Argentinos Abroad: Messi nets in El Clásico, Correa, Cervi & Salvio in Emirates Cup,Villalba, Valeri & Blanco in MLS & Ponce for Lille (VIDEO)


The Neymar transfer saga may have dominated the build-up to the Miami Clásico on Saturday but in front of packed 66,000 capacity crowd, Barcelona secured an entertaining 3-2 win over rivals Real Madrid.

Lionel Messi skipped away to send a deflected shot past Keylor Navas inside three minutes and even after Ivan Rakitic doubled the lead, Real found a way back level thanks to Mateo Kovacic and Marco Asensio. However, Gerard Pique sealed the win with a close range volley shortly after the break.

Preseason in Europe is also in full flow and this weekend witnessed the latest installment of the Emirates Cup. Benfica were soundly beaten by Arsenal but Franco Cervi and Eduardo Salvio were both on target in the first half to ensure the Portuguese club went in at half time all square.

Former Arsenal de Sarandí central defender Lisandro López was unlucky to divert the ball into his own net to put the Gunners back in front and Arsene Wenger’s side ran away 5-2 winners.

The following day and Eduardo Berrizo’s Sevilla secured victory over Arsenal but were denied the preseason tournament by some odd maths. Éver Banega, back in a Sevilla shirt, was superb in midfield but it was Joaquín Correa who slotted the Spanish side in front. Alexandre Lacazette did pull Arsenal level but Steven N’zonzi won it.

Marcelo Bielsa concluded a positive preseason at the helm in Lille with a 4-2 win over Stade Rennais; young centre forward Ezequiel Ponce looks set for a strong season with another goal, heading the fourth.

And over in the United States, where the season is in full flow, there were three more goals made in Argentina. Héctor Villalba slotted in his tenth of the season to salvage Tata Martino’s Atlanta United a point in stoppage time against Orlando City. Kaka’s fine long range effort looked to have given the visitors the points but Yamil Asad slipped in Tito for a late equaliser.

Portland Timbers also made do with a point after goals from Diego Valeri and Sebastián Blanco earned a 2-2 draw away to Houston Dynamo. Valeri found a pocket of space to slam the visitors ahead and squared for Blanco to reestablish the lead after the Dynamo had levelled. However, unable to hold on to their lead Houston equalised with less than ten minutes remaining.


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