the strike pair of Milton Caraglio and Gabriel Hauche combined to find the winner.
Clausura champions Pachuca also confirmed their spot in the playoffs after coming from two-down to beat Atlas. Former Inter Milan midfielder Rubén Botta scored twice to bring Los Tuzos level before Jonathan Urretaviscaya struck the winner.
Tigres held on to third spot despite drawing the Clásico Regiomontano against Monterrey, whose hopes of qualifying now look slim. Los Rayados had hit the woodwork twice when Israel Sosa gave the home side the lead with a superb header and although César Montes equalised, Monterrey don’t look like they will he heading to the liguilla.
Ricardo La Volpe’s Club América solidified their place despite their disappointing clásico defeat in midweek with a win over Santos Laguna. Silvio Romero scored from the penalty spot before Rubens Sambueza added a third in the second half.
Pumas ensured that they remained three points behind América with a 4-1 win away to struggling Veracruz. Former Arsenal striker Julio Furch was again on target for Los Tiburones Rojos but couldn’t prevent the defeat.
Necaxa’s playoff hopes took a blow after a defeat to Morelia despite former Racing defender Emanuel Loeschbor scoring an own goal to give them the lead. This defeat allowed León to draw level on points after La Fiera drew with Puebla. However, this too will be tinged with disappointment after Mauro Boselli and Germán Cano had put León two ahead only for Matías Alustiza to eventually equalise from the spot.
In Brazil, Argentina international Lucas Pratto scored what many thought was going to be a late winner for Atlético Mineiro when he skipped round the goalkeeper in the 87th minute to make it 2-1. However, Paolo Guerrero’s last minute equaliser denied the home side.
Few leagues can usually match México for Argentine involvement but the Chilean Primera pushed it close this weekend. The major story was Sebastián Pol’s outrageous Cantona-inspired kick at a spectator which could land him in prison but this came after an Argentine-inspired Universidad Católica had soundly beaten Pol’s Audax Italiano. Ricardo Noir and Germán Lanaro had both scored when Marcos Riquelme pulled a goal back from the penalty spot for Audax but the points were wrapped up by a fine individual effort by former San Lorenzo midfielder Enzo Kalinski.
Universidad Católica’s win at least ensured they remained only two points behind leaders Deportivo Iquique following their victory over Santiago Wanderers. Former Chacarita Juniors midfielder Diego Torres scored twice in the routine 3-0 win – the first a spectacular volley and the second a smart finish from the edge of the penalty area.
Martín Palermo’s Unión Española also kept pace with a 2-0 win over Cobresal thanks in part to Palestinian-international striker Carlos Salom, who scored his sixth of the season from the penalty spot before grabbing an assist for his side’s second.
Gastón Fernández scored twice for Universidad de Chile but La U still had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Everton.
Antofagasta remain in fifth after Flavio Ciampichetti scored twice in a 3-0 win over Huachipato.
Colo Colo missed the chance to remain level on points with Antofagasta after a 3-3 draw against San Luis. Former Estudiantes striker Alejandro Fiorina struck a first half brace as San Luis appeared to have blown Colo Colo away by half time only for the home side to come and salvage a draw.
In Bolivia, Alexis Bravo scored twice as Universitario de Sucre defeat Real Potosi 4-0.
Emelec ensured they didn’t lose any ground on Barcelona S.C at the top of the table in Ecuador after ex-Colón youngster Cristian Guanca scored twice to earn three points away to El Nacional.
Down at the other end of the table, Sociedad Deportiva Aucas thrashed Fuerza Amarilla. Veteran striker Esteban Solari scored one of the five.
In Peru, Universidad de San Martín claimed a valuable 2-1 win away to Alianza Lima. Christian Ortíz opened the scoring but despite the home side equalising, Vélez academy product Ramiro Cáseres snatched all three points ten minutes from time.
Rounding up South America, Guido Di Vanni was the match winner as Sportivo Luqueño beat General Caballero 1-0.
Rubio Ñu scored a 2-0 win away to River Plate and former Vélez and Boca midfielder Leandro Gracián added the second in stoppage time.
Lastly, no goals to speak of in Australia but former Independiente youngster Nicolás Martínez was provider for Brendon Santalab’s goal in the 1-1 draw with Central Coast Mariners and Fernando Brandán also got an assist as Melbourne City beat Adelaide United.