After failing to find the net in two World Cup qualifiers for Argentina, Mauro Icardi didn’t make the most of his opportunity as La Albiceleste’s new number nine but made a swift goal scoring return for Inter on Sunday in a 2-0 win over SPAL.
The referee took over five minutes to award Inter a penalty after consulting with the video assistant but Icardi took no hesitation in sending Alfred Gomis the wrong way and opening the scoring.
The spotkick was Icardi’s fifth goal in three games and puts him top of the scoring charts with Paulo Dybala. Ivan Perisic completed Inter’s win with a thumping volley to hand Inter maximum points from their opening three games, sitting only below Juventus on goal difference.
Mauro Zárate stepped up his comeback after suffering a cruciate ligament injury last season and played 83 minutes as Watford’s under-23s beat Burnley 4-2 this weekend. There had been talk of the 30-year-old returning to Argentina but having been named in the Hornets’ Premier League squad, Zárate may yet play a role this season.
The former Vélez striker curled in a beautiful goal in the reserves victory and could be nearing a return under new manager Marco Silva.
Across the pond and Diego Valeri scored his 17th goal of the season as Portland Timbers went top of the MLS Western Conference with victory over New York City FC. A smart finish from inside the penalty was the seventh straight game, Valeri has scored in with the Timbers looking strong ahead of the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Tata Martino’s Atlanta United maintained their post-season push with a 3-0 win over FC Dallas. Defender Leandro González Pírez slid in the opening goal from Héctor Villalba’s flicked header and Tito was the creator for number three too.
In Liga MX, Tijuana’s impressive form continues as Eduardo Coudet’s side appear to have well and truly got over their initial difficulties. Gustavo Bou scored his fifth goal of the season, volleying in from outside the box, to open the scoring away to Pumas before the result was put beyond doubt in stoppage time.
League leaders Monterrey maintained their unbeaten start with a 1-0 win over Necaxa but Marcelo Barovero did stop a penalty from former River Plate teammate Carlos Sánchez. However, Club América remain Los Rayados closest rivals after a victory against Veracruz. Silvio Romero scored twice to capture the points.
Elsewhere, Mauro Boselli took his season tally to six with a late winner for Club León against Queretaro.
And Franco Jara headed a late consolation goal as Pachuca lost 3-1 to champions Chivas.