Jump directly to the content

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

DREAM TEAM

Your Sun

A News UK Company
TOP
CATALYST

Everyone is in agreement about the reason why Argentina got out of the group

Ever Banega was one of the standout performers alongside Lionel Messi in Argentina's dramatic win

Please try your hardest to ignore Lionel Messi, just for a moment.

We were all blown away by the wizardry that Messi showed to score his goal, but how good was the assist?

Ever Banega was the provider for that goal and his performance repaid the faith shown in him by Jorge Sampaoli, after he was drafted in for Argentina’s pivotal group stage clash with Nigeria.


CLAIM YOUR FREE £20 BET Sun Bets have this brilliant offer when you sign up and bet a fiver


The difference

Reuters
7
The difference

The 29-year-old was a constant creative spark for Argentina and showed off his immense passing range throughout the game.

The Sevilla midfielder picked out Messi with a quaterback-esque pass over the top of the Nigerian defence which landed right on the thigh of his captain.

Banega completed 34 of his 40 passes in the first-half, the most of any player.

He was deployed slightly deeper in the second-half, but proved just as effective on proceedings.

Banega was constantly firing passes between the lines and was always looking to feed Messi early, something that Argentina neglected to do in their 3-0 humiliation to Croatia.

The Sevilla man was the leader in a clear change of attitude from Argentina to press the ball more against Nigeria.

He’s was an effective ball-winner too

Getty Images - Getty
7
He’s was an effective ball-winner too

Banega picked up a yellow card for his tenacious efforts and was perhaps lucky to avoid another booking after several late fouls in the second-half.

The midfielder has 62 caps for Argentina but had not started in either of his side’s previous two group games against Iceland and Croatia.

The type of player Messi would enjoy playing with

EPA
7
The type of player Messi would enjoy playing with

Banega has benefited from the pressure placed on Sampaoli to change up his team selection following Argentina’s disappointing performances so far.

The midfielder is a reported transfer target for Arsenal, having played under Unai Emery at Sevilla.

His impressive performance has certainly whetted the appetites of Gunners’ fans…

7

7

7

7

CATCH UP ON THE LATEST WEIRD AND WONDERFUL NEWS FROM THE 2018 WORLD CUP