Independiente stick six past Sarmiento plus wins for Atlético Tucumán & Rosario Central (MONDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS)

There were question marks over the appointment of Julio César Falcioni as Independiente manager and while the club’s finances remain precarious El Rojo went top of Group B in the Copa De La Liga on Monday evening with a 6-0 win over Sarmiento.

Despite Falcioni’s reputation as a defensive minded coach Independiente took the foot off the brake to demolish the newly promoted club in ruthless fashion. It took only ten minutes to break the deadlock, the outstanding Lucas Romero firing a long ball over the Sarmiento backline to release Sebastián Palacios, who in acres of space slotted past Manuel Vicentini.

With the pace of Palacios on one side, Jonathan Menéndez on the other and captain Silvio Romero through the middle Independiente’s front three were too much for Sarmiento. Menéndez and Romero combined perfectly to add a second and a quick-fire Menéndez brace put El Rojo four-up before half time.

The break didn’t provide any respite to Sarmiento. Independiente had already gone close to adding a fifth when Lucas Romero burst through the middle to feed Palacios for his second and when a counter attack saw Silvio Romero tap in a sixth there appeared a genuine possibility Independiente could hit double figures.

Thankfully for Sarmiento with the substitutions and the players easing in the final twenty minutes or so it remained at six. A special performance with Falcioni now wondering where he fits in Alan Velasco with the 18-year-old close to a return after his positive Covid-19 test.

Whether or not Independiente have really turned a corner will be put to the test in the coming weeks. A kind opening schedule has been dealt with impressively but Saturday’s top of the group clash with Vélez before matches against Boca, Talleres and the clásico with Racing will give a better idea of where El Rojo are.

Earlier in Group B, Atlético Tucumán picked up their first win of the season beating Patronato 4-2.

Dylan Gissi headed Patronato in front against his old side but goals from Guillermo Acosta and Agusto Lotti turned things round before half time.

The visitors had chances to equalise yet found the game put beyond them, Óscar Benítez finishing off a nice move and Ramiro Ruiz Rodriguez adding a brilliant fourth off the bench. Gabriel Gudiño managed a stoppage time consolation but it couldn’t prevent a fifth straight defeat for Patronato.

And it’s also five consecutive defeats for Arsenal in Group A after Sergio Rondina’s side lost 2-1 away to Rosario Central.

A scrappy Damián Martínez goal gave Central a first half lead and with the game in the balance Martín Rabuñal nodded a second in the 82nd minute to all but kill off the visitors. Lucas Albertengo did pull one back late on yet couldn’t prevent the latest defeat.