Newell’s back on top as Gimnasia suffer defeat whilst Racing clinch Clásico

Written by Darren Paul

Newell’s Old Boys regained the top spot in the standings after round 6 of the season, thanks to a useful away draw at Platense. The hosts had some sights on Newell’s goal early, but the visitors would take the lead after 41 minutes. A long ball was played out of defence and harmlessly flicked onto the feet of Platense defender Juan Pablo Pignani. The centre-back played the ball back to his keeper Marcos Ledesma, as Ledesma went to control the ball it bobbled, bouncing over his foot and trickling into the back of the net as Ledesma sank to the grass. It really was a textbook example of why you never play the ball back to your keeper “on target”. Ledesma was credited with the own goal. 

Newells pressed on in the second half looking to stretch their lead, including a fine curling effort from long range by Francisco González but finally, after mounting pressure Platense equalised with seven minutes to go. Newells only half dealt with a corner late on, a diving tackle sending the ball bouncing out of the area to the feet of Juan Cruz Esquivel who flicked the ball up and volleyed it into the top corner leaving Ramiro Macagno grounded in the Newells goal. 

The point sees Newells leapfrog Gimnasia topping the table by a point. 

Gimnasia’s hot start came to an end on Sunday afternoon as they fell 2-0 away to Atlético Tucumán. El Decano got off to a flyer, grabbing the lead after just 13 seconds. Tucumán midfielder Ramiro Ruiz Rodriguez unleashed a thunderous strike from more than 30 yards out that rose on Rodrigo Rey, who could only parry it to be met with a header from Augusto Lotti for the opener. 

Both sides had chances to score, with Atlético Tucumán striking the crossbar twice before Rodriguez sealed the victory with a fine finish from an acute angle past Rey into the far corner. The hosts were well worth their win and they move up to 7th in the standings. 

Huracán remains in the top three thanks to their 3-2 away with at Lanús on Sunday night. El Globo were forced to work for their win, twice coming back from behind. Brian Aguirre got the scoring open, Franco Orozco’s blocked shot wasn’t cleared from danger allowing Aguirre to slam the ball home past a stranded Lucas Chaves. Huracan equalised 14 minutes later, Matías Cóccaro scoring from the penalty after Matías Pérez handled in the penalty area. 

12 minutes later Lanús retook the lead, Mateo Sanabria capitalising on more dreadful defending to force the ball home at the far post. After sustained pressure Benjamin Garré levelled the game on 52 minutes, Juan Gauto’s cross met Garre with space and time to fire past Fernando Monetti and the comeback was complete six minutes later. Walter Pérez played a perfect long ball forward for Franco Cristaldo to knock down to Cóccaro, who met the ball perfectly on the volley to keep Huracan in third position. 

Racing clinched a derby victory in the Clásico de Avellaneda over their next-door neighbours Independiente 1-0 on Sunday. Gabriel Hauche bagged the game-winner in acrobatic fashion in just the seventh minute of the game. Emiliano Vecchio played in a corner headed into the turf by Leonardo Sigali allowing Hauche to score past Sebastian Sosa with a spectacular overhead kick. 

Racing won a penalty midway through the first half, Vecchio being brought down as he drove into the area, but Enzo Copetti’s well-struck penalty sent Sosa the wrong way but rattled off the post. Facundo Ferreyra had the visitor’s best chance, a firmly struck shot at the near post met with an agile save from Chila Gomez in the Racing goal to secure the victory. Racing’s enormous celebrations at the final whistle just what a victory in the Clasico means for the players. 

River Plate and Boca Juniors both suffered defeats this weekend as their dreadful league campaigns continue following their Copa Libertadores eliminations last week. 

Boca travelled to Boedo to face San Lorenzo and took the lead after 28 minutes, captain Marcos Rojo heading home a free kick. San Lorenzo were level within ten minutes, Agustín Giay volleyed home a rebound past Agustín Rossi from close range. San Lorenzo thought they’d taken the lead on the stroke of halftime, but a fine strike from Nicolás Fernández Mercau was ruled out by VAR thanks to a foul in the build-up. 

Ten minutes into the second half Adam Bareiro did clinch the victory, nodding home from close range after a cross from the byline from Ezequiel Cerutti. 

River Plate fell 2-0 to Godoy Cruz on Sunday night, as two goals in three minutes consigned La Banda to their third loss this season. Gonzalo Abrego played a perfect through ball to Martin Ojeda who shot early past Franco Armani to open the scoring after 21 minutes. Roles were reversed two minutes later as Ojeda played a low cross into the area for Abrego to slot home and see Godoy Cruz into the top five. Both sides would finish the game with ten men, Godoy’s Gianluca Ferrari picking up two yellows in short order after 40 minutes and Rodrigo Aliendro of River who received his marching orders after an alleged stamp whilst being slide tackled. 

Three weeks into his managerial career and Carlos Tevez has his first win. Visitors Sarmiento were down to ten men after half an hour, Franco Quinteros was sent off for elbowing Franco Frías as the two went for a header. Tevez’s men dominated the contest, taking 23 shots to just six from Sarmiento and the pressure finally told in the 76th minute. Facundo Buonanotte thumped a powerful header into Sebastián Meza who could only fumble it into the net to give Central a much-needed first win of the season and move them up to 23rd in the standings.