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11th Oct 2017

Joey Barton questions Ecuador player’s ‘movement and behaviour’ for Lionel Messi’s qualification-clinching goals

'Something not quite right'


So there you have it: Argentina will be at the World Cup next summer after all.

Despite making hard work of their qualification campaign, their 3-1 victory over Ecuador was enough for them to rise from sixth to third in South American qualifying – sealing a spot in Russia in the process.

Lionel Messi was responsible for all of Argentina’s goals on the night, helping them win in Ecuador for the first time in 16 years. The victory means Jorge Sampaoli’s men have avoided becoming the first Argentine side to miss out on a World Cup finals since 1970.

As much as this it’s a relief to many neutral football fans that Messi, who turns 31 next summer, will be given another chance to play in a World Cup, Joey Barton has suggested that he may have had a helping hand from one of his Ecuadorian opponents…

Having watched the goals, Barton tweeted that he believed that there was ‘something not quite right’ with the movement and behaviour of Ecuador’s number 23, Dario Aimar.

Barton encouraged his followers to watch his positioning for each goal adding that it might just be a coincidence…

As the video below shows, Aimar does appear to lose track of Messi as he equalises. He’s also at fault for the second, giving the ball straight to the Barcelona forward to allow him a run on goal.