No less than seven Argentine players found the back of the net in Europe this past weekend.

Chicharito certainly cannot be blamed for Manchester United's embarrassing 6-1 defeat to arch-rival Manchester City at Old Trafford.

And yet another racial abuse controversy hit the headlines again.


Javier Hernández, Sergio Aguero

You certainly can't blame Chicharito for Manchester United's disastrous 6-1 home defeat to Manchester City in the city's derby. By the time the Mexican international striker entered the game for Nani in the 66th minute, ManU was well on its way to one of its worst defeats at Old Trafford.

Hernández set up Darren Fletcher's goal in the 81st minute as the former scored off a curling shot into the top corner after a one-two with Hernández. City enjoys a five-point bulge over United in the English Premier League.

Hernández, incidentally, was given a 5 by the Manchester Evening News for his 24-minute stint.

Argentine Sergio Aguero managed to score a goal for City as Italian Mario Batotelli fired home three goals in the historic win.

Bryan Ruiz

Ruiz, the Costa Rican international, finally scored his first goal for Fulham since his transfer-window deadline day move from Belgium in its 3-1 loss to Everton. Ruiz scored on a superb chip off a pass from U.S. international Clint Dempsey, the equalizer in the 67th minute.

“It was good for Bryan Ruiz to open his account with his first goal,” Dempsey was quoted on the Fulham website. “For me personally, I enjoy creating chances, so I was pleased to get an assist today, so I’ll take that positive, but it doesn’t make up for the defeat.

“But of course, one consolation is that the goal will be good for Ruiz. It’s good for any attacking player. It gives you that little confidence boost to get things going, so it’s good for him.”


Gonzalo Higuaín, Angel di Maria

Higuaín, an Argentine international striker, could not keep up his amazing hat-trick pace, but he did score a goal in Real Madrid's 4-0 thrashing of host Malaga. Cristiano Ronaldo took over the hat-trick responsibilities with a three-goal performance.

Fellow Argentine Angel di Maria also played a vital role in the La Liga encounter as he set up his countryman for the first goal from a difficult angle and create Ronaldo's first strikein the 24th minute.

Coupled with Barcelona's scoreless tie with Sevilla, Real leaped into first place.


Colombian Radamel Falcao García, better known as Falcao, converted a penalty kick after he was taken down in the penalty area by Ivan Ramis in Atletico Madrid's 1-1 draw with Mallorca. Falcao had an opportunity to win it for the home side, but could not find the back of the net.

Cesc Fábregas

In what is becoming a disturbing trend on a weekly basis in Europe, another player claimed he was racially abused in a match. This time it was Mali striker Frederic Kanoute of Sevilla, who claimed he had been provoked and insulted during a brawl late in the match. He did not mention any names, but Barcelona and Spanish international midfielder Cesc Fabregras' name surfaced in a media report.

“I want to categorically deny that I made any kind of racist insult toward any Sevilla player,” Fabregras said on Twitter. “I will not tolerate anyone accusing me of things that I’m not."

“If they are frustrated by a decision that has gone against them on the football pitch then there are others ways to deal with it... To cry racism is cowardly and an easy option to excuse your own poor behavior. My conscience is completely clear. I’ve done nothing wrong.”

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Later, Fábregas and Kanoute spoke by telephone. “We both apologized and agreed the matter was settled,” Fábregas tweeted.

Kanoute said on Twitter: “The issue was explained and we are both adults and aware that we were at fault yesterday. The matter is closed.”

Andres Guardado

The Mexican international midfielder continued to set up goals for Deportivo La Coruña in its 2-0 Second Division win over Cordoba. Guardado helped create the first goal in the 32nd minute. He sent a long pass that beat the offside trap to that allowed Portuguese Diogo Salomao to go one-on-one goalkeeper Alberto Garcia for a close-range goal.

Jonathan dos Santos

Dos Santos, another Mexican, scored in the 43rd minute for Barcelona B in its 4-1 Second Division romp at Alcoia. He was replaced by Planas in the 86th minute. After the hosts scored in the 10th minute, dos Santos equalized with his late first-half penalty kick, the first PK Barca B converted this season.


Guillermo Giacomazzi, Carlos Grossmuller, Mario Yepes

Two Argentine players helped Lecce to a three-goal lead against A.C. Milan before the Italian Serie A side rallied for a 4-3 win as a Colombian struck for the game-winner.

Guillermo Giacomazzi headed one a goal for 18th- and last-place Lecce in the fourth minute and Carlos Grossmuller made it 3-0 in the 37th minute. But behind substitute Kevin-Prince Boateng struck for a hat-trick to level the match before Colombian Mario Yepes headed home Antonio Casano's cross in the 83rd minute.

Erik Manuel Lamala

Argentine Erik Manuel Lamala tallied in the seventh minute to boost Roma over Palmero, 1-0.

Pablo Gonzalez

Another Argentine, Gonzalez, lifted Siena into the lead in the 10th minute of its 2-0 home victory over last-place Cesana.

Maxi Moralez

Moralez, yet another Argentine, struck not once, but twice for Atlanta in the second half in its 2-1 away triumph over Parma. Chilean Jaime Valdes sliced the lead in half in the 80th minute for Parma.


Jefferson Farfán

Peruvian Jefferson Farfán celebrated his 100th Bundesliga match by scoring late in Schalke's 1-0 victory at Bayer Leverkusen. The win propelled Bayer into third place.

Claudio Pizarro

This Peruvian scored the tying goal for Werder Bremen in a 1-1 tie with Augsburg. An unmarked Pizarro headed in his seventh goal of the season in the 68th minute. He claimed that a penalty kick should have been called after he went down in the penalty area due to Sebastian Landkamp's challenge, but his claims were ignored by game officials.

“We had a lot of chances and we didn’t use them,” Bremen general manager Klaus Allofs told reporters. “We shouldn’t have needed a penalty.”


Guillermo Ochoa

The Mexican first-choice international goalkeeper did all he could to keep Ajaccio in the French Ligue 1 match, making five saves in a 2-0 defeat to Olympique Marseille. He also denied Andrew Ayew's try for a hat-trick, stopping the OM player's penalty kick and denying his point-blank head shot late in the match. Ayew tallied in the 30th and 49th minutes. Ajaccio is in 20th- and last-place with a 1-6-4 record while 12th-place Marseille improved to 2-3-6.

United States

Alvaro Saborio, Fabian Espindola

The Costa Rican international striker scored in first-half stoppage time, running onto a long ball from Argentine Fabian Espindola to lift Real Salt Lake into a 1-0 lead with the Portland Timbers in its Major League Soccer match at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. However, RSL could not hold the lead as Futty Danso equalized for the visitors in second-half stoppage time in a 1-1 draw.

Fredy Montero, Alvaro Fernández

Montero, a Colombian, created a Chivas USA own goal and set up Sammy Ochoa's score in the 73rd minute in the Seattle Sounders FC's 3-1 win. Fernández, a Uruguayan, connected for the game-winner in the 68th minute.

Michael Lewis, who has covered international soccer for three decades, can be reached at SoccerWriter516@aol.com.

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