Manchester United winger Angel di Maria enjoyed one of the best nights of his career on Tuesday night, scoring two goals and providing an assist as Argentina recorded a comprehensive 6-1 win over Paraguay in the Copa America semi-finals.
Argentina booked their place in the Copa America final in style - scoring several fabulous team goals - and now have the opportunity to end their 22-year wait for a major trophy by defeating Chile in Santiago this weekend.
Di Maria was one of the stars of the show, scoring two goals inside six second-half minutes and providing a delightful cross for Sergio Aguero, who scored Argentina’s fifth goal of the night, with 10 minutes left to play. (To watch Di Maria in action, click play on the YouTube video below).
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Before the match, Di Maria’s Manchester United teammate Marcos Rojo described the former Real Madrid star as the most talented player at Old Trafford - and on the evidence of Tuesday’s semi-final it’s not difficult to understand why.
But it was Rojo himself who broke the deadlock for the Albicelestes, scoring in the 15th minute with a close-range tap-in from a Lionel Messi free-kick.
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Messi, who produced another spellbinding performance, then set up Javier Pastore midway through the first-half, before Lucas Barrios pulled a goal back for Paraguay on the stroke of half-time.
Di Maria effectively put the game out of Paraguay’s reach with his quick-fire brace after the break, before Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain added gloss to the scoreline with two more goals in the closing stages of the match.
Manchester United fans want to see the real Di Maria
Manchester United fans will be delighted to see Di Maria has rediscovered his form and confidence with Argentina at the Copa America.
By the end of last season, the 27-year-old looked a shadow of the world-class player who picked up the Man of the Match award in the 2014 Champions League final.
A combination of injuries and a struggle to adapt to life in England - including an attempted break-in at his Prestbury mansion which left him and his family traumatised - ultimately resulted in Di Maria enduring a disappointing debut campaign at Old Trafford.
It’s no secret that Paris Saint-Germain would love to take Di Maria to the Parc des Princes this summer, but many United fans will be hoping Van Gaal shows patience with the gifted South American and hands him another chance to impress next term.
Manchester United fans: are you confident Angel di Maria will produce the goods for the Red Devils next season - or should Louis van Gaal cash in this summer? Have your say in the comments below!
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