Alexis Mac Allister produced a display of “perfect control” as Argentina saw off Bolivia in their World Cup qualifier, earning plaudits in the media.
In the high altitude of La Paz, Argentina sealed a comfortable 3-0 victory over Bolivia to ensure a perfect start to their World Cup qualifiers.
Enzo Fernandez, Nicolas Tagliafico and Nicolas Gonzalez all scored as the hosts went down to 10 men in the first half, with Lionel Messi watching on unused.
Mac Allister played 85 minutes in midfield alongside Fernandez and Rodrigo de Paul, and showed his composure and class on the ball with a number of incisive passes.
The 24-year-old was also tenacious off the ball, with Angel Di Maria (12) the only Argentina player to win more duels than his five and no outfielder recording as many recoveries as his eight, per FotMob.
After being replaced by Leandro Paredes late on, Mac Allister received praise from journalists in his native country, including Ole‘s Hernan Claus.
“He started as the central midfielder of the team and with the premise of playing fast and moving the ball,” Claus wrote.
“He showed his hierarchy and received several kicks because the Bolivians did not know how to control him.”
Ole rated Mac Allister as a nine out of 10, with Di Maria, Fernandez and Cristian Romero the only players to receive as high a score.
For TyC Sports, Gaston Recondo gave the midfielder an eight out of 10, with only Di Maria ranked higher.
The journalist lauded Mac Allister’s “perfect control of the game with one and two touches, without taking unnecessary risks.”
There was a surprisingly harsh score from La Nacion‘s Claudio Mauri, however, with a six out of 10 below six of his team-mates – including Di Maria and Fernandez, who were rated eights.
“He was a central midfielder from the beginning, a position he has also occupied at Liverpool,” Mauri explained, with Mac Allister sitting deepest.
“He is an integral midfielder, with and without the ball. Intelligent to manage time and space.
“Another of those who suffered hard fouls from Bolivia.”
Mauri was seemingly impressed by Mac Allister despite his average score, with his quiet control of the midfield allowing Argentina to dominate.
La Capital awarded him a 6.5, explaining: “He gave circulation to the team and made an effort to contain it.”
No player completed more passes than Mac Allister’s 59 – misplacing only four for a success rate of 94 percent – while only De Paul (78) had more touches than his fellow midfielder (72).
Di Maria, who ended the game with two assists, was the only player to match Mac Allister’s tally of nine passes into the final third.