A great deal has happened in November despite another week off for an international break as in the space of four weeks, the Superliga title went from being sewn up to wide open in the space of three rounds.
Champions Boca Juniors started the month with a 100% record still intact and when Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side triumphed over bitter rivals River Plate in El Monumental, many thought the title race was as good as over. This season’s Superclásico was supposed to present a possible hurdle for Boca but Los Xeneizes came through and took a commanding lead at the top of the table.
However, a dip in form and a serious injury to leading scorer Darío Benedetto to add to the already absent Fernando Gago led to two consecutive defeats, allowing a resurgent San Lorenzo to close the gap.
The Superclásico wasn’t the only big derby in the Superliga and despite Independiente being focused on their run to the Copa Sudamericana final, El Rojo secured a narrow win over struggling Racing Club.
That defeat led to Diego Cocca walking away from the Cilindro and with the news that Walter Coyette has resigned as Chacarita Juniors manager, the list of outgoing coaches is already up to ten for the season.
Independiente’s hopes of lifting the Sudamericana hang on this week’s final but international competition has already caused plenty of heartbreak in Argentina with Lanús seeing their Copa Libertadores dreams cut short.
An impressive Grêmio side ran out 3-1 winners on aggregate to win the famous competition and El Granate were left to ponder what might have been.
That run to the final did see Lautaro Acosta shortlisted for South American footballer of the year and the Lanús forward was joined by River Plate’s Ignacio Scocco, Boca Juniors’ Darío Benedetto, Flamengo’s Paolo Guerrero and Grêmio’s Luan.
Argentina were also back in action after sealing their place at next summer’s World Cup in October. Jorge Sampaoli took his squad over to Russia early and a victory over the hosts was followed up by defeat to subsequent World Cup group stage opponents, Nigeria. Ahead of a tricky looking group next June, Sampaoli still has a great deal to get right.
And while it is still early days, the new look AFA and national team set-up scored a success as Diego Placente led the under-15s to Campeonato Sudamericano glory after a stunning fightback against Brazil.
That was November and these are the awards for the month…
Manager of the Month
Defensa y Justicia had struggled since Jorge Sampaoli opted to reunite with Sebastián Beccacece within his Argentina staff. The appointment of Nelson Vivas as his replacement fell short and it has only been in the past month or so that the club has turned things around. Juan Pablo Vojvoda deserves enormous credit for that as his side have been playing an attacking brand of football that has produced eleven goals during a run of four straight wins.
Team of the Month
Player of the Month
As if from nowhere, Nicolás Fernandez has burst onto the scene and provided Defensa y Justicia with an invaluable source of goals in recent weeks. The 21-year-old, younger brother to Independiente’s Leandro and FC Metz’s Brian, Nico has been in sensational form, scoring seven goals so far this season in five appearances.
An instinctive finisher, Uvita has rapidly progressed from Defensa y Justicia’s youth ranks into the first team and now looks a permanent fixture in the attack. El Halcón has proven an excellent nurturing ground for young talent and if Fernandez maintains this form, he will undoubtedly be snapped up.
Goal of the month
a) Gervasio Núñez – Rosario Central v ATLÉTICO TUCUMÁN
— VarskySports (@VarskySports) November 7, 2017
b) Edwin Cardona – River Plate v BOCA JUNIORS
— BocafanOficial (@BocafanOficial) November 7, 2017
c) Leonardo Ponzio – RIVER PLATE v Boca Juniors
¡CLÁSICO DE GOLAZOS!
Así fue el gol de Ponzio de River ante Boca. ⚽pic.twitter.com/cJJs1IPna0
— PlayMakersMX (@PlaymakersMx) November 5, 2017
d) Lautaro Martínez – Boca Juniors v RACING
Con un golazo de la figura de la cancha Lautaro Martínez se abría el partido para #Racing
Luego llegó el penal de #Benedetto para #Boca
Lo relaté para @FutbolShowOk con comentarios de @alebalzano61 y un gran equipo. pic.twitter.com/ZuYLjGDfHC
— Edgardo Gonzalez (@granega) November 20, 2017
e) Diego Zabala – Patronato v Unión
#SuperligaQuilmesClásica ¡Vos elegís el #GolDeLaFecha 10! Zapatazo de Diego Zabala, de @clubaunion ante Patronato: si es tu anotación preferida de la jornada, retuiteá el video y dale ♥ pic.twitter.com/f57pcWuo6g
— Superliga Argentina (@argsaf) November 28, 2017
f) Gonzalo Martínez – River Plate v Newell’s Old Boys
#SuperligaQuilmesClásica ¡Vos elegís el #GolDeLaFecha 10! Fútbol y toque de CARPoficial para que Gonzalo Martínez definiera con categoría ante Newell’s. Si creés que fue la mejor anotación de la jornada, dale RT al video y dale ❤️ pic.twitter.com/aYRR4fYTVi
— Sama Futbol (@SamaFutbol) November 28, 2017