There appears to be no stopping Atlético Tucumán at present and the same can be said for club icon Luís Miguel Rodríguez, the portly Pulga who scored yet another wonderful goal on Friday evening to hand El Decano victory over Belgrano in Córdoba.
A run to the Copa Libertadores quarter finals and one defeat all season, Atlético are now only a single point behind Superliga leaders Racing Club and despite only being promoted back to the top flight in 2015, few are taking Ricardo Zielinski’s side lightly any more.
Pulga Rodríguez is the embodiment of the team, a player whose talent is at odds with his somewhat unathletic frame. The 33-year-old is one of the Superliga’s outstanding performers this season and like the entire Atlético team is maintaining a level that makes them formidable.
Friday’s opponents Belgrano slipped into the relegation match with San Martín’s victory in midweek and with the possibility of dropping out of the top flight, El Pirata welcomed former manager Ricardo Zielinski back to the Alberdi, a reminder of better times in Córdoba.
The popular manager appeared to brought some of that positivity with him initially as Belgrano led after only 12 minutes, Leonardo Sequeira slotting in from the penalty spot after a tug in the box. However, his new club haven’t risen to the position they are in without being able to respond to falling behind and so it didn’t take long for Bruno Bianchi to nod the visitors level.
It stayed that way until approaching the hour mark when a fine passing move led to Leandro Díaz tapping Atlético in front and as Belgrano pushed forward in search of an equaliser, Rodríguez ended the contest. Racing away on the counter, La Pulga spotted César Rigamonti off his line and with nonchalant ease pinged the ball over the goalkeeper’s head and into the top corner.
Zielinski led Belgrano in some of their best times but left the Alberdi on Friday with his former club in a worrying position. El Ruso now has Atlético in uncharted territory and any Superliga title challengers will need to be very wary of Pulga led revolution in Tucumán.
Belgrano 1 – 3 Atlético Tucumán
With Belgrano currently occupying one of the four relegation places, Argentinos Juniors are sliding closer to danger after Talleres visited La Paternal on Friday and inflicted yet another defeat on the worryingly toothless Bichos.
Argentinos have won only once this season and have only scored in one other game, that coming last time out when they were beaten by a Tigre side playing with ten men for 85 minutes. Raúl Sanzotti took charge after Ezequiel Carboni’s short spell at the club came to an end after that defeat but there was to be no change in fortune.
Junior Arias gave Talleres a 10th minute lead, pouncing on a loose ball after goalkeeper Lucas Chaves blocked a low cross into the six-yard box and given how Argentinos’ struggles in front of goal, a comeback always looked unlikely.
A big second half was needed but instead Chaves fumbled another ball across goal and two minutes after the restart Gonzalo Maroni was tapping Talleres two in front.
Without any sign of a goal, Argentinos Juniors slipped to another defeat. For now they remain a couple of places above relegation but in this form, those sides sitting in the drop zone are eagerly observing their demise.
Argentinos Juniors 0 – 2 Talleres
And finally in the Gigante de Arroyito, Rosario Central earned a 2-1 win over ten-man Estudiantes.
An unmarked Fernando Zampedri side footed in from close range to give Central a 13th minute lead and when Estudiantes saw youngster Iván Gómez sent off for a second bookable offence before half time, the visitor’s task only became so much harder.
Washington Camacho headed a second ten minutes from time and although Lucas Albertengo pulled one back late on, Central held on for all three points and a first win in nine Superliga fixtures.