The world champs needed only one goal from the center back to secure all three points, and he did so by vaulting over two opponents.
Much talk about Lionel Messi’s record versus Brazil preceded the game. Could this be the game where he finally finds his big moment? He hadn’t scored in a meaningful match against his nation’s fiercest adversary, and Argentina is playing at the storied Maracana, the scene of both his greatest and worst moments.
Messi ultimately played the role of peacemaker, leading his side off the field following some unpleasant pregame scenes. After a half-hour delay, the game started, but Messi wasn’t going to be the winner. No, it was someone a little less likely this time.
Argentina’s 1-0 victory, which was secured by Nicolas Otamendi’s lone goal, retains them atop the World Cup qualifying table. More significantly, though, it made things worse for Brazil, who have now lost three straight—a terrible run of defeats for the Selecao.Argentina’s victory wasn’t particularly pretty because there was no rhythm to the game in the beginning because both teams were obviously agitated by the before activities.
But as everything calmed down, Argentina emerged victorious, leaving Brazil with all three points and reminding everyone that the Albiceleste, not Brazil, is now CONMEBOL’s ultimate boss.Goalie and Defense
Emiliano Martinez: 7 out of 10.
made a key save early in the second half when Gabriel Martinelli was found after Gabriel Jesus got past. Argentina soon after scored.
Acuna Marcos (7/10):
The Sevilla player, who played a variety of positions on the left side, had a strong game.
Otamendi Nicolas (8/10):
Huge goal from the seasoned defender, who is undoubtedly gaining critics as he gets older. When he soared above two defenders to hammer home the winning goal with his header, he showed none of it.
Romero Cristian (8/10):
A true monster at the rear. Both the defense and the passing were excellent, with Romero coming in for multiple strong tackles to hold Brazil at bay.
Molina Nahuel (6/10):
Not as significant as Acuna, who appeared to have little effect over the outcome of the match.Middle of the field
7/10 for Giovani Lo Celso:
The midfielder, who was starting for the first time since the World Cup, gave Otamendi’s goal a fantastic moment from a corner, capping an otherwise lackluster display.
Paul Rodrigo (7/10):
held his composure to play a strong shift in the middle of the field despite being fouled frequently and getting bloodied early.
7/10 for Enzo Fernandez:
almost every pass was completed, and at several times the Chelsea player truly helped Argentina control the game. exhibited strong defensive play, winning two tackles and six duels.
Mac Allister, Alexis (8/10):
Mac Allister persevered and helped Argentina win the game—possibly the only player who endured a worse battering than De Paul. When Argentina most needed him in the second half, he really picked up his game.Assault
Lionel Messi: (Score: 6)
Never seemed to be in shape. appeared to have suffered a muscle injury early in the game and never really had an impact again.
Alvarez Julian (5/10):
The Manchester City player had just eighteen touches and made zero shots in what turned out to be an incredibly quiet game.Subs & Supervisor
Tagliafico Nicolas (6/10):
took Acuna’s place in the second half, although he wasn’t quite as good.
Nico Gonzalez (grade of 10):
brought on in the 70th to provide some new energy and a channel for attack, but he made no significant progress with the ball.
Leandro Paredes (score of six):
In search of some life in the midfield, Scaloni looked to Paredes, who gave a faltering group a little bite.
Di Maria Angel (N/A):
given that Argentina maintained their lead for about fifteen minutes.
N/A Lautaro Martinez:
In the same boat as Di Maria and, similar to Alvarez, saw little action in his little field experience.
Scaloni Lionel (7/10):
The goal was achieved! Sure, it wasn’t nice, but Scaloni calmed his team down following a difficult defeat to Uruguay the previous game. Brazil may not be playing well, but leaving the Maracana with three points is still a commendable accomplishment, and Scaloni led his team to achieve this goal admirably.