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Miguel Almiron is more than a match for Lionel Messi in personal duel – Great performance

2 weeks ago
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The match ended 1-1 in Buenos Aires but it was a personal victory for Miguel Almiron against Lionel Messi.

The Newcastle United star at his very best as his exceptional workrate saw him productive at both ends of the pitch.

An excellent direct run into the box saw Miguel Almiron fouled after 21 minutes and Romero score the penalty to put Paraguay 1-0 up. Lucas Martinez Quarta adjudged to have brought down Almiron.

Argentina then equalised on 41 minutes when Nicolas Gonzalez scored with a header from a corner.

For Miguel Almiron though, it was a night when as well as getting forward regularly, he was also given the job of constantly doubling up on the threat of Lionel Messi. The Newcastle man doing much to nullify the threat of Argentina’s star player.

Miguel Almiron finally subbed in the second minute of added time after an exhausting performance to help Paraguay to a 1-1 draw.

One of the few times when Lionel Messi did make a real impact, he saw a potentially winning goal ruled out bizarrely by VAR.

Fully 27 seconds had passed between Gonzalez allegedly fouling Romero and Lionel Messi scoring to make it 2-1, only for VAR to go back and help rule that the foul should be given, despite numerous passes in between the two events.

The result means both South American sides are unbeaten after three games in their quest to reach the World Cup finals in Qatar, Argentina top with seven points and Paraguay currently fourth with five points.

The top four in the 10 team South American qualifying section automatically make the finals, the fifth placed into a play-off.

Go direct to 1.59 in the highlights below to see Miguel Almiron’s run to win the penalty.

Paraguay take on bottom club Bolivia (0 points after 3 games) at home on Tuesday but with the match not finishing until the early hours of Wednesday in UK time, it is very unlikely Miguel Almiron will be considered as a starter for Chelsea at home on Saturday 21 November (12.30pm kick-off).

Newcastle United internationals:

Wednesday 11 November

Belgium 2 Switzerland 1

A frustrating night for Fabian Schar as Switzerland took a first-half lead through Mehmedi and were the better team on the night, only to lose this friendly due to two second-half goals from Crystal Palace’s on-loan from Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi, Belgium’s only two shots on target all night.

Denmark 2 Sweden 0

Emil Krafth and the other English based players weren’t involved due to quarantine restrictions on travellers from Denmark arriving in UK.

Thursday 12 November

Serbia 1 Scotland 1 – Scotland win 5-4 on penalties

Ryan Fraser watching on from home with a hamstring injury, celebrating as Scotland qualify for finals of 2020 Euros to be played in summer 2021.

The first major tournament for them since the 1998 World Cup in France.

Northern Ireland 1 Slovakia 2 (AET)

A night of drama in Belfast.

Jamal Lewis playing the full 120 minutes but ending on the losing side, whilst the injured Martin Dubravka celebrated from home (watch him dancing with his dog HERE), Slovakia having qualified for the Euro 2020 finals next summer.

Argentina 1 Paraguay 1

This World Cup qualifier saw Miguel Almiron in excellent form at both ends of the pitch.

The NUFC man winning the penalty that gave Paraguay the lead, as well as doubling up on Lionel Messi throughout the 90 minutes and helping to largely nullify his threat. Almiron finally subbed in the second minute of added time after an exhausting performance.

England 3 Republic of Ireland 0

An easy win for England who totally dominated, Jeff Hendrick playing the full 90 minutes.

Saturday 14 November

Sweden v Croatia (Emil Krafth) Nations League

Switzerland v Spain (Fabian Schar) Nations League (***Schar suspended for this game after sending off against Germany in same competition)

Sunday 15 November

Austria v Northern Ireland (Jamal Lewis) Nations League

Wales v Republic of Ireland (Jeff Hendrick) Nations League

Tuesday 17 November

France v Sweden (Emil Krafth) Nations League

Switzerland v Ukraine (Fabian Schar) Nations League

Paraguay v Bolivia (Miguel Almiron) World Cup qualifier (Time differences mean match doesn’t finish until into the early hours of Wednesday in terms of UK time)

Wednesday 18 November

Northern Ireland v Romania (Jamal Lewis) Nations League

Republic of Ireland v Bulgaria (Jeff Hendrick) Nations League

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