Argentina vs. Uruguay: Final score 3-0, Lionel Messi runs rampant

Alex Grimm - Bongarts/Getty Images

Lionel Messi scored twice and had a hand in setting up another goal as Argentina defeated Uruguay easily.

Lionel Messi is quickly putting to bed the nasty perception that he doesn't put in the same performances for Argentina that he does for Barcelona. He's been arguably the best player in South American World Cup qualifying thus far, and he put in another masterful performance in Argentina's 3-0 victory over Uruguay on Friday.

The Uruguayans were able to hold onto a 0-0 draw well into the second half, but when Messi finally opened the scoring, the visitors' defense fell apart. Angel Di Maria set up Messi for Argentina's 65th minute goal, playing a perfect give-and-go with the Albiceleste captain before Messi poked in a low cross. Di Maria assisted another goal nine minutes later, finding Sergio Aguero, but Messi was the architect with a perfect chipped through ball to Di Maria to start the move. Messi completed a brace in the 79th minute with a free kick goal.

Not long after his goal, Messi forced a huge save out of Fernando Muslera. His 15-minute stretch from the 65th to the 80th minute was as dominant a stretch of football as one player can possibly have in a match. An Argentina manager has finally surrounded him with the right pieces, and the Albiceleste are clearly the best team in CONMEBOL qualifying at the moment.

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