Heavy rain washed out River Plate’s rearranged fixture against Estudiantes on Thursday so the two sides met in the Monumental on Friday and it was Marcelo Gallardo’s in-form side whose momentum rolled on.
Estudiantes are in dreadful form and under the temporary management of Leandro Benítez so it was no surprise to see River start on the front foot. Enzo Pérez had already clipped the crossbar when Javier Pinola headed Juan Fernando Quintero’s corner into the bottom corner after ten minutes.
The visitors did gradually come back into it but on each occasion the River goal was threatened, World Cup hopeful Franco Armani was equal to it.
Ignacio Scocco came off the bench on the hour mark and with ten minutes remaining smashed River two ahead.
The points almost secure River a place in next year’s Copa Sudamericana and while that wouldn’t be the clubs target at the start of the season, the club have been superb in 2018.
River Plate 2 – 0 Estudiantes
While River and Estudiantes were catching up on a fixture from Round 25, the Superliga’s final weekend of fixtures kicked off and San Martín sent Chacarita Juniors packing to the B Nacional with an emphatic 4-1 win.
Claudio Spinelli, in probably the last game of his tremendous loan spell for the club, put San Martín ahead early and while Elías Alderete pulled Chacarita level, the visitors seized back the advantage.
Facundo Barceló restored the lead before the break and while Chacarita enjoyed the better of the second half, Claudio Mosca made sure of the points with a third 20 minutes from time. Luis Ardente added a fourth from the penalty spot to seal victory.
Later in La Fortaleza, Lanús chalked up a fifth straight draw but had more than enough chances to comfortably beat Atlético Tucumán.
José Sand’s departure among others has left a huge void at Lanús and during a dismal 2018, the lack of a goal scorer has been clear. Never more so than on Friday.
Lanús had been close but when Marcelino Moreno was hauled down in the penalty box with a few minutes it looked as though El Granate would finally be celebrating victory. However, Gastón Lodico stepped up and crashed his effort against the crossbar to ensure another goalless stalemate.