Argentina is not all Messi. Well, maybe just a little. He was man of the match in the first 4 games this world cup. He didn’t score vs Belgium but he did win the ball and played a part in the build up to Higuain’s goal. Say what you want about the diminutive striker, he’s class, but today Argentina showed that they have strength other than “el Messiah.” After their sloppy display against Switzerland, I was impressed at how together Argentina looked, especially at the back. The defense has been poor so far, but today they put on a solid display. A much improved performance, but I have a feeling we haven’t seen the best of this Argentine side yet! Belgium was the complete opposite. They looked good in the group stages but today they were always one step behind Argentina. They played with no real purpose and didn’t provide much of a challenge for the Garay & co. at the back. Here’s my top 5 players of the match:
5) Javier Mascherano
Had a good defensive performance, but also did a good job moving the ball forward.
4) Lucas Biglia
A good midfield display, and dictated the pace of the game with his passing. Teamed up well with Mascherano
3) Ezequiel Garay
Was essential at the back, dictating the Argentina defense and making life difficult for Belgium.
2) Lionel Messi
He wasn’t as explosive as he has been, but he did create the only goal, and he’s mere presence seems to lift the entire team
1) Gonzalo Higuain
He scored the only goal in the eighth minute and later had another chance, but to Alejandro Sabella’s disappointment it hit the crossbar. He made a few good runs forward and had an overall positive game.
Argentina are in the semi-finals for the first time since 1990. They will face the winner of Netherlands vs Costa Rica.
Is there anyone you think played better than these 5?