Argentina 2-0 Italy - 5 Talking Points
Goals from Ever Banega and Manuel Lanzini gave the Albiceleste a comfortable win
Argentina beat Italy 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, courtesy a couple of sweet finishes from Sevilla's Ever Banega and West Ham's Manuel Lanzini in the second half.
This was the Azzurri's first outing since the disaster of Milan in November when a loss to Sweden meant they couldn't qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
There were a few encouraging signs for Luigi di Biagio, but a loss to an Albiceleste side sans Lionel Messi is bound to only put more questions in front of those that run Italian football, than answers.
Here are some points to ponder from the game.
#5 Argentina's full-backs impress
Nicolas Tagliafico and Fabricio Bustos manned the full-back positions for Argentina, and they did not disappoint.
In Sampaoli's demanding system, the full-backs play an important role, in trying to push the opposition wingers back apart from providing support and allowing the wingers to cut infield a lot more.
Both the young players didn't disappoint, displaying standout energy levels throughout the game.
Bustos had a difficult start to the game, as Lorenzo Insigne was giving him cold-Manchester-night-shaped hell.
But Bustos recovered from the early tests that Insigne bested him at, and ensured that he didn't allow the Napoli forward to impact the game like the Azzurri hoped that he would.
For Tagliafico, all he had to do was ensure that he held a position up the field, and just allowed Angel Di Maria to do his thing.
It was an easier night for Tagliafico than Bustos because Federico Chiesa had an off day and had to drop back to assist Alessandro Florenzi to deal with Di Maria.