Argentina 1 Switzerland 0: Player ratings as Arsenal target nets winner

Argentina 1 Switzerland 0: Player ratings as reported Arsenal target Angel Di Maria fires his side through to the last eight

By Josh Nicholls
Argentina
1
Switzerland
0

Argentina

Sergio Romero Made important first half save with his feet to keep out Xhaka’s fiercely struck shot but cut a bumbling figure after that. Hesitant in coming off his line and should have been punished by Drmic for his indecision in the first half. 6/10

Pablo Zabaleta Dependable as ever and his unselfish running down the right often provided space for others, put in inviting cross past the hour that Higuain should have done better with. 7

Marcos Rojo Got forward down the left and tried to add another dimension to Argentinian attacks. Put crosses into good areas but his side’s reluctance to get men into the box meant the deliveries came to nothing. Solid defensively as well, making important second half tackle to prevent Drmic from bearing down on goal. 7

Federico Fernandez Cumbersome at times, certainly not altogether comfortable when having to retreat towards his own goal when the Swiss broke forward. 5

Ezequiel Garay Did not have to draw too deeply into his repertoire to subdue Drmic. 6

Javier Mascherano Began to dictate the pace of the game from his defensive midfield role more as the match progressed. 6

Fernando Gago Kept the ball economically enough, but rarely found a forward pass that hurt Switzerland. 5

Angel Di Maria Fell foul of some meaty Swiss challenges early on but along with Messi was the only Argentinian forward seemingly up for the challenge of dismantling the rigid Switzerland defence. Not much he tried came off but he never gave up and deserved his goal for his attitude alone. 6

Ezequiel Lavezzi Completely anonymous in the first half. Started on the right and couldn’t get past Rodriguez, moved to the left and couldn’t get past Lichtsteiner. Livened up a little after half-time. 4

Lionel Messi Nullified reasonably effectively by Inler and Behrami in front of the back four, but expectedly looked the most likely to burst the Swiss defensive dam and eventually did laying on Di Maria for the goal. 8

Gonzalo Higuain His lack of movement up front did nothing to help breakdown the stubborn Swiss rearguard and his hold-up play left a lot to be desired. 4

Substitutes:

Rodrigo Palacio Glanced a header wide shortly after coming on when, Higuain was better-placed to nod towards goal, he did inject some additional energy into the Argentina attack. Won the ball before feeding Messi in the build up to the vital goal. 7

Jose Basanta replacement for Rojo in extra time. 5

Lucas Biglia Straight swap for Gago in extra time. 5

Switzerland

Diego Benaglio Rarely tested in the opening hour, but got his body behind Rojo’s cross-cum-shot and then Messi’s low effort at the near post with 13 minutes to go. 7

Stephan Lichtsteiner Had to exercise caution in his performance and not able to make the number of darting runs forward he would have liked. Won his defensive battles against Di Maria and then Lavezzi down the right. 7

Ricardo Rodriguez Coped collectedly with Lavezzi and Di Maria, his first half flick over the head of Lavezzi in the first half was symptomatic of his ice-cool temperament. 8

Johan Djourou Dedicated in defence making some vital blocks and tackles, ungainly in possession when he attempted to play out from the back. 7

Fabian Schaer Played alongside Djourou with unwavering focus, repelling many an Argentine ball into the penalty area. 7

Gokhan Inler The skipper played authoritatively throughout and seemed to relish the challenge of trying to nullify the world’s best player. When he won the ball he played intelligent passes often looking forward. 8

Valon Behrami A crucial deputy to Inler. Whenever his skipper was beaten by the close control of Messi, an incoming tackle from the Napoli man was never far away. 8

Granit Xhaka Hit a powerful shot in the first half as his side gave Argentina a scare. Was lucky to stay on the pitch after mistiming a challenge on Messi when already on a yellow card. 6

Xherdan Shaqiri With the feet of a tap dancer and the upper body of a boxer Shaqiri’s skills eclipsed those of Messi in the first half. However he did fade after the interval. 7

Admir Mehmedi Often provided a springboard for the Swiss going forward, a key cog in supplying his more talented counterparts Shaqiri and Xhaka with the ball in counter attacks. 7

Josip Drmic Hit a terrible attempted chip in the first half when clean through on goal with Romero off his line. Rushed his crucial effort when calmness was imperative. He held the ball up better than his replacement Seferovic however. 5

Substitutes:

Gelson Fernandes Did little in normal time other than scythe down Di Maria shortly after replacing Xhaka. Although he helped the Swiss find their passing rhythm in extra time. 6

Haris Seferovic Gave the ball away attempting ambitious dribbles when his team really needed him to hold the ball up. 4

Blerim Dzemaili Agonisingly struck the post late in extra time during Switzerland’s frenzied attempts to equalise. 6

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