After a football free Saturday due to 25 de Mayo celebrations, Sunday was crammed with 5 games and the top 3 all in action and it was Lanus who were the biggest losers. Despite still being unbeaten before yesterday the cracks had started to show in Lanus’ performances and yesterday afternoon the wheels finally fell off as they were swept aside in San Juan, by San Martin. The 3-1 defeat was the first of the campaign and now they find themselves 4 points off the pace with 4 games to play. With Lanus losing, River Plate momentarily went top after they comfortably beat Atletico Rafaela in the Estadio Monumental, 3 first half goals blasted away their inferior opposition as River put in one of their best performances of the season easing to a 3-0 win(with 4 to play it could be a great time to be hitting form!). Their time at the summit lasted only a couple of hours as Newell’s thrashed Boca Juniors. Understandably both sides fielded weakened sides due to this being sandwiched in between their Copa Libertadores Quarter Final but it was Newell’s who showed their title credentials in demolishing a woeful Boca side and keeping their championship hopes alive despite cup commitments. In the earlier games, Independiente travelled to Cordoba and earned draw with Belgrano, which could be a valuable point in their bid to avoid relegation, provided Argentinos Juniors lose tonight and Racing drew 1-1 with Godoy Cruz in Avellaneda. ALL THE REPORTS AND GOALS HERE….
BELGRANO 0 – 0 INDEPENDIENTE
Ordinarily a point in Cordoba would be a pretty decent result given Belgrano’s home form, as would going 5 games without defeat but this no ordinary time for Independiente. They will now be watching Argentinos Juniors trip to La Plate tonight, where they play Estudiantes, very closely. There was not a great deal to report from the game itself as chances were few and far between and any slight sniffs were usually wasted. Independiente still holding some hope and have now only 4 games to save their status in the top flight.
RACING CLUB 1 – 1 GODOY CRUZ
Both sides battling for qualification to the Copa Sudamericana and it was Racing who will be the happier side after Godoy Cruz only left Avellaneda with a point. Goalkeeper, Sebastian Saja gave Racing the lead form the penalty spot just before half time but Godoy Cruz came back strongly and forced an equaliser just after the hour mark, a fine left footed finish from inside the box by Jose Luis Fernandez.
SAN MARTIN 3 – 1 LANUS
For the first time under manager Guillermo Schelotto, Lanus conceded 3 goals and for the first time were beaten which could signal the end of their title aspirations. Their early season form seems a distant memory now and the misfiring performances of recent weeks, where they have been drawing games finally caught up with them. For San Martin, still deep in the midst of a relegation dogfight this is another valuable victory. They took the lead early when Gaston Caprari was quickest to react to a freekick that was blocked by the wall and he smashed his effort into the roof of the net. Lanus equalised when Fernando Barrientos fired in from range but the day belonged to San Martin. After 70 minutes San Martin were gifted the lead when Agustin Marchesin fumbled a straight-forward take from a high ball, allowing Damian Ledesma to tap in. However, Ledesma was then shown a second yellow card for his celebration and in the space of a minute went from goal scoring hero to red card villian. However, it mattered not as Claudio Riaño put the result beyond doubt with 2 minutes to go.
RIVER PLATE 3 – 0 ATLETICO RAFAELA
River came out of the traps quickly last night and blew away Atletico Rafaela in 30 minutes. Lionel Vangioni’s fine left footed strike as he cut in from the left and found the top corner from 25 yards gave them the lead after just 7 minutes and it was soon two when Rafaela centre half, Eduardo Dominguez haplessly deflected a driven cross into his own net. After 30 minutes, Carlos Luna headed in Juan Iturbe’s cross from the right and it was game over. River seem to have found some form at a key stage in the season and midfield anchor, Cristian Ledesma has been central to that. His dominance in the midfield last night is key to River’s possession and the source of their moves and his reemergence in the side is something that Ramon Diaz should get credit for.
NEWELL’S OLD BOYS 4 – 0 BOCA JUNIORS
On Thursday night these two sides played out a tense 0-0 draw in La Bombonera during the first leg of their Copa Libertadores quarter final and on Wednesday they will do it again in Rosario. Last night’s game in Rosario did not quite have that edge as Newell’s second string battered Boca Juniors reserves. Newell’s led early after Paulo Cruzado was brought down by stand-in Boca keeper, Sebastian D’Angelo and he got up to convert the spot kick after just 7 minutes. On the stroke of half time it went from bad to worse when young centre back, Lisandro Migallan was sent off. In the second half, free scoring Newell’s ran riot: First, Horacio Orzan’s long range effort squirmed past D’Angelo, then 2 minutes later Martin Tonso made it 3 before Maxi Urriti completed the 5 minute blitz with the fourth. Despite not being a regular starter for Newell’s Urriti leads the clubs assist charts proving his value to the side. Newell’s have now scored 14 goals in their past 4 home games which makes good reading going into their Libertadores match with Boca and they now sit 3 points clear of second placed River at the top of the table.