Madness and magic from Maradona’s motherland
Weekend rounds ups will be taking the form of Team of the Week this season, but don’t go thinking that it’ll make it a love-in with the great and the good –the weekends winners and, where necessary, losers, will feature in equal measure. And don’t expect tactical orthodoxy every week...
Round 1: (3-4-1-2)
GK: Javier García (Boca Juniors)Having spent millions of pesos both in this recent close season and the one before that, Boca were declared title favourites going into the Clausura. Losing 4-1 at home on day one hasn’t totally derailed that ambition, but certainly doesn’t feature in the script either. García’s howler with 13 minutes on the clock allowed Godoy Cruz to score the first. He repeated the mistake minutes later, but that goal was ruled out for offside. He still went on to concede three more. Ouch.
LCB: Juan Manuel Díaz (River Plate)River fielded a side against Tigre dressed up as a 3-4-2-1, that was in reality a 5-2-2-1, and that in terms of players’ mentality was essentially a 7-0-2-1. Díaz fulfilled his role on the left with the adequate level of attacking ambition, which is to say very little, but what about that a handball in the area in the closing minutes? Hmmm?
CB: Rolando Schiavi (Newell’s Old Boys)Getting tapped up by your former club hours – not days, hours – before starting the new campaign understandably unsettles a player trying to tune in for the big kick off. Boca’s advances may explain Rolo Schiavi’s opening half an hour against Estudiantes, which culminated in a tug on the shirt and the resultant penalty. Fortunately for El Flaco, ‘La Gata’ Fernandez failed from 12 yards.
RCB: Gabriel Mercado (Estudiantes)A striker’s finish from the Pincha right back, after just 23 minutes, doubled the champion’s lead against Newell’s. The rout that looked on the cards didn’t materialise, and Mercado’s goal ended up separating the two.
CM: Néstor Ortigoza (San Lorenzo)Hunched, hyperactive, bossy and with pinpoint accuracy on 60 metre passes… Ortigoza is a superb mdifielder. Perhaps in Europe he wouldn’t be such a standout player… but he’s not playing in Europe. In Argentina, he is one of the best midfielders around and he put in another top class performance this weekend, this time on his debut for San Lorenzo.
CM: Hugo Barrientos (All Boys)Mala leche. Bad milk. That was the verdict on All Boys’ midfielder performance after his treatment of Gio Moreno. Together with the incident when his elbow opening up Rubén Ramírez’ face just a couple of months ago, Barrientos is not flavour of the month over Argentina.
LM: David Vega (Olimpo)Wayne Who? Ok, not quite, but Vega’s rocket for Olimpo’s equaliser, and which put them on the way to taking all the points, was the goal of the weekend (twelve seconds into the below video).
RM: Enzo Perez (Estudiantes)One of Alex Sabella’s last actions as Estudiantes coach was to refuse Perez permission to go and play for Argentina in midweek. As a result, Toto Berizzo, Sabella’s replacement, now owes his predecessor a drink or four after the midfielder’s display. Enzo, meanwhile, needn’t worry about his international career – another call up won’t take long in coming.
AM: Mauro Camoranesi (Lanús)The Italian World Cup winner’s first contribution to his new team was to commit the foul that allowed Arsenal to level the match via a brilliant freekick. He more than made up for it, though, with a delightful chipped pass to set up the Granate’s second against Arsenal.
CF: Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Gimnasia)‘Of course it was a penalty’ said The Twin, running away from his interviewer to avoid breaking into a complicit grin in full view of the camera. Melli won, in every sense of the word, the penalty that earned his side a valuable point. Yes, he went down easily, but Matías Gimenez should have though twice about putting his foot in when he had no hope of getting anywhere near the ball.
CF: Bichi Fuertes (Colón)38 years young, Bichi had a stroke of luck with his first goal from the set piece as it took an enormous deflection on the way through. The second was as text book a set piece as they come, curling it through the space left by his team mate in the Quilmes wall.
Coach: Jorge Da Silva (Godoy Cruz) As coaching debuts go, winning 4-1 away at the Bombonera is up there with the best of them.
RESULTS Independiente 2-2 Vélez, Estudiantes 2-1 Newell’s, Olimpo 2-1 Banfield, San Lorenzo 1-1 Gimnasia, Colón 2-0 Quilmes, All Boys 0-1 Racing, Boca 1-4 Godoy Cruz, Tigre 0-0 River, Lanús 3–1 Arsenal, Huracán 1-1 Argentinos.
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