Considering his caretaker manager status Claudio Biaggio isn’t doing a bad job at San Lorenzo after his side chalked up a deserved victory over Defensa y Justicia on Friday night to maintain an unbeaten start to the season and climb to second.
Despite suffering a serious injury setback in midweek when Bautista Merlini ruptured his knee ligaments in training, San Lorenzo started well in the Nuevo Gasómetro. In Merlini’s absence, more will be expected of Ezequiel Cerutti and after 18 minutes the 25-year-old slotted Los Cuervos in front. The finish was unerring but the credit goes to Fernando Belluschi, who twisted and turned away from defensive attention to thread the ball through.
Nicolás Blandi had gone close to doubling the lead in the first half, crashing a header against the crossbar, but didn’t need to wait long after the restart to get his name on the scoresheet. Belluschi again the architect, squaring for the centre forward to stroke in the second.
Defensa y Justicia were still posing something of a threat until Cerutti all but ended the contest. Cutting in from the left, the forward’s powerful shot proved to hot for Gabriel Arias and whistled into the back of the net through the goalkeeper’s grasp.
Youngster Nicolás Fernández did manage a consolation in the closing stages but there was no denying San Lorenzo their points.
Earlier in La Fortaleza, José Sand put an end to the unbeaten start of Unión with two quick second half goals to hand Lanús a fourth straight win.
The visitors arrived with the confidence of a side that were yet to taste defeat and were perhaps unfortunate not to be ahead early when Jonathan Bottinelli had a header chalked off for a innocuous looking foul at a corner. However, Unión and Bottinelli didn’t need to wait long to correct that as Lanús failed to defend a free kick and allowed the defender to nod in the opener.
Unión looked the more likely to score next before the break but after half time, Lanús moved up a gear and when they needed some inspiration, they found it in talisman Pepe Sand.
Two instinctive close range finishes five minutes apart turned the game and ultimately handed Lanús all three points. Sand’s five for the season puts him level with Darío Benedetto at the top of scoring charts and continues to defy a lack of any natural skills. The 37-year-old’s instinct, movement and experience outweighing everything else to remain as one of the Superliga’s deadliest goal scorers.
Lanús 2 – 1 Unión
San Lorenzo 3 – 1 Defensa y Justicia