Inter missed out on the opportunity to climb above Napoli into second after a draw with Roma on Sunday evening but that didn’t stop captain Mauro Icardi notching his eighth Serie A goal of the season.
Roma’s Cengiz Under had already cancelled out Keita Balde’s opener when Icardi rose to head in Marcelo Brozovic’s 66th minute corner. However, unable to cling on for the points, Aleksander Kolorov’s penalty ensured a draw in the Stadio Olimpico.
Argentina’s number nine now has eight goals in nine league starts this season and with his goal in Rome, Icardi became the first Inter player to score in four consecutive Serie A away games since compatriot Diego Milito in 2010.
And Icardi wasn’t the only Argentinian on target in Italy as Cristian Ansaldi rifled in an important equaliser for Torino en route to a 2-1 win over ten-man Genoa.
Having gone behind to the ten men, Ansaldi took a touch and volleyed in from the edge of the box to bring Torino level and an Andrea Belotti penalty minutes later proved decisive.
In LaLiga, Guido Carrillo continued to put his Southampton nightmare behind him with another couple of goals in Leganes’ victory over Valladolid.
The home side had just pulled a goal back shortly after half time to cut Leganes’ lead to one but hope of a comeback was soon extinguished as Carrillo punished a goalkeeping error to slide in number three. And while the 27-year-old’s first was an opportunistic tap-in, Carrillo’s second was a characteristic towering header.
Five goals in eleven starts for a side struggling above the relegation zone in LaLiga not a bad return for a striker who many in the Premier League thought was a hopeless waste of money.
Ajax were celebrating a return to the Champions League last 16 last week and on Sunday the Dutch giants romped to a 5-1 win over Den Haag to close to within two points of PSV at the top of the Eredivisie.
Ajax were already one-up when the impressive Nicolás Tagliafico produced a close range diving header to double the lead 20 minutes. The former Independiente captain and current Argentina left-back has already been attracting interest across Europe after only a short period with Ajax and it is clear to see why.
The slightly forgotten Ezequiel Ponce was on target for AEK in a victory over Xanthi in Greece as his current side climbed to fourth in the table.
The 21-year-old tapped in from close range to break the deadlock and his tally of six goals in ten starts this season suggests the talent that many had witnessed in the Newell’s Old Boys youngster is still there.
Meanwhile in México, the LigaMX season drew closer to its dramatic end as the last eight became the final four. Former Racing Club defender Nicolás Sánchez headed Monterrey in front away to Santos Laguna in their second leg and fresh from his stunning bicycle kick in midweek, Rogelio Funes Mori slid in a second on the night to secure a 3-0 aggregate win.
Monterrey will play Cruz Azul in the semi final while the other all-Mexico City semi will pit Club América against Pumas.
Pumas had lost 2-1 to Tigres in the first leg and so needed a result back at the Estadio Olímpico Universitario but only leading 2-1 in stoppage time, the tie was heading to extra-time until veteran striker Matías Alustiza cooly tucked away a decisive winner.
That third goal made it 4-3 on aggregate and means Pumas face off against local rivals América for a place in the Apertura final.
That, after Club América overcame Toluca 5-4 on aggregate at the Estadio Azteca. A 2-2 draw in the first leg meant the tie was still wide open but América going into a three-goal lead all but ended any hopes for Toluca.
However, a stunning free-kick by former River Plate and América midfielder Rubens Sambueza pulled a goal back for Toluca and when Enrique Triverio’s flick created a second, the visitors set up a nervy ending.
And finally in the Mexican second division the Apertura reached its conclusion but it was to end in frustration for Diego Maradona.
The Argentina legend has overseen a dramatic turnaround in fortune for Dorados de Sinaloa but after being sent off during his side’s 1-0 first leg win, Maradona could only watch on from the stands as Atlético San Luis came from behind to seal the title and promotion to the top flight.
Dorados took a 2-0 aggregate lead in the second leg but couldn’t prevent the home side coming back to snatch victory. Never one to shy away from controversy, Maradona was filmed passing through a corridor at the stadium and appeared to throw a punch at San Luis supporters.
After missing out on promotion it remains to be seen what the future holds for Diego.
— Guillermo Cabrera (@MemoCS_) December 3, 2018