Argentinos Abroad: Messi can’t prevent Barcelona loss to Real Madrid, Simeone & Zuculini score in Coppa Italia, Icardi & Cartabia on target in friendlies (VIDEO)


Barcelona’s summer of disappointment was dealt a fresh blow in the Spanish Super Cup first leg as a limp performance was punished by Real Madrid, leaving Lionel Messi and his teammates a mountain to climb at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday.

Gerard Pique diverted a Marcelo cross into his own net to hand Madrid the lead but a debatable penalty converted by Lionel Messi brought Barcelona level. The goal was Messi’s 24th against Los Blancos, overtaking the record of Athletic Club icon Telmo Zarra but on this occasion it was in vain.

Ronaldo almost immediately restored Real’s lead with a superb effort before being sent off two minutes later but even a man-down Madrid scored a third through Marco Asensio.

In the Coppa Italia, Genoa came from behind to progress past Cesena but required extra-time following Giovanni Simeone’s 51st minute equaliser. The young Argentine striker is being heavily linked with a move to Fiorentina from the Rossoblu but proved his worth on Saturday before Diego Laxalt won it five minutes into the added period.

Former Manchester City midfielder Bruno Zuculini also found the back of the net in the Coppa Italia, nodding in a late third as Hellas Verona beat Avellino 3-1.

Mauro Icardi celebrated his call-up to the Argentina squad with the winning goal in Inter Milan’s preseason win over Real Betis. The possible new number nine for La Albiceleste was brought down by goalkeeper Antonio Adán before drilling the result spot kick into the bottom corner before being replaced just after half time. Inter held on for the win ahead of the new Serie A season.

And elsewhere in preseason, Deportivo La Coruña enjoyed a 3-0 win over Tenerife. Florin Andone had headed Depor in front before Rosario-born Federico Cartabia slotted in a second. Celso Borges completed the victory from the penalty spot.

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