Match Highlights: Mauro ICARDI double wins it for Inter, GARAY scores


Mauro ICARDI scored twice on Sunday and Ezequiel GARAY scored for Valencia.

Mauro ICARDI scored both goals for Inter as they came back from being a goal down to win 2-1 against Pescara. The first goal was a header off an Ever BANEGA cross to tie things up. The second was also from the area but a calm finish from close range. Here’s what ICARDI had to say regarding the win:

“It’s not down to my goals, it’s down to the whole team. Everyone has a role to play out there. Scoring goals is part of my job and I always try my best. We fought right until the end, because we always want to win. We worked really well as a team today. We created a lot of chances, but we couldn’t hit the back of the net. I’m happy to have scored two goals.”

“When you try to really play football, you might be hurt on the counter attack. In the first half, we spent the whole 45 minutes in their half of the pitch, and we tried to do the same in the second half.”

“We’re doing what the boss tells us. We played with great intensity today, pressing high and I think all this work was what earned us the win.”

About who he dedicates the win to:
“To my family and all those who always support me.”

About playing Juventus next week:
“They’ve won the last few league titles. They’ve made reinforcements, but so have we. We’ll see what happens. We’ll go into the game to win, as we always do.”

Ezequiel GARAY scored on his debut for Valencia in their 3-2 loss to Real Betis. With the score at 2-1 for Betis, GARAY pounced off a free ball in the area and score to tie it up. Valencia were playing with 10 men after team captain Enzo PEREZ was given a second yellow card. Here’s what PEREZ had to say about getting sent off:

“I have said I am sorry to the coaching staff and my teammates. To be captain it means that you have more responsibility and you need to give an example which I did not do today. I let down the team. Whenever I make a mistake I will come out and admit it. We didn’t deliver today and football is like that. There is nothing else that we can do but keep pushing forward and looking for the three points now away from home.”

Mauro ICARDI’s goals:

Ezequiel GARAY’s goal:


    • A pereyra-masch-vazquez midfield wouldn’t be half bad but I think it’s abit early for both soto and calleri. Calleri isn’t the lost cause that everyone is making him out to be; true he was god awful in the olympics but the kid was amazing in copa lib (under the tutelage of Bauza no less!) and I really think he has potential, but for now he’s not even in the same stratosphere as Icardi and Allario.
      As for Soto, well he wasn’t bad in the olympics but Tagliafico and Ansaldi are way ahead of him in the pecking order IMO.

  1. [Long long post]

    It has been quite a long time haven’t posted something in the group, so thought to share few points with you guys…


    He got mixed review after first 2 matches but for me he had done good job if not great.

    – Nothing to say about his team selection as he just inherited team from Tata for his first competitive match.
    – I will not give him much credit after Uruguay match as we played Tata kind of game against Uruguay. We were better side with 11 Vs 11 and after Dybala’s red card we decided to sit back and with 4 defenders + mascherano and Bigila we are always rock solid in defense. Successfully defended the lead. Only positive for me was to start Dybala in the starting XI.
    – Against Venezuela, I was bit disappointed to see Mascherano-Bigila-Banega in the midfield. Tata tried his trio several times but they always failed miserably still starting them together was his first mistake.
    – Even though Venezuela was dominating side in the first half and early 2nd half surprised to see that Bauza waited till 67th minutes to make his first change.
    – But still if it is Tata we would have dropped all the points there but Bauza showed the urgency and that paid off. Replacing Bigila and Lamela with Correa and Alario actually changed the game.

    Now challenge comes in October and expected to see something new from Bauza. Overall 3.5/5 from me after first 2 matches.


    Following Argentina football over the last 2 and half decades and I have to say that right now we have the best Center backs over the last 25 years. Otamendi, Mori, Musacchio all are very good, now Bauza should call Garay in place of Demi and complete the list. They are easily our best 4 CBs.

    CB: Otamendi, Mori, Musacchio, Garay.

    But full backs are a huge concern for us. Must need to find a Left back as Rojo or Mas is not the answer. Where is Orban? Jonathan Silva? Tagliafico is highly rated in Mundo and from youtube clips he looked promising. Won’t mind giving him a chance BUT Rojo must be left out of the squad. As a right back Zabala getting older and slower and Marcado is not world class. God knows why every coach ignoring Gino Peruzzi? Young, fast, attack minded, good in defending what else you want? For now Ansaldi would be better option than any of our current full backs.

    IN: Ansaldi, Peruzzi (and Tagliafico)
    OUT: Rojo, Mas
    50-50: Zabaleta, Marcado


    In my opinion our weakest link. In WCQs so far we scored 9 goals in 8 matches and we are blaming our strikers for not scoring but in reality our midfield is the reason behind that. Our midfield actually offers nothing in attack. It’s almost 3 years we have Mascherano-Bigila in the midfield (who are no Xavi-Iniesta still) and this due actually killing the fluidity of our attack. Just Fed-up to see them together in the midfield for years after years. Our midfield is very static and offers nothing in attack. A midfield with Mascherano-Banega-Agusto was creating magic in Copa (thanks to Bigila’s injury) but then again after Agusto’s injury Bigila retained his place in Copa final we remain the same old, #Messi-to-create-magic team.

    Bigila is important for the team when we are defending (Uruguay match for example) but no way have I wanted to see Bigila in the starting XI. Mascherano + Banega would be the best choice for our midfield (at the moment even though Banega is inconsistent but he is our best passer after Messi). Also Agusto, Enzo, Lanzini, Pardes should be taken into consideration.

