Lanús recorded a fairly comfortable victory over local rivals, Banfield in the Estadio Florencio Sola on Sunday afternoon to not only take the bragging rights associated with winning the Clásico del Sur but also further enhance their title credentials. A Pablo Mouche goal had put El Granate in charge and although the hosts made life difficult for a short spell in the second half, the late dismissals of Santiago Silva and Claudio Pérez handed the initiative back to Jorge Almirón’s title contenders and José Sand wrapped up the points.
Banfield having won just once this year saw El Taladro bring Julio César Falcioni back to the club for his third spell but even his influence couldn’t prevent high-flying Lanús. The form guide certainly pointed to an away win but the home supporters would have been praying that the old adage of form goes out of the window in the clásico rang true.
For 30 minutes or so it may have, as the hosts managed to frustrate their obviously superior opponents but when Alexis Soto miscontrolled a crossfield pass and allowed Pablo Mouche to cut inside and rifle the ball into the bottom corner, it was difficult to see a way back.
Lanús should perhaps have been more comfortably in front and so when Santiago Silva twice went close in the second half, there was a brief flicker of hope. However, that was soon extinguished when the unstable, veteran striker first clattered into a Lanús player and then went bezerk in the face of referee, Germán Delfino.
Silva’s red card was soon followed by another to Claudio Pérez for a forearm to the face of Lautaro Acosta and with nine men, the visitors were able to take advantage. Full-back José Luis Gómez burst down the right and pulled the ball back for Pepe Sand to tap in his 11th goal of the season.
The victory means Lanús go five points clear at the top of Zone Two, at least until Estudiantes play on Monday evening, and aside from perhaps being title favourites at the moment, El Granate are already closing in on Copa Libertadores football for 2017.