The weekend was full of ups and downs for Argentinians throughout world football. After an exciting set of Champions League and Europa League matches during the week it was time to get back to league action.
On Friday, Argentina national team prospect Gerónimo Rulli was on the bench in the Basque Derby for Real Sociedad. The goalkeeper has had a bad run of form and has been dropped from the starting XI. Real Sociedad was able to beat Athletico Bilbao 3-1 at San Mames.
Saturday’s matchday action got started with Cagliari facing Bologna in Serie A.
Argentine winger Lucas Castro signed with Cagliari this past summer window after spending three seasons with Chievo Verona. Castro was the star of the show on Saturday as two of his crosses were finished off by Joao Pedro in the 22nd minute and Leonardo Pavoletti in the 68th to seal the three points for Cagliari. Castro finished the day with two assists and five key passes.
Argentine international Federico Fazio started and played all 90 minutes at center back for Roma as they beat Empoli at the Stadio Carlo Castellani. Fazio didn’t have a great day but did have four ball recoveries and two clearances as Roma held a clean sheet.
Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United narrowly escaped against a struggling Newcastle United side. Argentine defender Federico Fernandez played all 90 minutes for Newcastle who conceded three goals in the last 25 minutes of the game to lose 3-2 to Manchester United. Fernández finished the day with 50% pass completion, seven clearances and three ball recoveries.
In the last match of the day in La Liga on Saturday, Leganes and Rayo Vallecano faced off. Argentine striker Guido Carrillo scored what ended up being the deciding goal in the 14th minute. Carrillo ended the day with one goal, three shots and 13 duels won in his 86 minutes of play.
Outside of Europe, Argentinians scored goals by the bunches in MLS and Liga MX. In MLS, Saturday got started with Montreal Impact hosting Columbus Crew.
Argentinians were on the pitch for both teams in this match up. Both of the teams’ offenses tend to run through Argentinian No. 10’s. Ignacio Piatti for Montreal Impact and Federico Higuain for Columbus Crew. In defense for Columbus Crew, youngster Milton Valenzuela lined up at left back.
It was not a great day for Columbus as Montreal Impact beat them 3-0. Higuain played all 90 minutes, finishing with 84% pass completion, three key passes and three shots. Valenzuela also played all 90 minutes, finishing with 89% pass completion and four key passes. Ignacio Piatti played 76 minutes scoring the goal that sealed the game for Montreal on top of an 85% pass completion and four shots.
Atlanta United fielded three Argentinians against New England Revolution. Leandro Gonzalez Pirez started in defense, Eric Remedi in midfield and Hector Villalba in the attack. Gonzalez Pirez assisted the game’s first goal to George Bello in the 17th minute. Hector Villalba had the assist on the game sealing goal by Julian Gressel in the 52nd minute.
Gonzalez Pirez finished the game with one assist, 80% pass completion, nine clearances and eight ball recoveries. Remedi played the full 90 minutes and finished the game with four ball recoveries, three tackles and a 79% pass completion. Villalba had one assist, five shots and 79% pass completion in 67 minutes of play.
Sebastian Blanco dominated this match for Portland Timbers. The Argentinian winger created the opening goal of the game in the 34th minute for Jeremy Ebobisse and then scored two goals, one in the 70th and another in 74th that was assisted by Argentinian Diego Valeri. In the 89th minute Argentinian striker Lucas Melano scored his first goal of the season to give Portland the 4-1 victory.
Argentinian defender Emanuel Aguilera scored a goal in the 47th minute to help Club América take the 2-1 lead. In the 57th minute, midfielder Guido Rodriguez scored Club America’s third goal which ended up being the deciding goal as América won 3-2.
On Sunday, Argentine players took the field in Serie A and La Liga. The day was kicked off at San Siro with AC Milan taking on struggling side Chievo Verona.
AC Milan was in great form on the day as they got off to a fast start in the first half. Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain scored two goals assisted by Suso in the 27th and 34th minute. Higuain is off to a strong start this season with four goals in five matches. The 30-year-old finished the match with two key passes, a 93% pass success and four shots on top of his two goals.
In the midfield for Milan, Lucas Biglia commanded the pace with 90% pass success, ten ball recoveries and five tackles on the day.
Espanyol was the aggressor in this match doubling Villareal’s amount of shots on target on the day. Espanyol took control early with a seventh minute goal and despite a goal from Villareal just before half they were able to close it out with two second half goals to win 3-1.
Argentinian midfielder Ramiro Funes Mori was in the starting XI for Villareal and did not have a great day, Funes Mori was given a yellow card in the second half but did have nine ball recoveries and an 87% pass success. On the other side for Espanyol, Pablo Piatti came on in the 73rd minute and scored the third goal for Espanyol that sealed the match.
In the last match of the weekend in Serie A, Inter Milan traveled to Stadio Paolo Mazza to face SPAL. Mauro Icardi was the star of the show scoring a brace for Inter to give them the three points. Lautaro Martinez came onto the pitch as a second half sub and played 13 minutes.
Both teams in this matchup were coming off of big results midweek in the Champions League. Valencia coming off a draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford and Barcelona coming off a big win at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur.
Almost as soon as the ball kicked off the ball was in the back of the net off of a corner kick from Valencia, Argentinian defender Ezequiel Garay finished it off to put Valencia up 1-0 in the 2nd minute. Lionel Messi saved the day for Barcelona scoring in the 23rd minute to tie it up. Even though Barcelona dominated possession they were not able to turn that into offensive production and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
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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