Defeat to Estudiantes in the clásico costs Pedro Troglio his job
Gimnasia’s recent record against bitter rivals, Estudiantes is woeful but the manner of defeat in the Estadio Unico was a bitter pill to swallow for El Lobo. Resoundly beaten and now three without a win in the league saw the end to Pedro Troglio’s time in charge of the club and after over four years as manager, the 50-year-old was relieved of his post. Reports at the match of board members fighting with squad members in the director’s box suggested all was not well and since departing, Troglio has claimed that he hasn’t been paid in months.
The performance against Estudiantes was poor and there could be no complaints over the scoreline but Troglio has performed perhaps as this team should be expected. The starting eleven is not one of the best in the Primera and so to be in the group of sides outside those challenging is surely no more than the club could demand. Troglio will no doubt be back in work soon enough but will a new manager bring a significant change to results? That seems doubtful.
Boca hope that season is sparked by last minute Tevez winner
It has been a difficult few weeks for Boca Juniors and after appointing Guillermo Barros Schelotto matters on the pitch had barely improved. Two dour goalless draws against Racing and River Plate had not fixed any of the issues in attack and only a last gasp Federico Carrizo free kick saved a point in Bolivia. A first Primera home match since his return, with Unión the visitors to La Bombonera, was seen as an ideal opportunity to claim a maiden three points as manager.
Lucas Gamba had other ideas and looked for a moment like he might spoil the party but a fortuitous Nicolás Lodeiro goal brought Boca level and then in stoppage time, Carlos Tevez poked in a winner. The nature of the three points had an obvious element of good fortune but Boca were far more of a threat going forward and with a win now under the belt, they will be hoping to move forward and kickstart what has been a pretty poor opening to 2016.
River’s defensive problems exposed by Colón
Even with just Eder Álvarez Balanta missing, River Plate were a little short defensively so when Marcelo Gallardo was robbed of Jonathan Maidana, Gabriel Mercado and Leonel Vangioni through injury for the trip to Colón, it always looked like a difficult evening. Alan Ruiz made sure of that with a hat-trick and in a six-minute spell after half time, the home side ruthlessly exposed River’s frailties.
Colón and Ruiz in particular have already proved to be dangerous opponents but what was far more evident on Sunday night is just how River are suffering with the players that are missing. Marcelo Gallardo will need central defenders back fast to avoid more serious defeats. An awkward trip away to the altitude of La Paz to face The Strongest in the Copa Libertadores in midweek before hosting Banfield at the weekend gives little time for recuperation. A decent enough start in the Libertadores still has River as likely qualifiers but only two Primera wins now from seven has them playing catch up if they are to finish in the top two.
Central and San Lorenzo suffer surprise defeats
San Lorenzo now haven’t won in three and with Copa Libertadores qualification still in the balance, pressure is increasing on Pablo Guede. Sergio Rondina’s revitalised Arsenal were the visitors to the Nuevo Gasómetro and were good value for all three points over Guede’s rotated side.
Thankfully, Los Cuervos didn’t lose ground on leaders Rosario Central after a far more surprising result in Paraná. Some predicted that once the Copa Libertadores got underway Rosario Central’s momentum may wane but few would have guessed that Patronato would be the first team to inflict defeat on them this season. Eduardo Coudet named a strong side for the trip to Paraná despite playing in midweek and even with the strike force of Marco Ruben and Marcelo Larrondo, El Canalla could not find a way past Sebastián Bértoli. The winning goal came shortly after half time when Alejandro Donatti’s weak defensive header fell to Fernando Telechea and the veteran striker made no mistake in burying the ball past Manuel García.
Both these sides suffering defeat means a very congested top of zona one with only three points separating the top six at virutally the half way point of this Transición.
Huracán end Defensa y Justicia’s impressive run
The free-scoring, surprise package of the Primera, Defensa y Justicia were perhaps expected to make the most of Huracán’s poor domestic form and midweek Copa Libertadores exertions to extend their winning streak to five but as the Argentine Primera always manages to do, there was a surprise in Florencio Varela.
Goals from the impressive duo of Cristian Espinoza and Ramón ‘Wanchope’ Ábila handed El Globo a second consecutive victory and eased their relegation worries. With players returning from injury and Eduardo Domínguez’s side seemingly turning the corner, Huracán should now be looking up. Their hectic schedule though shows no signs of letting up and they face Tigre in midweek to catch up with their three postponed fixtures.