Football

Mexicans Abroad: Chicharito, Jimenez score Premier League goals, Andres Guardado returns for Real Betis



Both Mexicans playing in the Premier League were on target this weekend, while the veteran midfielder returned in a wild La Liga draw

The success of Mexicans in Europe this year has been dominated by the new school. Players like Hirving Lozano and Raul Jimenez have dominated the headlines. This week, the old guard struck back.

After returning to the field for West Ham a few weeks ago, forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez found the back of the net for the Hammers in a 4-2 victory over Burnley. He entered the match as a substitute and put the icing on the victory for Manuel Pellegrini’s squad, scoring in the 92nd minute of the contest. He took possession of the ball at the top of the 18-yard box after a strong chest forward from Michail Antonio and was able to beat the goalkeeper. The goal is Chicharito’s first in the Premier League since April of last season when he put one past Chelsea.

That’s not to say Jimenez didn’t stand out as well. The 27-year-old forward scored from the penalty spot for Wolves, though the rally fell short in a 3-2 loss to Tottenham. It’s his third Premier League goal of the season in 11 matches played. 

It was a happy return to the field for Andres Guardado. After missing the past several weeks because of a left hamstring issue, Guardado made his first La Liga start Sunday and assisted the second goal for his side in a 3-3 draw that saw Betis concede three straight after leading by two but eventually earning a point. It was a fortunate assist, with the ball bouncing off the center back and falling to him before he found Junior in the box, but El Tri fans will simply be happy to see Guardado back fit.

Earlier in the week, he’d come on as a substitute in a 1-0 Copa del Rey contest and should be fit to face Milan in the Europa League this week. The match was a chance to reconnect with center back Nestor Araujo, who made a brief cameo in the draw. The former Santos Laguna center back entered in the 90th minute with the score already at 3-3.

Araujo’s potential Mexico center-back partner going forward, Diego Reyes,  also made a cameo. With Fenerbahce being led by an interim manager into the derby, Reyes was used only in stoppage time of a 2-2 draw with Galatasaray. He was not heavily involved in the brawl that broke out after the Intercontinental Derby went final and should be available for Thursday’s Europa League contest against Anderlecht.

Lozano also will be occupied during the week with PSV facing Spurs in the Champions League. After an embarrassing defeat in the cup, the Dutch champion bounced back with a 1-0 victory over Vitesse. Lozano sent the final pass for Luuk de Jong’s nice winner in the 69th minute. Erick Gutierrez scored in the cup match but was an unused substitute Saturday.

Like Guardado, Hector Moreno returned to the pitch in La Liga this week. Unlike Guardado, Moreno simply had been benched in recent weeks rather than suffering from an injury. The center back helped Real Sociedad hold second-place Sevilla to a scoreless draw. Miguel Layun didn’t get into Villarreal’s draw with Levante.

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Jesus “Tecatito” Corona once again started for Porto with Hector Herrera coming off the bench. The Dragons topped Maritimo 2-0 and now turn their attention to Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League this week.

It wasn’t the best week for Guillermo Ochoa, whose Standard Liege team fell twice in four days, losing to both Zulte-Waregem and Antwerp in league play. Ochoa played in both but will be focused on Thursday’s Europa League match with Krasnodar in which the Belgian side can move back into the positions to advance to the knockout round.



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