Argentina entered its Copa America matchup against Chile with some illustrious names on the bench. Javier Pastore, Sergio Aguero, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Erik Lamela all sat in reserve roles. Oh and another guy, too: Lionel Messi. Argentina still had enough firepower to execute and move past the Chileans 2-1, with goals from Angel Di Maria and Ever Banega.
The Argentine attack was speedy and unrelenting, if a little disjointed, as Di Maria and Banega — and Nicolas Gaitain — had the Chilean on their heels much of the game. Still, the final result was closer than Argentina fans might have hoped. Chile is a good side — it’s favored in both upcoming matches against Bolivia and Panama. But going forward Messi and his teammates on the bench may have to play significant roles if Argentina hopes to capture the Copa. Or perhaps some are right when they say that, great as he is, Messi doesn’t fit well with this frenetic Argentina team’s style? Time will tell.