Argentinos Abroad: Sampaoli ends Madrid’s run, Messi nets in big Barça win, Higuaín, Icardi & Simeone all on target in Italy, Lanzini scores cracker plus golazos in Mexico


Another weekend of action and so Argentinos Abroad returns for a quick look over all those who caught the eye whilst plying their trades in various leagues around the globe. Any that you feel deserved a mention and are not here then feel free to leave a comment.

Just when Real Madrid were threatening to run away with La Liga, Jorge Sampaoli masterminded a famous victory for Sevilla to not only end the league leaders 40-match unbeaten run but breathe life into the title race. Sampaoli’s side came from behind to snatch a late 2-1 win and move to within a point of Real.

“To play like this against a big side will elevate this group of players. I hope we’re capable of continuing to play this way, as we’ve done against a team that had been on a long unbeaten run. It was a deserved victory. If we equal great teams and get them hurt like today, we can do great things,” Sampaoli, whose reputation grows by the week, said after the win.

Sevilla also managed to keep ahead of third-placed Barcelona, despite Luis Enrique’s side waltzing to a 5-0 win against Las Palmas. Lionel Messi tapped in the second just after half time before the flood gates opened.

Atlético Madrid remained within touching distance despite being far from their best thanks to Nicolás Gaitán’s early goal giving them victory over Real Betis at the Estadio Vicente Calderón.

Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is finding out just how difficult things can be in the Premier League and his defensively fragile Manchester City side were beaten 4-0 by Everton on Sunday. Nicolás Otamendi, Pablo Zabaleta and Sergio Agüero all played but it was perhaps goalkeeper Willy Caballero that was most needed after another unconvincing display from Claudio Bravo.

However, there was better news to be found in England as Manuel Lanzini allowed West Ham supporters to enjoy a convincing win over Crystal Palace despite Dimitri Payet wanting away. The Hammers were already two to the good when the 23-year-old ran clear and deftly flicked the ball past Wayne Hennessey for a third late on.

The Serie A title race also became a lot more interesting after Juventus slumped to a 2-1 defeat away to Fiorentina. Gonzalo Higuaín pulled a goal back for a below-par Bianconeri but couldn’t prevent the champions falling to a fourth away defeat of the season.

Inter Milan’s upturn in form under Stefano Pioli continued as did Mauro Icardi’s fine scoring record with a 3-1 win over Chievo. The visitors actually led at the break but Icardi’s predatory volleyed finish brought Inter level before Ivan Perisic and Eder wrapped up the points. The 23-year-old captain leads the Serie A scoring charts with fifteen goals and having reached this milestone for the third season in a row joins Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Christian Vieri as the last Inter players to do so.

Giovanni Simeone gave Genoa an early lead away to Cagliari with a superb diving header but his seventh of the season proved to be nothing more than a consolation as the home side roared back to win 4-1.

In Ligue 1, Monaco climbed to the top of the table but it was further down the table where an Argentinian had a direct impact. Emiliano Sala’s close range header was the only goal of the game in Toulouse as Nantes claimed an important three points on the road.

In Greece, former Newell’s striker Fabián Muñoz gave Panetolikos an early lead away to Asteras Tripolis but it was swiftly overturned and Pablo Mazza’s penalty before half time put the home side back in front before running out eventual 4-1 winners.

Finally, we switch attention to México where there were plenty of goals to enjoy. Toluca made it two wins from two with an impressive victory over Club América in the renovated Estadio Nemesio Díez. Spectacular long range strikes from Gabriel Hauche and Jesús Méndez had the home side 2-1 ahead and when Rubens Sambueza came off the bench against his old club he won a late penalty which should have ensured the win. Instead, América’s new goalkeeper Agustín Marchesín saved Fernando Uribe’s spotkick but Los Diablos Rojos held on for all three points.

Pachuca are the only other side still with a 100% record after Ruben Botta’s excellent solo effort gave Los Tuzos a 1-0 win over Chiapas.

Monterrey managed to remain unbeaten but needed to come from two-down to salvage a point against Matías Almeyda’s Chivas. The visitors were firmly in control but two red cards handed momentum back to Los Rayados and Rogelio Funes Mori smashed in the first before Dorlan Pabon forced an equaliser.

Tijuana bounced back from opening weekend defeat to score a huge 6-2 win over Puebla and with Los Xolos ever increasing number of Argentines in their ranks it was little wonder to see a couple on the scoresheet. Alexis Canelo scored his third of the season to cancel out Tijuana’s early opener but despite the sides going into the break level, a Milton Caraglio volley and Ignacio Malcorra free kick saw the home side run away in the second half.

Former Quilmes and Tigre midfielder Gabriel Peñalba was harshly sent off as Cruz Azul fell to a 1-0 defeat against Pumas and Matías Alustiza scored in Atlas’ surprising win over champions Tigres.


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