Copa America 2019: Argentina 2-1 Chile - 3 talking points
The Albiceleste came into the match having fallen to a 2-0 defeat to Brazil in the semifinal, while Chile surprisingly lost to the surprise package of the tournament Peru by a 3-0 scoreline.
Both teams undoubtedly had their minds set on a final appearance and would have been disappointed at not contesting for the trophy. Hence it would have been understandable if this third place playoff match was treated as nothing more than a dead rubber fixture.
However that proved to not be the case as both sides went all out in a bid to finish their tournament on a high.
Goals from Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala were enough to give Argentina the victory, with Arturo Vidal's second half penalty proving to be nothing more than a mere consolation. In this piece, we shall be highlighting three talking points from the Copa America third place playoff between Argentina and Chile.
#3 Lionel Messi red card caps off disappointing tournament
Lionel Messi came into this tournament desperate to right the anomaly of him having never won a major trophy with his national team except in Copa San Juan.
The 32-year-old ended the 2018/2019 campaign with 51 goals from 50 matches for Barcelona and it was expected that he would bring this terrific form with him onto the international stage and captain his nation to glory in Brazil.
However that proved to not be the case, as the five-time Ballon d'Or winner was largely a spectator when Argentina crawled their way through the group stage and quarterfinal.
In the semifinal game against Brazil, Lionel Messi gave an improved performance but that was not enough as his side fell to a 2-0 defeat to the hosts.
The fixture was littered with numerous flash points, with Argentine players and football association vilified at some perceived refereeing errors and the lack of consultation with VAR.
Lionel Messi gave a heated statement to the press after the match and the Argentina FA has lodged a complaint. The Argentine record goalscorer was still evidently nursing grievances over his side's elimination, as he let tempers flare with just under 45 minutes gone in the clash against Chile
A seemingly innocuous challenge boiled over as the notoriously ill tempered Gary Medel repeatedly provoked the Argentine captain. Messi shoved him to the floor and the Chilean defender retaliated.
This was Messi's first international dismissal in 14 years and there was belief that Messi's dismissal might be reversed upon VAR review but the decision stood to the disappointment of Messi.
While Argentina might have good cause to believe they were on the receiving end of poor refereeing decisions, Lionel Messi would have an introspective look at his displays and be the first to admit that he performed well beneath his standards.
With just one goal (gotten from the penalty spot) and one assist from six matches, Lionel Messi was extremely poor and moving forward. This is one tournament which the legend would not look back on fondly.