As always we take a quick look over all the Argentinos who caught the eye whilst plying their trades around the globe. Any that you feel deserved a mention and are not here then feel free to leave a comment….
For anyone still wondering why Juventus were willing to pay €90 million for Gonzalo Higuaín, look no further than Sunday’s Derby della Mole against Torino. An even contest, in which the hosts led after Andrea Belotti’s fifteenth minute header, was eventually won by Juventus thanks in no small part due to the instinctive finishing of Higuaín. The 29-year-old equalised before thrashing a volley past Joe Hart late on to give the Serie A champions the lead. Paulo Dybala made his return from injury as a second half substitute and made an immediate impact with a Messi-like dribble and eye-0f-a-needle pass to set up Miralem Pjanić’s injury time third.
Elsewhere in Italy, Hugo Campagnaro thought he had rescued a point for Pescara when he headed an 82nd minute equaliser against Crotone but parity lasted a minute before Gianmarco Ferrari won it for the home side. Crotone leapfrog Campagnaro’s Pescara but both remain in the relegation zone.
In LaLiga, Lionel Messi shrugged off a couple of first half misses to help Barcelona to a 3-0 win over Osasuna. The Argentina captain had a huge hand in Luis Suárez’s opener on the hour mark before flicking in the second at the near post and adding a spectacular third in stoppage time. With resuls elsewhere, Barcelona remain six points behind leaders Real Madrid in the title race.
The big match of the weekend in Portugal was the Derby de Lisboa where despite an under-performance Benfica ran out winners over fierce rivals, Sporting Clube de Portugal. Eduardo Salvio finished off a sweeping counter to give the home side the lead and a second half goal by Raúl Jiménez made Bas Dost’s effort twenty minutes from time nothing more than a consolation. Benfica remain four points clear of Porto at the top.
Facundo Ferreyra struck his eighth goal of the Ukrainian season on Monday evening as Shakhtar Donetsk virtually wrapped up the title with a 4-3 win away to second placed Dynamo Kyiv. The victory means Shakhtar have dropped only four points from eighteen matches and have opened up a commanding thirteen point lead at the top.
Over in Japan, many people are not yet paying attention to the Club World Cup but former Lanús striker Silvio Romero sent Club América into the semi finals and a meeting with Real Madrid. South Korean side Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors had led until Romero headed the Mexican giants level in the 58th minute. Ricardo La Volpe’s side gradually grew into the match and eventually found a winner when Romero’s deflected volley found a way into the bottom corner. América play Champions League winners, Real Madrid on Thursday.
In Australia, former Temperley striker Fernando Brandán was in the headlines after giving Melbourne City the lead against Sydney FC with a superb long range effort and later courting controversy with an embarrassing bit of play-acting. League leaders Sydney later equalised from the spot to maintain their lead.
The Chilean league season reached its climax and Diego Buonanotte’s Universidad Católica were crowned champions after a 2-0 win away to Deportes Temuco. The former River Plate playmaker has been named as the player of the Apertura as UC won back-to-back titles for the first time.
Martín Palermo’s Unión Española secured a place in the Chilean Copa Libertadores playoff after beating San Luis 1-0 to hold onto third. Carlos Salom’s first half finish was enough for the vital three points.
That result was crucial given O’Higgins made light work of Santiago Wanderers. Cristian Insaurralde raced clear to score the third in a comfortable 4-0 victory but La Celeste had to make do with a place in the Copa Sudamericana.
Colo Colo secured fifth after beating sixth-placed Palestino 2-1 – Leandro Banegas headed a second half consolation for the home side but couldn’t prevent Colo Colo taking the points.
Universidad de Chile blew their chance of Copa Sudamericana qualification after drawing with Huachipato. Gastón Fernández tapped in an equaliser after the visitors had taken an early lead and Matías Rodríguez appeared to have got La U back on track before Martín Molini tucked away an equaliser to deny a win.
Lastly in Chile, Antofagasta ended the season on a high with a 3-0 win over Everton. Flavio Ciampichetti bundled in the third.
The big news on the final day of the Brasileirão was the relegation of Porto Alegre giants, Internacional but there were Argentine goals to report too. São Paulo finished down in tenth but enjoyed an emphatic 5-0 win over relegated Santa Cruz. Andrés Chávez scored twice to end the season and take his tally to nine for the campaign.
In Bolivia, Blooming climbed to sixth in the table after a 3-1 win against Guabira with young Mariano Guerreiro scoring the second and Universitario de Sucre despite struggling this season beat third-placed Oriente Petrolero. Federico Silvestre opened the scoring before Alexis Bravo and former San Lorenzo academy product Aníbal Domeneghini added goals en route to a 4-0 win.
Barcelona were crowned champions in Ecuador after a 3-3 draw with Aucas. Midfielder Damián Díaz set them on their way with an early goal and when Esteban Solari scored an own goal to double the lead and Maxi Banguera added a third before half time, the champions elect looked to be cruising. Aucas struck back after time and dramatically earned a draw but Barcelona still lifted the title.