LIONEL MESSI somehow avoided being sent off for Argentina despite grabbing the throat of an opponent.
The Ballon D'Or winner reacted furiously in the 20th minute of the game after a break in play for a foul.
The former Barcelona star ran over to Napoli full-back Mathias Olivera and elbowed him in the chest, before gripping the Uruguayan's throat with his left hand.
The bad-tempered game last night followed the tradition of the Argentina-Uruguay rivalry which is one of the oldest in South America – known as the Clásico del Río de la Plata in both countries.
Somehow, Messi managed to avoid a red card for his angry outburst despite his actions causing a mass brawl.
As usual, Messi's henchman, Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo De Paul, came to the rescue as he stood between Messi and Oliveira and laughed in the face of his Uruguayan rival.
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It was the Uruguayans that would have the last laugh, however.
La Celeste went on to triumph 2-0 over Argentina courtesy of goals from Ronald Araujo and Darwin Nunez.
The win ended Argentina's run of 14 consecutive wins.
The streak predates Argentina's 2022 World Cup win which saw Messi win the Ballon d'Or for his contributions to the victory.
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On the tension between Argentina and Uruguay players, Messi said: "I prefer not to say what I think about some gestures. But these young people have to learn to respect from their elders.
"This game was always intense and hard but always with a lot of respect. They have to learn a little bit."
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