Sampaoli’s early goal never came and like a boxer soaking up punishment in the early rounds, there was always the concern that a counter could follow.
Five minutes after the break and that sucker punch arrived as a lightening quick break exposed Argentina’s sluggish back three and saw Jhon Murillo stun the Monumental.
Striking sensations such as Raul and Andriy Shevchenko dominated during the 1990s and 2000s, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have taken the art of scoring to a whole new level.
As you can see from our table below, Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in the history of the Champions League (including the European Cup) and the Real Madrid star is closely followed by his arch-rival, Barcelona's Lionel Messi.
As Venezuela swarmed around the world’s best player who else could Argentina look to?
Éver Banega didn’t provide the creativity that was supposed to free Messi from those shackles, Paulo Dybala was once more frustratingly quiet and Sampaoli’s substitutions failed to have any impact.
The result was a dominant opening 45 minutes with the lively Mauro Icardi doing everything right except apply the final touch and the ever-impressive Wilker Fariñez adding to his burgeoning reputation with a string of saves.
Di María, so ineffectual against Uruguay, looked dangerous darting in behind full back Víctor García but even after an apparent pulled hamstring forced him off, the home side still looked the far more likely to score.
A resurgent Peru, who are now in fourth after dropping only two points from their last four matches, are the next visitors to Argentina before the critical final day encounter in the altitude of Ecuador. Without significant improvement Argentina can forget about holding on to fifth spot and the subsequent playoff against New Zealand, let alone the World Cup.The astonishing claims came as fresh violence erupted outside the capital Damascus, and in two of its suburbs, Hasrata and Irbin, and in the south, and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said the 'extremely dangerous' conflict could have global repercussions.Because of Syria's close alliances with Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, there are deep concerns that the violence could spread beyond its borders, especially if other nations arm the rebels or send in their own troops.The Champions League has featured some of the best goalscorers in history.As the premier club competition in Europe and arguably the world, it is a stage that has been graced by countless icons of football.