Lucas Barrios’ return to Argentinos Juniors came as a surprise but Los Bichos are already reaping the rewards. Last weekend’s victory over San Martín included an important assist but on Friday evening, Argentinos Juniors defeated Defensa y Justicia and the veteran striker scored his first goal back in the club’s shirt.
A third consecutive win for Alfredo Berti’s side is the second impressive run that the recently promoted side have put together as they have comfortably separated themselves from the relegation battle. However, Defensa y Justicia had their chances and will look back on missed chances, feeling it was a second consecutive week of dropped points.
Both sides had opportunities to open the scoring during the first half with Nicolás Fernández and Ciro Rius squandering openings for the visitors and Jonathan Sandoval miscueing in front of goal from a Leonardo Pisculichi corner but the game didn’t need to wait long after the break for an opener.
Barrios, who had gone close with three headers last weekend, lost Dylan Gissi and was free to nod in from close range to provide the breakthrough.
Again, Defensa y Justicia should have scored when Argentinos Juniors’ keeper Lucas Chaves scrambled away an attempted olímpico only for Gissi to smash the rebound off the underside of the bar and after failing to draw level, Los Bichos extended their lead. Damián Batallini dashed clear to slot the ball past Ezequiel Unsain.
Finally, Defensa y Justicia did get their goal, Fernando Elizari scoring after Alexander Barboza’s free kick had hit the post but it was too late and Argentinos Juniors held on for a valuable three points.
At the same time in Paraná, Patronato were hoping to add points to their survival tally and managed one after a goalless draw with Godoy Cruz.
El Tomba, so dangerous in Mendoza, are a very different side on the road and as usual struggled to replicate the fluency that they produce at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas. However, it was still a game of chances just that neither could take advantage.
And finally, it is hardly unusual for Belgrano to keep a clean sheet this season but El Pirata were also unable to find a way past Lanús in a second stalemate of Friday’s Superliga action.
Lanús are a shadow of the side that lifted the 2016 Transición or went to the final of the Copa Libertadores last year but still carry a threat as long as Lautaro Acosta is on the pitch. Germán Denis, however poses nothing like the potency of José Sand and missed the visitors clearest chance before Belgrano should have taken all three points. Leonardo Sequeira found himself in acres of space with only Esteban Andrada to beat but put the ball over the crossbar as the two sides had to settle for a share of the points.