Yet another twist

The title race swung decidedly back in the direction of Lanús on Sunday afternoon, as Boca Juniors lost in El Viaducto to an Arsenal side who should have been distracted by the thought of an impending Copa Sudamericana final. Lanús, should they get a win over Argentinos, will have the title within their grasp.

Two first-half headers, from Andrés San Martín and Alejandro Gómez, put paid to Boca before the break, and the Xeneize, playing dreadfully, couldn’t really get back into the match in the second period. Carlos Bueno got a consolation with fifteen minutes to play, but Boca never looked like getting the equaliser.

A game of long passes and not too much real football from both sides, but it was Arsenal’s greater hunger and eagerness to get the ball into more dangerous positions that did the trick. Boca’s fans will be anything but enamoured with the result, but three other sides will be over the moon. Lanús have a real chance of putting one hand on the trophy now, Tigre’s chances of finishing second (or, who knows, even first?) have improved hugely – and let’s not forget the victors themselves, who will now give América a welcome for the Sudamericana final first leg on the back of some very good home form indeed.

5 thoughts on “Yet another twist

  1. I saw some of this game, Sam, and was impressed by Arsenal. Apologies if you’ve covered this in an earlier post I missed, but how have such a relatively small team been able to put together such good form?

  2. Part of it is that they’re not really so small as it seems from the outside, Tom. Their founding president, back in 1957, was Julio Grondona, who now runs the AFA, and their current president is his nephew. They’re one of three sides (River and Boca inevitably the others) currently involved in a court investigation into biased refereeing.

    But they’ve been pretty good for the last couple of years now, playing in the Libertadores for the first time this year and also qualifying for next year’s as well as reaching the Sudamericana final. They still haven’t won any titles, but it’s not quite come out of the blue.

    That being said they’re hardly flying in the current league table…

  3. I was impressed by their determination and effort over the two legs against River. And the goalkeeper, Mario Cuenca, was very impressive, especially for a guy who appears to enjoy his meals :) That’s about the best I can say about them, tho. They were pretty negative in both legs, and I’m expecting them to suck the life out of both legs of the Final as well.

  4. Thanks Sam. I was surprised to see how low they were in the table given how they’ve been playing recently. Is that down to fixture congestion?

  5. They’ve not got an unusually small squad, so I wouldn’t have thought so. They had a bit of a slow start to the Apertura, though – they lost three of the first five matches (drawing one of the other two), and later went five matches without a win in September – October.

    Inconsistency has been the tale of their season, really, but they’ve pulled it together superbly as a unit for the matches in the Copa.

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