Champions League football came back with a vengeance on Tuesday for matchday two. The day’s festivities kicked off at Rhein-Neckar Arena with Manchester City traveling to face Hoffenheim and Juventus hosting Young Boys at Allianz Stadium.
Hoffenheim struck early with an opening minute goal as a Kerem Demirbay through ball went between Vincent Kompany and Aymeric Laporte to find Ishak Belfodil who was able to put it into the net to put Hoffenheim ahead.
Manchester City were not discouraged by the early goal though and did not take long to equalize. In the seventh minute, David Silva sent a beautiful ball to Leroy Sané in the box who passed it to Sergio Agüero who was surrounded by three defenders but somehow found a way to strike it into the net for his first Champions League goal this season.
David Silva was able to find a decisive second in the 87th minute to give Manchester City the 2-1 win and their first points in Champions League this season. The two Argentinians on the pitch put in a solid shift, Agüero finishing with one goal, three shots on target and 89% pass success. While Nicolás Otamendi played 64 minutes, finishing the game with 98% pass success, two blocked shots and three clearances.
The match between Juventus vs Young Boys was the Paulo Dybala show. The Argentinian talisman was spectacular on the day finishing the game with a hat-trick. The Swiss champions were clearly outclassed by the Italian giants.
A beautiful Bonucci long ball found Dybala in the box who was able to put in the net to put Juventus up 1-0 in the fifth minute of the game. A rebound goal in the 33rd minute by Dybala put Juventus up 2-0 and in the 69th minute a Juan Cuadrado pass found Dybala to seal the match 3-0.
A number of Argentinians took the pitch in this match between AEK Athens and Benfica. Loanee striker Ezequiel Ponce started the game up top for AEK Athens. For Benfica, defender German Conti and winger Eduardo Salvio were in the starting XI with Franco Cervi making a substitute appearance in the 84th minute.
Benfica got off to a fast start scoring two goals in the first fifteen minutes of the match. Ponce was not effective on the day for AEK as he was subbed out in the 60th after picking up a yellow in the first half. Just before halftime, Benfica went down a man as Ruben Dias picked up a second yellow card. AEK Athens was able to tie it up 2-2 in the 63rd but an Alfa Semedo goal in the 74th sealed a 3-2 win for Benfica.
Ajax was able to pick up a huge away point over German giants, Bayern Munich. Nicolas Tagliafico and his Ajax teammates went down early 1-0 in the fourth minute after a Mats Hummels goal. In the 22nd, Ajax tied it up 1-1 with a Noussair Mazraoui goal. Tagliafico had a solid defensive day with five clearances and five ball recoveries amid reports that Barcelona scouts were in attendance to keep tabs on the left-back.
After a horrible result last weekend against West Ham United, Manchester United continued their run of poor form tying Valencia 0-0 in the Old Trafford. The seat continues to heat up for Jose Mourinho as he seems to have fallen out with players in his squad.
The only Argentinian on the field for this game was Ezequiel Garay. The veteran defender had a good performance as his team was able to contain an attacking trio of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Marcus Rashford from finding the back of the net. Garay finished the day with six clearances, two ball recoveries and two duels won.
On Wednesday, the action was kicked off for Argentinians by Angel Di Maria and PSG as they dismantled Red Star Belgrade 6-1. Di Maria has been a key part of Thomas Tuchel’s squad this year in his first season as head coach of the French giants.
Di Maria had a great performance as he played all 90 minutes, the Argentine winger scored one goal in the 42nd minute. Aside from getting on the score sheet, Di Maria had five shots, five key passes, five dribbles completed and an 83% pass success on the day.
Mauro Icardi continued to do what he does best for Inter as they traveled to Eindhoven to face PSV. It was a big three points for Inter as Philips Stadion is a very hard place to play and PSV rarely drops points in their ground. Icardi was the star of the show, scoring the ultimately deciding goal in the 60th minute to put Inter up 2-1.
Icardi finished the day with nine shots and three key passes on top of his goal. The win gives Inter six points in the group stage as they travel to Camp Nou to face Barcelona in their next Champions League match.
In other group B match, Tottenham Hotspur hosted FC Barcelona at Wembley Stadium. The game got off to a fast start with a mistake from Hugo Lloris led to a wide open net for Phillipe Coutinho in the second minute. Barcelona went up 2-0 just before the half hour match with an Ivan Rakitic golazo off a volley from Coutinho outside of the box.
Argentinians began to take the spotlight in the second half as Erik Lamela assisted a Harry Kane goal to get back within a goal. Minutes later, Lionel Messi opened his scoring account off of a Jordi Alba assist and Luis Suarez dummy to put Barcelona up 3-1. Lamela put in left footed rocket in the back of the net in the 66th minute to put the score 2-3 and Messi sealed the game in the 90th minute with his second goal from a genius dummy by Suarez off of an Alba ball.
Messi and Lamela were the two best players on the pitch, Lamela finishing the game with one goal and one assist while Messi bagged two goals and had two other shots hit the woodwork in a man of the match display that drew further plaudits in the UK.
Elmer Plasencia is a Peruvian living in Columbus, Ohio. Spending nearly the first decade of his life in Trujillo, Peru and Mar de Ajo, Argentina he fell in love with all things football. Moving to Ohio in 2000 he has become a fan of Major League Soccer, particularly Columbus Crew SC. Making a living working as a product specialist in Corporate America. Elmer spends his free time watching, playing and writing about the beautiful game. He pays special attention to River Plate, Barcelona and West Ham United.
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