After going 21-matches unbeaten, Estudiantes’ defeat to Banfield two weeks ago was supposed to be just a blip. However, the runaway league leaders earlier in the season have now won just once in five and have been knocked off top spot following defeat to San Martín in San Juan.
With Leandro Desábato and Leandro Pirez González both out injured, Nelson Vivas named Julián Marchioni at centre back and it’s safe to say that El Pincha looked nothing like as defensively solid as usual. Goals from Juan Mattia and Facundo Barceló put San Martín firmly in control at the break.
Lucas Viatri headed the visitors within a goal midway through the second half but El Verdinegro responded immediately through Emanuel Dening. Viatri powerfully headed in a second to reduce the deficit again but with only 30 seconds of stoppage time remaining it came too late. For the second time in two weeks, El Pincha return to La Plata from away matches with nothing and this latest defeat has cost them their lead at the top.
While Estudiantes’ form has wobbled, Banfield’s has been outstanding and on Sunday afternoon in the Estadio Florencio Sola, Julio Falcioni’s side made it four consecutive victories. Relegation threatened Huracán were the visitors and although a superb goal-line clearance by Alexis Soto denied them a point, El Globo were deservedly beaten.
The impressive Emanuel Cecchini drilled the home side ahead from distance and although Falcioni’s side were unable to add to that first half lead, they held on for all three points. A result that puts them up into sixth and just four points behind Boca Juniors at the top. Huracán, meanwhile, slip level on points with Sarmiento in the final relegation spot and given El Verde’s form, are in desperate need of points.