Argentina began the World Cup with a win, but it was a far from convincing performance from their array of superstars.
It was very much a case of ‘job done’ for Argentina following their 1-0 win over Nigeria today, but there were plenty of holes to pick for the critics.
Maradona’s men looked set to run riot after Gabriel Heinze’s header gave them a sixth minute lead but what followed was 84 minutes of mediocrity with the odd moment of individual excellence thrown in.
Talisman Lionel Messi looked threatening from the word go but the end product was never really there, and Gonzalo Higuain had a very poor night in front of goal.
Another player who was expected to shine was Angel Di Maria but the Benfica winger did little to justify all the hype that has been surrounding him as of late.
Jonas Gutierrez simply does not look comfortable at right back and his presence gives the team a very unbalanced look.
It would be unfair not to give Nigeria some credit however as they stifled their opponents throughout and goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, once a target for Arsenal, was in superb form with a number of world class saves.
Indeed, the Super Eagles should have made Argentina pay for some lacklustre defending with left back Taye Taiwo going close with a low drive across goal, while substitute Kalu Uche squandered a golden opportunity to square things.
It will be interesting to see how the Argentines cope against a free flowing South Korea side when the two teams meet next Thursday, and it is most likely that the game will decide who finishes first and second in Group C.