Seventeen yellow cards, including two to the coaches, a red card after the final whistle, an all-in scrum and somehow Argentina’s hero Emiliano Martinez avoided a warning of any kind. It remains to be seen whether he will be punished for his post-match comments on referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz..
Real football will be remembered for an assist for the ages of Lionel Messi and a brilliant Dutch throwback inspired by Wout Weghorstthe 6ft 6in (197cm) forward who flopped in the premier league to relegation Burnley last season.
But you are not far to read about it…
The first pushes
A sign of things to come came two minutes before half-time when Lahoz booked four players, including Weghorst, at the time a substitute who had yet to come into action, and the Argentina assistant coach Walter Samuel, who was no stranger to a yellow back then. no-frills defender. Marcos Acunareservation for fault Jurrien Bois will cost him a place in the semi-finals on Tuesday against Croatia.
But that was just a taste of things to come. Ten minutes into the second half, Messi was penalized for the most deliberate handball but somehow avoided a caution, which the Netherlands captain Virgil van Dyke was quick to question Lahoz.
dutch goalkeeper Andries Noppert showed he wasn’t afraid to indulge in conversation as Messi prepared to take his penalty in the second half.
Messi ignored that and doubled the lead, but that only increased the tension – as a team-mate Martinez, accustomed to the game, went on the offensive.
The Argentine goalkeeper called for a cross under pressure from Luke deYoung before standing over the attacker and baiting him. Those histrionics would come back to bite him before the end of regulation time.
Tensions boil over
But it was in the 89th minute that the latent tensions really peaked.
…but he hadn’t finished. He leapt to his feet and hammered the ball into the Dutch dugout at close range. The defender kicked the ball so hard that both of his feet were off the ground. Luckily for the Netherlands coaches and substitutes, his time-consuming clearance hits an empty seat rather than an opponent.
The Dutch bench staff emptied onto the pitch in reaction and a scrum broke out, with Paredes lucky not to receive a second yellow and Van Dijk a similar fate after ground-checking him in stride. Steven Bergwijnwho had already been replaced, was warned for his part in the incident.
Fouls followed and Argentina were penalized in the 11th minute of added time as Weghorst equalized from Teun Koopmeiners’ clever free kick.
Messi was booked for dissent, which would have meant a red card if he hadn’t avoided punishment for that handball earlier, and the Argentinian bench staff and players couldn’t contain their anger at the kick. final whistle. Angel DiMaria had to be restrained from protesting against Lahoz while his manager Lionel Scaloni went head-to-head with the Spanish referee.
Penalty shootout chaos
A semblance of calm descended for the 30 minutes of extra time before the penalty shootout became free-for-all – with Martinez once again at the center of his antics.
He saved the first two penalties for the Netherlands, but that was a sideshow compared to his mind games.
After dodging Van Dijk’s opening kick to give Argentina an instant advantage, he headed for the Dutch second shot, Steven Berghousebefore throwing the ball to the side to delay the Ajax midfielder.
He is reprimanded by Lahoz, but not reserved.
The goalkeeper then regained the upper hand by saving Berghuis’ shot to leave the Netherlands facing him.
Spurred on by that and his side’s two successes from 12 yards, Martinez then tried to take the lead from Koopmeiners, who were awarded the third Dutch penalty.
The 24-year-old ignores him and finally gets Louis van Gaal’s side on the board in the shootout, but Martinez continues to push his chance when fourth taker Weghorst intervenes with delaying tactics by his left post.
Again Mahoz talks to him, but again there is no map for him. AstonVilla man.
Clearly shaken, Denzel Dumfries attempts to return to Argentina with his own mind games but is accosted by Di Maria.
Yet despite all the Martinez chaos, Lahoz now books Dumfries.
This all turns out to be the warm-up act for what follows, lautaro martinez convert the winning penalty as the winners face the Dutch and goad them.
