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4 vs 1
Played
September 7, 2010 9:00 PM BST
Estadio Monumental (Buenos Aires)
 
10′ Messi
 
 
 
Top of the Match
Messi
Messi
Argentina
Messi
Messi
Argentina
Flop of the Match
Pepe Reina
Pepe Reina
Spain
Pepe Reina
Pepe Reina
Spain

Argentina 4-1 Spain: Albicelestes In Dreamland After Thrashing The World Champions

Goals from Tevez, Higuain, Messi and Aguero mark the perfect home debut for home coach Sergio Batista...

By Daniel Edwards

Lione Messi and Javier Mascherano ,Argentina(Getty Images)
Argentina gave home fans in Buenos Aires a glimpse of what could have been in South Africa, with an accomplished 4-1 victory over World Champions Spain. The holy attacking trinity of Messi, Tevez and Higuain all provided goals for interim coach Sergio Batista's home debut with the 'Seleccion', while Fernando Llorente was the only scorer for an under-par Spain side.

In one of the most anticipated games on Argentine soil in recent years it was Argentina who came storming out of the blocks, with a perfectly balanced midfield trident of Esteban Cambiasso, Ever Banega and Javier Mascherano dominating their celebrated Roja counterparts. After just five minutes Carlos Tevez should have opened the scoring, but after beating a sloppy offside trap perfectly the Manchester City striker wasted a one on one by dragging wide.

Carlitos didn’t have to dwell on the mistake for long however, as the Albiceleste who opened the scoring just five minutes later. Finally resembling the Messi of Barcelona against so many of his teammates, Lionel Messi capped a virtuoso 78 metre sprint up field by chipping the ball over Jose Reina, sending the Monumental into raptures. An unfamiliar Spain defence was torn apart again just moments later, this time Higuain running onto a perfect Tevez pass and finishing from out wide.

The second seemed to wake Spain up a moment, although they struggled to penetrate an Argentine backline that with Gabi Milito and Javier Zanetti looked unrecognisable from the shambles which collapsed against Germany in the World Cup. David Villa went closest for la Roja with a great long range effort which crashed against the angle of Sergio Romero’s left post.

If the Buenos Aires crowd were in dreamland before however there was even better to come in the first period. Reina lost his footing on receiving a backpass and the ball rolled gently past him; shortly followed by a rampaging Carlos Tevez who made amends for his first mistake by steaming in and hooking the ball into the net.

After humiliation in the first period a reshuffled Spain time came out with much more direction and purpose after half time, helped by target man Fernando Llorente holding the ball up well. The rangy striker had a wonderful chance early on, but failed to hit the target with a free header.

Argentina’s objectives in the game correspondingly changed from domination to containment, and the much-maligned defence held together admirably with Spain’s best chances coming from outside the box. Romero pulled off an astonishing save to tip Cazorla’s effort onto the bar, doing the same with Pedro just minutes later.

The Albiceleste still looked devastating going forward however; Higuain came within a whisker of a second after some of the best approach play of the game, while Messi’s Maradonaesque carving up of the Spain defence would have been a staple of Argentine highlight reels for years to come if the pass to Angel di Maria hadn’t been slightly delayed.

Towards the end the previously watertight Argentina defence began to open up slightly, and it allowed Spain to swoop in for a consolation. Good work from Pedro on the left played in Llorente, and the Athletic striker finally beat Romero with a good shot on the turn.

Argentina weren’t done however, and the Seleccion ensured that home fans would leave ecstatic with another gorgeous team goal. Substitutes Sergio Aguero and Andres D’Alessandro combined perfectly to open up the Roja backline, culminating in ‘El Kun’ having the freest of free headers and beating Victor Valdes. A 4-1 drubbing of the world champions was better than anyone expected from a renewed and revitalised Argentina side, and surely means that Batista will be entrusted with the tecnico position until at least the Copa America next year.

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Argentina

22
Sergio Romero
Goalkeeper
3.50
20
G. Heinze
Defender
3.00
15
Gabriel Milito
Defender
12′
3.00
26
3.00
4
Javier Zanetti
Defender
3.50
14
Javier Mascherano
Midfielder
3.50
19
Esteban Cambiasso
Midfielder
19′
3.50
-
Ever Banega
Midfielder
3.50
10
Carlos Tévez
Striker
34′ 60′
4.00
10
Messi
Striker
10′ 88′
4.00
9
3.50

Spain

2.00
25
Pepe Reina
Goalkeeper
47′
2.00
17
Arbeloa
Defender
21′
2.50
24
2.00
3
Piqué
Defender
2.50
17
Monreal
Defender
71′
3.00
14
Xabi Alonso
Midfielder
71′
2.50
16
Busquets
Midfielder
3.00
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
23′ 57′
2.00
8
2.50
21
David Silva
Midfielder
47′
3.00
9

Substitutes

21
0.00
-
0.00
18
Mario Bolatti
Midfielder
0.00
22
0.00
21
0.00
16
3.00
-
0.00
25
0.00
22
3.00

Substitutes

0.00
1
Iker Casillas
Goalkeeper
0.00
33
3.00
1
3.00
19
Santi Cazorla
Midfielder
47′
3.00
7
Pedro
Striker
71′
0.00
11
0.00
4
3.00
6
Xavi
Midfielder
57′
3.00
15
3.00
14

Coach/Manager

-
0.00

Coach/Manager

 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
A. Pulido A. Pulido
Striker
Tigres
4 0
Chris Wondolowski Chris Wondolowski
Striker
San Jose Earthquakes
3 0
Neymar Neymar
Striker
Barcelona
3 0
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
2 0
Ivica Olic Ivica Olic
Striker
Wolfsburg
2 0