A little later than usual so a brief Golazo Awards for February.
With the Superliga now back in full flow after the summer break, Boca Juniors still lead the way and Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side had an almost perfect February to maintain their advantage over the chasing pack.
While Talleres and San Lorenzo remain the closest rivals, the Avellaneda giants, Independiente and Racing Club have enjoyed good runs of form and are now hot on the heels in the remaining 2019 Copa Libertadores spots.
Independiente suffered an agonising defeat to Grêmio in the Recopa last month but had little time to dwell on the result as this year’s Libertadores got underway. Banfield fell at the final hurdle of qualifying, leaving Boca Juniors, River Plate, Independiente, Racing Club, Estudiantes and Atlético Tucumán to represent the country. Only Racing enjoyed opening week success in the tournament but with plenty of time left in the group stages, confidence remains high among Argentina’s other representatives.
Manager of the month
While Talleres’ Frank Kudelka and Boca’s Guillermo Barros Schelotto can look back on a good February, there is one manager in the Superliga who could not have asked for more. Eduardo Coudet took over a badly stuttering Racing side, that under Diego Cocca’s conservative tactics were unable to perform to the best of their capabilities. Chacho was boosted in the transfer market with some excellent additions but has crucially taken the shackles off the side.
Defensively, Racing remain shaky but building the side around the offensive talents of Lautaro Martínez and Ricardo Centurión, La Academia have reeled off five straight Superliga wins and triumphed in their Copa Libertadores opener. Supporters may need to hold their breath at times when oppositions attack but with such an attack, few sides can keep Racing out at the other end. There is still room for Coudet to make improvements but the difference from last year is already very clear.
Player of the month
Two players have dominated the Superliga this month and both have been finding the net with lethal regularity. Sebastian Ribas may be at struggling Patronato but his goals have pulled El Patrón away from relegation trouble and fired the Uruguayan to the top of the scoring charts.
With four goals in his last four games, Ribas now has eleven for the season, more than any other striker, and his powerful displays have provided Patronato with a focal point to their attack that others can work off and a regular scorer that most other sides around the bottom simply do not possess.
Lautaro Martínez is playing catch-up but has started 2018 in electrifying form and with Jorge Sampaoli now a regular at the Cilindro, the 20-year-old looks set for a place in the Argentina squad. Martínez began February with a hat-trick against Huracán, scored another treble on his Libertadores debut and while not finding the net again in the league until this weekend just gone, has been instrumental to Racing’s impressive form.
Inter Milan are desperately trying to wrap up a deal for the young forward and it is just as well because with every passing performance, more and more people become aware of one of world football’s brightest talents.
Goal of the month
There could be a list of options but to be honest it would be a waste of time. There was only one possible winner after Nacho Scocco did this against Olimpo.