And that’s too much for Dumfries, who is shown a second yellow in the ensuing chaos.
Even Messi couldn’t help but get involved. Seemingly upset with the Netherlands coaching staff, the Argentina captain is clearly at odds with head coach Van Gaal and assistant Edgar Davids.
Messi and David clash
For those watching from home, it was easy to miss that after scoring his second-half penalty, Messi celebrated with his teammates before walking alone to the dugout side of the pitch.
There, and under the eyes of the technical staff of the Netherlands, he did this:
Which doesn’t seem so incendiary until you see it from the opposite angle…
— Javier Mascherano (@Mascherano) December 9, 2022
The pose – with both hands around the ears – bears a remarkable similarity to former Argentina striker Juan Roman Riquelme’s trademark goal celebration, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by Argentine fans who soon began to speculate. why Messi adopted her.
Messi didn’t specify the reasons after the game. But Riquelme’s short-lived stint at Barcelona effectively ended Van Gaal in his first 2002-03 season, starting him just six times in La Liga before being sent to Villarreal on a two-year loan deal. following summer after signing the Brazil international. Ronaldinho. Messi was then a young Barcelona man and will have seen how his compatriot was treated.
After Lautaro’s penalty, as the Argentine players continued their celebrations and the Dutch players began to peel away from the pitch they had fallen on in dismay, Messi calmly walked towards the Dutch coaching staff.
TV cameras caught Messi walking towards Davids, while pointing down the tunnel and moving his thumb and fingers together in a ‘talking’ motion.
Davids – another who was a Barcelona player during Messi’s youth team days – then placed a hand on the Argentina captain’s back, as the three engaged in a seemingly heated conversation. Di Maria then leads his skipper towards the tunnel.
Messi then told Mexican TV channel DeporTV: “I was angry because a coach like Van Gaal is, with the experience he has… That he speaks as he spoke, that he he lacks respect.
“It didn’t have to be like that, it didn’t make sense. I feel like he disrespected the Argentina national team.
Messi and Martinez aim Fifa
Not content with battling with the Netherlands, Messi and Martinez then turned their attention to referee Lahoz.
Messi was the first, interviewed on the pitch by FIFA.
“It’s very frustrating, very frustrating. (The game) didn’t have to end this way,” he said.
“I don’t want to talk about the referee, because you (himself) will be punished. You can’t be honest. You can’t say what you think. If you do, they will penalize you for one game.
Messi then proceeded to… say exactly what he thought of the referee anyway:
“We were scared before the game because we knew what it was. I think FIFA has to think about it, they can’t put a referee like that for these important games, for such a crucial game – a referee who doesn’t is not up to par.
Martinez went even further when he was interviewed by beIN Sports moments later. “The referee was giving them their all. He gave 10 minutes (of second-half stoppage time) for no reason,” he said.
“He gave them a free kick outside the box a couple of times. He just wanted them to score, that’s all. So hopefully we don’t have that referee anymore, because he’s useless. .
🗣️ “Let’s hope we don’t have that referee anymore… He’s useless! Van Gaal said they have an advantage if there are penalties, he should shut up.”
👀 @emimartinezz1 did not hold back in his post-match interview!
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_FR) December 9, 2022
The FIFA Disciplinary Code prohibits players from questioning the integrity of match officials.
Athleticism has contacted FIFA for comment.
Messi’s media tour continues
The next incident came when Messi was directed to Argentinian sports channel TyC Sports. The interview started but Messi cut a question short by getting involved in another altercation.
“What are you looking at, you fool?” he says to someone behind the camera. “Keep going, you fool. Leave.”
what are you looking at bobo
GO BOBO pic.twitter.com/s2D1lbOhj5
— DjMaRiiO (@DjMaRiiO) December 9, 2022
It’s unclear who exactly Messi was talking to. But given the numerous incidents on and off the pitch before, during and after the game, there is no shortage of suitors.
(Photo: Elsa/Getty Images)