It was a busy evening in the Europa League for Argentinos spread around the continent and while fourteen were involved in Thursday evening’s matches, Emiliano Rigoni, Alejandro Papu Gómez and Mateo Musacchio made the headlines.
Zenit St. Petersburg started all five of their Argentinian contingent against Real Sociedad and they conspired to give compatriot Gerónimo Rulli in the opposition goal an evening to forget.
Rigoni drilled in the opening goal from 25-yards with a fizzing, low shot that whistled into Rulli’s bottom corner but it got far worse for the Argentina hopeful in goal.
For Rigoni meanwhile, it is two goals in four games since signing from Independiente as he strengthens his push into Jorge Sampaoli’s squad.
— FC Zenit in English (@fczenit_en) September 28, 2017
Rulli’s misjudgement allowed Zenit to add a simple second after the ball bounced over the young goalkeeper’s head and despite pulling a goal back, were deservedly beaten when Aleksandr Kokorin scored his second.
While Rulli did little to convince Argentina he is ready to be number one, all five of Zenit’s youngsters could feasibly be pushing for a World Cup spot.
AC Milan secured a last gasp 3-2 win over Croatian club Rijeka thanks to Patrick Cutrone’s 94th minute winner but the game was notable for Mateo Musacchio’s first in red and black.
André Silva had put Milan ahead and despite the Croatians posing a regular threat when Musacchio poked in a second, the victory seemed certain. However, with the home side still looking vulnerable, Rijeka came forward and looked to have stolen a point with two late goals. Cutrone won it at the death but Milan are not impressing in the way many expected after such a summer of recruitment.
Atalanta’s inspirational captain Papu Gómez rescued a point for his side away to Lyon with a superb second half strike. The 29-year-old was sensational as La Dea claimed a historic European spot and has not only earned himself a place in the Argentina squad but maintained that form.
Lyon were leading thanks to Bertrand Traoré’s goal but Papu levelled it with a powerfully struck free kick from the corner of the penalty area. Fellow countryman José Luis Palomino also started in defence for Atalanta.
— Eden (@EdenDassidy) September 28, 2017
Out of the limelight somewhat, former Boca Juniors youngster Sergio Araujo chalked up an assist as his AEK Athens side drew 2-2 with Austria Vienna.
Former Banfield goalkeeper Mariano Barbosa kept a clean sheet as Villarreal drew 0-0 away to Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
Cypriot side Apollon Limassol earned a respectable 2-2 draw away to Premier League club Everton with Tucumán-born midfielder Esteban Sachetti starting and former Rosario Central, Arsenal and Argentinos Juniors forward Emilio Zelaya coming off the bench.
And lastly, former Colón goalkeeper Jorge Broun had a good game as Bulgarian club Ludogorets defeated Hoffenheim 2-1.