5 Things We Learned From Argentina 1-0 Switzerland (after extra time)


1. Alejandro Sabella is too conservative for his own good

He may think of himself as a pragmatist, but Sabella made three like-for-like substitutions (Palacio for Lavezzi, Basanta for Rojo and Biglia for Gago). A little more adventure could have seen Argentina wrap up the win much earlier against a side lacking the quality Sabella’s side possess. 

 

2. Switzerland’s Shaqiri can’t do it all on his own

From set plays, Switzerland looked dangerous and capable of troubling the Argentines. From open play, everything went through Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland’s talented young forward. But there’s only so much running and hold up play one striker can do without support from his teammates. If  Switzerland’s current crop of talented stars are to fulfil their potential, need to be more adventurous and support their star.

 

3. Argentina are vulnerable at the back

We saw in the first half just how easily Josip Drmic waltzed through Argentina’s back line. Their defence consists of Napoli’s Federico Fernandez, Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta, Benfica’s Ezequiel Garay and La Plata’s Marcos Rojo. Yet with all that Champions League and international experience between them, they cannot seem to defend well at all. They got out of jail today, but future opponents will not be so forgiving.

 

4. Sergio Romero is a worry

Millions of Argentina fans were shouting at the their TVs “Romero, come out!” when Josip Drmic breached the Argentina defence and was closing in on Romero’s goal. But the goalkeeper was caught in nomansland and only had a lazy chip to thank for the fact Argentina were not behind. Then he had hearts in mouths early in the second half when he let the ball slips through his butterfingers. Alejandro Sabella will be expecting better from his number one in the games ahead. 

 

5. Argentina need Carlos Tevez

Higuain and Lavezzi are not pulling their weight in Brazil. Higuain needs 50 chances to score and Lavezzi, basically, isn’t that good. Both of them performed well below their usual level again and, with Aguero hopeful of being fit in time for Argentina’s quarter-final on Saturday, at least one of them could lose their place. Di Maria may have been the hero but that masked another poor display, and what they really need is a certain Senor Tevez – shame he’s ‘not good for team morale’.