The sample size remains too small for any major conclusions but few would have predicted Arsenal to begin their return to the top flight with three straight wins. Sergio Rondina’s B Nacional winners last season put three past Defensa y Justicia on Sunday to continue a perfect start and go top of the Superliga without a single goal conceded.
The drop off from last season’s high of finishing as Superliga runners-up was always expected for Defensa y Justicia but the nature of defeat at home to Arsenal will be deeply concerning for new manager Mariano Soso. Not since the Primera B Nacional 1987/88 season have El Halcón lost their three opening fixtures and in truth the defeat to Arsenal could have been even heavier.
Lautaro Parisi ran clear of the shambolic defence to slot in the opener after only ten minutes and when Gastón Álvarez Suárez stole possession from Diego Rodríguez to charge forward and fire in a second, Arsenal were cruising.
It could easily have been more before the break with Nicolás Giménez hitting the post when the goal was open and the chances continued to come after half time.
Fifteen minutes from time a completely unmarked Joel Soñora finished off a counter and with it Arsenal wrapped up victory and celebrated going top of the table.
Defensa y Justicia 0 – 3 Arsenal
Arsenal heading the pack comes as a real shock but it is no surprise to see the two sides directly below the leaders. River Plate’s unbeaten start has Marcelo Gallardo’s side two points off the pace and they were joined by rivals Boca Juniors on Sunday night after a 2-0 win over Aldosivi.
The two Buenos Aires giants have eyes on Copa Libertadores quarter-final first legs this week and although Boca’s focus is on their trip to Quito, it was a relatively routine three points for Gustavo Alfaro’s side.
That’s not to say it was a particularly impressive performance. Daniele de Rossi made his first Superliga apperance following the Copa Argentina defeat to Almagro and new centre forward Franco Soldano made his debut but Boca were still disjointed.
Carlos Izquierdoz and Agustín Obando both headed against the crossbar during a first half that was saved by Carlos Tevez tapping in the opening goal after 34 minutes.
Aldosivi never really looked likely or capable of upsetting Boca and Eduardo Salvio came off the bench to wrap up the win with his third goal for the club already.
A much needed win after the cup exit and now Boca look for a positive result away to Liga de Quito in the Libertadores.
Boca Juniors 2 – 0 Aldosivi
Another side struggling to replicate last season’s form are Vélez Sarsfield and another sub-par display resulted in a 3-1 defeat to Lanús.
After a goalless first half it took only a couple of minutes after the restart for the home side to get their breakthrough, youngster Lucas Vera getting in behind and his low cross deflected off Lautaro Gianetti to bobble past Lucas Hoyos into the net.
Vélez would find a swift equaliser in equally fortuitous circumstance, Lautaro Acosta heading into his own goal but Lanús responded well.
A tug on Marcelino Moreno by Tomás Guidara allowed José Sand to restore the lead from the penalty spot and late on Nicolás Orsini tapped in a third after Pedro de la Vega’s initial shot had been saved.
With such lofty expectations for this term, Gabriel Heinze will demand more from his team while Lanús will be relieved to bounce back from their ravaging at the hands of River two weeks ago.
Relegation fears will have been eased with that three points and Patronato are also looking to fight their way to safety. The situation is far more grave for the team from Paraná but a deserved 2-1 win over Huracán at least ensured the likes of Newell’s and Central didn’t open up any gap at the bottom.
Gabriel Ávalos headed in an early opener and although strike partner Hugo Silveira missed a glorious opportunity to double the lead during the first half, the Uruguayan did eventually head a second on the hour mark.
Norberto Briasco pulled a goal back but Huracán couldn’t salvage a point.
Lanús 3 – 1 Vélez Sarsfield
Patronato 2 – 1 Huracán