Argentina win the Río de la Plata derby to top Group A

fbl-2021-copa-america-arg-uru-3

In the their second game of Group A Argentina picked up 3 vital points against their old rivals Uruguay  thanks to a Guido Rodríguez first half header.

As with their previous game, Argentina came out looking to impose themselves from the start. The high pressure was key for Lionel Scaloni’s side, who looked to unsettle their opponents as they worked to progress the ball from the back.

As is almost always the case, all of Argentina’s best moments involved the great Lionel Messi. The 10 drifted from the right to cut inside and fire a shot well saved by Uruguayan keeper Fernando Muslera.

On 8 minutes Messi whipped in a cross for Nicolás Otamendi who was denied by Muslera who was having a busy but effective start to the game.

Despite a good start from Muslera, just a couple of minutes later Argentina made the breakthrough. A bit of Messi magic from the left created a chance for Guido Rodríguez who headed his side into the lead.

In the second half Argentina reduced the intensity of their press and set up to protect their lead, allowed Uruguay to more effectively retain possession in advanced areas.

Tabárez, que dirigió su 31° partido en CONMEBOL Copa América e incursiona en su 7° trofeo continental,  ensayó algunos cambios para intentar darle más dinámica de 3/4 en adelante a su equipo, como los ingresos de Matías Vecino y Brian Ocampo, pero a la Celeste le costó y mucho llevar peligro al área rival.

Tabárez, who was managing his 31st match at the CONMEBOL Copa América and his 7th continental competition, brought on Matías Vecino and Brian Ocampo to try to add an attacking threat but they found it very difficult to convert possession into chances.

Despite defending for a prolonged spell at the end of the game, Argentina were rarely threatened and were able to see out the result comfortably.

With this important win Argentina move on to 4 points to sit joint top with Chile in Group A. Paraguay and Uruguay both have a game in hand and 3 points already secured while Bolivia have no points from 2 games.

NUMBERS FROM THE GAME

• Argentina are now undefeated in 5 games against Uruguay in the CONMEBOL Copa América (4 wins, 1 draw). Uruguay’s last win was 2-0 in the 1989 edition.

• Argentina have kept a clean sheet against Uruguay in 4 of their last 5 games (3 wins, 2 draws). Uruguay have not scored in 2 consecutive games against Argentina since qualifiers in 2005 (1-0 win to Argentina) and October 2008 (2-1 win for Argentina).

• This is the first defeat in 6 CONMEBOL Copa América games for Uruguay (3 wins, 2 draws). Uruguay have not conceded more than one goal in a game in the Copa America against a South American side since July 2007 (2-2 with Brazil).

• Rodrigo de Paul attempted 64 passes against Uruguay, of which 58 were successful (90.6%). This is the most passes attempted and completed by an Argentine player so far in the current CONMEBOL Copa América. In addition, De Paul is the player with the third highest average passes per game among those who have played 10 games or more in the Scaloni era with 44.8. Otamendi (54.7) and Paredes (57.9) are the 2 who have completed more than De Paul.

• Messi added his third assist in 18 games playing under Lionel Scaloni. This puts him joint third in terms of assists alongside Marcos Acuña (3 in 19). Paulo Dybala is second (4 in 16) and Gio Lo Celso is top (5 in 21).