    Every top teams (Club and NT) have some of the finest midfielders but we are missing someone for years in the center of the field. But I have high hopes that Messi-Dybala together can fill the no 10 position along with their usual contribution in attack, also can share the load, but someone we need who can carry the ball quickly from defense. In 4-2-3-1 formation (might he Bauza’s first choice formation) we should play with Mascherano – Banega/Agusto behind Messi-Dybala-Di Maria. If Pardes can grow in Roma, he can partner Mascherano in the middle. Bigila or Kranevitter can take Mascherano’s place to give Mascherano some rest. Even though Mascherano still a beast but at times I feel that he past his best and we must thinking about his replacement.

    So in midfield our options should be..

    Mascherano/Bigila/ Kranevitter – Banega/Agusto/Enzo.


    Messi, Dybala, Di Maria should be always there but Bauza must need to show Di Maria that his place is not for granted. He should give some start to Gaitan (and probably Lanzini) to make his life complicated. No doubt Di Maria is a very good player but he was our worst player in September. He must need to fight for his place.

    For no # 9 probably the most complicated choice for Bauza. Pratto did quite well considering the lack of service provided to him BUT off the ball movement is very important for a no 9. Pratto is very static player who just wait for his chance rather Alario impressed me more with the limited chance he got, especially his right midfielder role behind Messi against Uruguay.

    People might find it difficult to accept but Higuain is still our best no # 9. Yes he missed 3 chances in 3 finals (even though CA 2015 chance was really tough), no way we can rely on him and tagged as Choker. But rather putting all the blame on him question remains, how many chance we created for Higuain? NOTHING, all those chances came out of nothing. Who knows, he might have scored from the 2nd chance but we created big ZERO. Having said that I am not defending Higuain but he should retain a place. Then next choice is off course Kun. He too got enough chances and offered very little for us, still he is one of the finest striker of the game. Now I am curious to see his development under Pep. As 3rd choice Icardi is simply the missing link of the team and Bauza must need to call him. I don’t what was/is his personal problem all about BUT I am sure if he keeps performing like yesterday he will lead our line soon.

    So 2nd strikers: Messi, Dybala, Di Maria, Gaitan, Correa.
    No 9: Kun, Higuain, Icardi.


    Romero will remain our no # 1 but want to see Ruli in the team with jersey no # 13. Ruli is better than Guzman or Andujar or even Romero. Romero remains a bench warmer for his club forever for some reason. This is fact that he is just an average goal keeper. Romero saved us many occasion but he conceded less because of our defense also (not that he did spectacular always). How many shots opponents always takes against us per match? 2/3 at max. Trust me if opponents had 5/6 shots on target he will concede at least 2. He produce world class saves thanks to his very good reflexes but his game reading is very poor, needless to say about his ‘world class’ distribution. Even though we consider Romero as Saint fact remains that he is nothing but a mediocre goal keeper whereas Ruli can become world class if given proper chance.


    3-5-2 -> with the current set of players (without proper wing back) would be an interesting formation.

    Otamandi – Garay –Mori/Musacchio
    Gaitan – – Messi – Mascherano – – Banega – – Di Maria
    Dybala – Higuain/Kun/Icardi

    4-2-3-1 -> with proper wingbacks like Ansaldi or Peruzzi

    Peruzzi/Zaba – Otamandi – Mori/Garay – Ansaldi
    Mascherano – Banega/Agusto
    Messi – Dybala – Di Maria


    From now on he should be a regular starter for NT, no way should Bauza drop him. He is already the main force behind such a big team like Juventus and can easily do the same for Argentina. That’s will reduce much needed pressure from Messi. I was watching Juventus match on Saturday and then Barcelona match, I saw some visible difference between Dybala and Neymar. Despite Neymar is already an established star, might be more skillful and better in dribbling and in one on one BUT Dybala’s game reading is already on par with the game’s best. Dybala’s game was so simple, unselfish, no flashy at all, simple passes to create space, no unnecessary dribbling but can dribble past player whenever required with an ease AND was behind all the 3 goals Juventus scored. Simple, effective but joy to watch. If proper chance given he will established himself in no time. You can already build a team around him. He is future, hope he won’t disappoint like Kun/Higuain/Pastore or Di maria.

  2. the reason our stat studded strike force has been scoring no goals is due to our weak and very defensive minded midfield… banega is useless.. pastore is always injured .. dimaira is either injured or out of form… biglia is only good while defending a lead… augusto is a good defensive mid.. i wish this team had veron ..o riquelme.. we cant have messi assisting and scoring…

  3. I am more than sure that we’ll see Icardi with the NT very soon. If not the next round then maybe the following ones. IMO Icardi has a better chance of going to Russia than Pratto and Alario. His quality and performance will force Bauza to call him up. The attacking department is well equipped going forward, there is good competition now. My concern is the midfield and fullback situation. I’m watching this space. We need Agusto and Enzo somewhere in the mix. Other problem is that the team is on the offense fullbacks are too far from play although against Uruguay it was better maybe it was because of experienced Zaba and natural LB Mas were playing, I still have to review that first half. Which brings my attention to Tagliafico. This the best LB we might have now. Haven’t seen Orban or Santi Garcia in a while. My wish is to have Tagliafico playing in Brazil in 2018. Yes, that’s best league for fullbacks. Sorin mastered that position at Cruzeiro before his 2nd spell in Europe. I think Tagliafico can become a world class LB if spends time in Brazil.

  4. Icardi is needed for WC 2018 because Aguero Higuain turn 30’s in 2018 i think bauza do transition in Argentina squad but will not make many changes in next call up

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