River Plate emphatically got their league form back on track with a 6-1 demolition of Godoy Cruz.
After suffering defeat to Argentinos Juniors and looking vulnerable in last week’s Superclásico which version of Marcelo Gallardo’s River would turn up in Mendoza was a mystery. And yet inside 20 minutes the Millonarios had completely blown away a woeful Godoy Cruz.
With Agustín Palavecino pulling the strings in midfield, the front three of Matías Suárez, Julián Álvarez and Rafael Santos Borré had a field day scarcely able to believe the space they were afforded by the home side’s defence.
Borré tapped in the opener after 8 minutes and soon after River had Álvarez setting up Suárez and Borré again for three simple goals.
Álvarez would nab one for himself minutes later breaking through two challenges to run from halfway and round Nelson Ibáñez for four and the concern for Sebastián Méndez in the home dugout was just how many his side would concede.
The easiest of hat-tricks for Borré was completed after 36 minutes and when the Colombian slotted in number six straight after the restart it looked ominously as though River weren’t going to ease up.
Thankfully for Godoy Cruz they did and the only remaining goal was Valentín Burgoa rifling in a consolation goal from the edge of the box.
There will be far harder tests for River but Gallardo’s side served a reminder of how potent their attack can be when things click.
The weekend’s derby took place in just south of Buenos Aires and while Banfield claimed the honours in the Clásico del Sur an administrative error may yet see Lanús claim victory.
A typically fiery clásico really sprang to life just before the break when Lanús had striker Nicolás Orsini sent off for a second yellow card. What had been a evenly contested game with the visitors shading it if either side had come closer to breaking the deadlock suddenly swung in favour of the home side and it took only five minutes after the restart for Banfield to take advantage.
A brilliant pass from Giuliano Galoppo found Luciano Pons to cooly beat Lautaro Morales and soon after Pons was left unmarked once again to plant a header into the top corner.
Banfield had secured victory but the decision to bring on youngster Gregorio Tanco for the final stages after the 21-year-old was sent off for the reserves last week could come back to haunt the Taladro. Lanús claim that the suspension would carry to this fixture for the first team in addition to the reserves and if so the Granate could take the three points.
At the top of Group B, Vélez Sarsfield nicked a 1-0 win over Independiente to move three points clear.
Mauricio Pellegrino’s side saw plenty of possession but failed to create many chances and it was instead the visitors on the counter that came closest to opening the scoring. With the game heading for a goalless draw Vélez snatched victory, a set-piece kept alive in the six-yard box and Luis Abram alert to head in an 83rd minute winner.
Earlier in the day Gimnasia earned a 2-0 win over Atlético Tucumán in La Plata. Marcelo Weigandt heading an early opener and Johan Carbonero tapping in a second fifteen minutes from time to move El Lobo up to seventh in Group B.
And Huracán chalked up a first win of the season in Israel Damonte’s final game as manager. The 39-year-old’s departure had already been confirmed ahead of the trip to Paraná and his short tenure ended in victory, 18-year-old Pablo Oro running clear in the second half to score the game’s only goal. A new start for El Globo now and one that Patronato could maybe do with too after a sixth straight defeat.