There are two faces to Marcelo Gallardo’s River Plate. One is the all-conquering Copa Libertadores winning goliath and the other is the horribly inconsistent Superliga outfit, who after losing to Unión on Wednesday suffered back-to-back home defeats at the Monumental for the first time since 2013.
Unbeaten Defensa y Justicia inflicting defeat last week was one thing but Unión hadn’t won in five before the summer break and averaged less than a goal a game.
But in spite of this, it was the visitors that took the lead shortly before half time after Kevin Sibille fouled Franco Troyansky and allowed Franco Fragapane to hammer in from the penalty spot.
River’s hopes for a reply were far too dependent on Juan Fernando Quintero’s creativity and it was Unión able to double their lead. An uncharacteristic weaving run by Nelson Acevedo saw the ball cut back and Diego Zabala was there to fire past Franco Armani.
Quintero did pull a goal back late, albeit with the help of Jonthan Bottinelli diverting the Colombian’s long range strike into the top corner but it was too late for River.
Two games in-hand remain for River, the top four is still within touching distance and Matias Suárez is likely to be one of a couple of new signings before the window closes but Marcelo Gallardo needs improvements.