River Plate and Boca have set-up the superclásico triple header in a couple of weeks perfectly after both sides emerged victorious from Sunday’s fixtures and now sit side-by-side at the top of the league. Few fixtures in world football are as eagerly anticipated as the clash between the two sides but when they are fighting for the league title and the Copa Libertadores it takes it to a whole different level.
River Plate ran out deserved winners over Banfield in the Monumental and although there were a few nervy moments, Fernando Cavenaghi fired Gallardo’s boys to victory and in doing so became the club’s tenth highest scorer. Youngster Sebastián Druissi expertly volleyed River in front from distance during the first half and after being awarded a huge let-off when Juan Cazeres blazed over in front of an open goal, Ramiro Funes Mori extended the lead. Mauricio Cuero pulled one back to potentially set-up a nervy ending but Cavenaghi struck twice before the final whistle; the second a delightful back heel, to conclude what has been an excellent week for River.
Later in Lanús, Boca Juniors faced what was perhaps their first real test in the Primera as they made the short journey to often formidable Forteleza. This was made all the more complicated when Víctor Ayala fired El Granate into the lead with less than a minute on the clock but Rodolfo Arruabarrena’s side reacted superbly. Federico Carrizo’s smart header on the run drew them level and although they were indebted to the superb Guillermo Sara in goal on a couple of occasions, Los Xeneizes pulled ahead. Breaking quickly with twenty-five minutes remaining, Dani Osvaldo released the pacy Cristian Pavón and the 19-year-old made no mistake in slotting the ball past Fernando Monetti. The home side continued to push for an equaliser but in injury time, Nicolás Lodeiro was awarded a soft penalty after a slight tug from Diego Barisone and the Uruguayan slotted home from the spot. Perhaps a first real examination of this new-look Boca side which they passed impressively. The stage is now all set for an enthralling eleven days at the start of May.