Five talking points from Round twelve of the Primera – plus ALL the goals

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A weekend of clásicos is really really bad

What more can I say that these tweet doesn’t already tell you….

The intense pressure from the stands and the strong desire simply to avoid defeat led to perhaps the worst weekend of football in living memory. Nearly all of the leagues major clásicos ended goalless and in a nation where these fixtures are better known for their atmospheres than the action on the pitch, the AFAs decision to schedule them all together proved utterly disastrous.

The scheduling made worse by five of the teams having Copa Libertadores last 16 matches this week. Anyway I could go on but just thinking about the football from this weekend is bringing on another migraine. My thoughts on the clásicos can be read here.

The Superclásico disappoints once again

When Pablo Pérez booting Eder Álvarez Balanta up the arse and getting sent off in the 11th minute and Fernando Gago once again rupturing his achilles tendon again are the only two real talking points, it’s a good indication that the latest superclásico wasn’t exactly action-packed.

River could have shown more intent when playing against ten men but are already out of the Transición title race (as are Boca) and both have Copa Libertadores matches in a matter of days. The result was that a lot of pushing and shoving aside neither side looked to desperate to win and were instead just intent on not losing.

The superclásico remains a great event but is at saturation point after the clubs have crammed the calendar with money-spinning friendlies. Less is more gentlemen, less is more.

FUTBOL- San Lorenzo  VS Huracan. Buenos Aires, 23 de abril de 2016. FOTO DANIEL JAYO/LA NACION

San Lorenzo edge Huracán and have their eyes fixed on the title

“We did not deserve to leave empty handed” were the words of an irate Eduardo Domínguez after his Huracán side narrowly lost to San Lorenzo in the Nuevo Gasómetro on Saturday afternoon. El Globo will feel as though every decision went against them but Nicolás Blandi’s second half goal handed Los Cuervos a vital three points in their title challenge and gained revenge for the defeat last season that all but ended their hopes of lifting the Torneo 2015 trophy.

It hasn’t been an easy few months for Pablo Guede as San Lorenzo after watching his side become the only Argentine side not to progress past the Copa Libertadores group stage. However, a recent resurgence in league form now has San Lorenzo as perhaps favourites to lift the Zone One title and challenge for the Transición trophy.

The clásico against Huracán was one of the weekend’s few enjoyable clashes and witnessed a remarkable moment when Néstor Ortigoza actually failed from the penalty spot.

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Zone Two title is Lanús’ to lose

Lanús moved closer to the Zone Two title with a 2-0 win over Banfield to complete a double in the clásico del Sur, just two weeks after winning in their rivals own backyard. An incident packed game swung in favour of the home side thanks to Víctor Ayala’s spectacular long range strike and with games running out, Jorge Almirón’s side’s ability to find a way to win has them on the verge of next year’s Copa Libertadores and a spot in the Transición final.

With Estudiantes failure to gain three points from the clásico Platense, it leaves El Granate five points clear  at the top and eight clear of third, with four matches to play. A place in the Libertadores is almost confirmed already but with upcoming fixtures against Tigre, Aldosivi and Argentinos Juniors before the final day meeting with Huracán it is difficult to envisage one of the Torneo finalists being Lanús.

For two weeks running when it looked for a moment that the zone two leaders would drop points, they conjured up a win. Against Atlético Rafaela it was by virtue of a rather lucky penalty and with ten men in the clásico it was Ayala’s thunderbolt.

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Argentinos Juniors look doomed

Only one side in the 30-team Primera is yet to celebrate a win in 2016 and it is no surprise that that same team currently sits bottom of the descenso table and is four games away from slipping into the Nacional B.

Argentinos Juniors have the worst attack and the worst defence in the league and aren’t even having a great deal of luck at the moment so should they find themselves back outside the top flight next season, it will come as little surprise.

After letting a lead slip to end up with a creditable but fairly useless point against Racing, Los Bichos missed a penalty to allow victory to slip away from them against Newell’s and then suffered a last minute goal in their clásico against Vélez. When you’re as desperate for three points as Argentinos Juniors are at the moment, these opportunities cannot be missed.

Sarmiento and Temperley getting sucked back in leave the escape as a possibility but Los Bichos need a win and it is becoming increasingly difficult to see where that comes from. Boca visit La Paternal next before a trip to Unión, hosting Lanús and ending with a potentially huge relegation clash away to Atlético Rafaela.

All the goals from round twelve (it’s a short one this week)….

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