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Friendly international

Argentina 4 - Spain 1

Argentina: Romero; Zanetti, Demichelis, Gabi Milito, Heinze; Ever Banega, Mascherano, Cambiasso; Messi (D'Alessandro 89'), Higuaín (Agüero 68'), Tévez (Di María 59'). 4-3-3.
Spain: Reina (Víctor Valdés 46'); Arbeloa, Piqué, Marchena, Monreal; Xabi Alonso (Pedro 70'), Busquets, Fábregas (Xavi 56'); Iniesta (Jesús Navas 46'), David Silva (Llorente 46'), David Villa (Cazorla 46'). 4-3-3.

1-0. 10. Messi. Ran on to Tévez return pass and lifted shot over Reina.
2-0. 13. Higuaín. Picked up Tévez pass and rounded keeper to score.
3-0. 34. Tévez. Bundled ball in to net after Reina slipped trying to clear.
3-1. 84. Llorente. Controlled Pedro's pass and poked shot past Romero.
4-1. 91. Agüero. Steered header down past Valdés from Heinze cross.

Spain fell to their heaviest defeat in ten years, losing 4-1 to a revitalized Argentina in this friendly international at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires. With Batista taking over from Maradona, Argentina looked a much better organised side. And with less than a quarter of an hour gone they were already two up, Messi showing the sort of form he produces for Barcelona to chip Reina and open the scoring, and Higuaín running through to add a second from a wide angle after Cambiasso touched on Tévez's pass. With ten minutes to go to the break it got worse for Spain, Reina slipping as he lined up to clear, allowing Tévez to run past him and force the ball in to the net. And luck was against Del Bosque's side as well, Villa hitting the woodwork twice before the interval.

Del Bosque had though used the occasion to give run out to some of his second choice players, and at half time he changed his front three. With Xavi on the park as well a few minutes later things settled down, Romero doing well to tip a long shot from Cazorla on to the bar, and Llorente getting one back after Pedro set him up with six minutes to go. Cazorla had another effort cleared off the line by a defender with the keeper beaten, but then Agüero got on the end of a long Heinze cross to head past Valdés and complete the scoring. A defeat which ended Marchena's World record run of 57 games without loss, and one which brought Spain back down to Earth after their World Cup success. But in the end it was only a friendly, and if any good news came out of this it was that nobody was injured.