It may only be preseason but you will be hard pushed to see a better goal this season than Lautaro Martínez’s sensational volley in Inter’s victory over Atlético Madrid in the International Champions Cup.
Captain Mauro Icardi looks to have found his new strike partner and when caretaker Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni names his squad for the forthcoming friendlies next month, the Inter duo could form a new look Albiceleste attack too.
Icardi had already tested Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak earlier in the game but there was nothing the Slovenian goalkeeper could do to prevent Martínez’s opener. Kwadwo Asamoah’s floated cross from deep appeared to be drifting away from the former Racing Club striker but an utterly brilliant scissor-kick thrashed the ball inside Oblak’s near post.
Atlético thought they were level before half-time only for Angel Correa’s equaliser to be ruled out after the use of VAR, however, Inter held on.
Any doubts over whether Lautaro Martínez was ready for European football appear to have answered during preseason and now Inter and Argentina can see just how far the 20-year-old could go.
While Martínez has enjoyed a prolific preseason, Gonzalo Higuaín scored with his first shot since joining Milan as his new side lost 3-1 to one of Pipita’s former clubs, Real Madrid.
Karim Benzema had given Real an early lead but it was almost immediately cancelled out as Higuaín bent in a splendid finish from outside the penalty area.
Gareth Bale and Borja Mayoral scored to ensure Real lifted the Trofeo Santiago Bernabeu but Higuaín finding the net so quickly is a good sign for the Rossoneri.
Meanwhile in England, the Premier League season got underway and Roberto Pereyra’s impressive brace gave Watford a 2-0 win over Brighton on the opening weekend.
The Argentina international had never scored twice in a game before today but scored a fiercely struck volley ten minutes before half time when left unmarked at a corner and soon after the break added a second with a curling finish.
Pereyra hasn’t featured for Argentina since 2015 but as the Albiceleste head into a new era, perhaps the door isn’t yet closed on the 27-year-old.
6 – Roberto Pereyra has been directly involved in each of Watford’s last six goals in the Premier League, scoring five and assisting the other one. Fundamental. pic.twitter.com/tztysM5nSq
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 11, 2018
Action in the Championship also continued and Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds maintained their superb start to the season with a 4-1 win over Derby.
Last week’s victory over Stoke rightly drew praise but Bielsa’s side were even better in their comfortable win over a Derby side managed by former England and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard.
Mateusz Klich opened the scoring and although Derby soon equalised, a Kemar Roofe brace and another by Ezgjan Alioski capped off an outstanding attacking display.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 11, 2018
And in France, Emiliano Sala continued his fine form from last season but couldn’t prevent Nantes falling to Monaco on the opening day.
Monaco were already three-up when Sala placed an accurate shot into the bottom corner to provide a consolation for Nantes.
Sala scores in stoppage time for Nantes to deny Monaco a clean sheet! pic.twitter.com/B01WE8osPD
— Goal (@goal) August 11, 2018