Friday, 24 February 2012

Ex-pat of the week #12

This week's noteworthy performances do not include Ever Banega, who is out for the season after breaking his tibia and fibula by running himself over with his own car.

Lionel Messi. You might not have heard of this lad, but he's got a bit of promise, underlined by a trifling four out of Barcelona's five against Valencia at the weekend. Special mention too for Pablo Piatti, whose early goal for Los Che seemed to anger La Pulga Atomica and spur him to these heights.
Denis Stracqualursi. Relatively unheralded on signing for Everton, it has taken a while for the ex-Gimnasia and Tigre striker to settle in England and his opportunity to start games has come about by injuries, transfers and, consequently, necessity. But he's making the most of his opportunity and helped send Everton through to a cup quarter-final a week after bagging one in a league win over Chelsea.
Ezequiel Lavezzi/Edinson Cavani. A joint nomination for the Napoli tyros. Brilliant against Fiorentina last Friday night and equally good against Chelsea in midweek. Six goals between them too, shared equally, and a general air of brilliance that surprised only people who hadn't been paying attention. And Ray Wilkins.
Marcelo Toscana. Bagged the solitary goal for Vitoria Guimaraes to inflict Benfica's first defeat of the season and open up the Portuguese championship once again.
Matias Fernández. The Chilean was fantastic as Sporting CP overcame Legia Warszawa in the Europa League. They were in the box seat after a 2-2 draw in Poland, but toughed it out at the Alvalade, Fernandez driving them forward from midfield and chiming in with a late winner.

And the winner is... Ezequinson Lavani. Or Ediqiuel Cavezzi. Whichever. Individually they were both quite fabulous, but together they formed a dynamic thrust - ooerr missus - that was simply unmatched. Fiorentina and Chelsea couldn't live with it. On this week's form, we doubt anyone else could either.

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