Netherlands vs Argentina: 4 Observations

1) Javier Mascherano is the glue that hold Los Albiceleste together.

The captain without the armband. While Messi leads by doing, Masch is the motivational voice. He could be seen pepping the team at half time and he motivated Romero during penalties. Despite taking a knock to his head, and looking suspiciously concussed in the following moments, he got stuck in the game. He dictated the midfield, provided attacking opportunities for Argentina, and dealt with Robben ever so efficiently. His pin point tackle on said Robben in the penalty are in the dying moments of extra time kept Argentina in the game. Man of the Match for me, for sure.

Javier Mascherano tackles Robben

Javier Mascherano was sensational (via @Independent)

2) Romero is not useless.

He hadn’t really been tested so far in the tournament. Before the penalty shootout many were wondering if he will be a good shot-stopper, thankfully for Argentina, he proved to be an amazing shot stopper. He was officially named Man of the Match for his performance in the shoot out.

Sergio Romero Argentina

Sergio Romero was the hero for Argentina (via @TransferSources)

3) Both sides lacked creativity

It was a very cagey, defensive game, as most had anticipated. Both sides did their homework and managed to deal with the biggest threats: Robben, Van Persie and Messi. Unfortunately, other than one or two inspired runs from Messi, these stars couldn’t find a way to show their flair. Which brings me to my next point…

4) Argentina was able to contain both Robben and Van Perise

And the Netherlands were able to contain Messi. Crucial points, Argentina’s defensive has received wide spread praise, Robben and van Persie are two of the most lethal. If they could stifle them surely they can handle Muller and Klose? Germany on the other hand would have been taking notes on how the Dutch handled Messi.

-P

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