Estudiantes took the summit of Primera A on Saturday afternoon with a narrow win at home to fellow challengers Vélez Sársfield. The La Plata side lead River Plate and Boca Juniors by a single point, but could draw further ahead when the AFA confirm whether they’re taking all three points from the Racing match which was called off last week. Later in the evening, Andrés D’Alessandro scored twice in the second half to help last year’s Clausura winners San Lorenzo to a win over the defending champions, Lanús.
Iván Moreno y Fabianesi’s header with two minutes to go was enough to win a very tight match in the Estadio Municipal de La Plata, in which Vélez had started a little better and Estudiantes had come into it after the opening half hour or so, but neither side had really stamped their superiority on the game. 0-0 appeared to be the order of the day until Moreno y Fabianesi’s late intervention, followed by the sending off of Vélez’s substitute forward Santiago Silva, proved ultimately decisive. Estudiantes move top with 16 points from seven matches – River and Boca both have 15, and play their eighth matches on Sunday.
In the late clash of the two champions of 2007 (San Lorenzo won the Clausura; Lanús the Apertura), played in La Bombonera due to San Lorenzo’s stadium ban after the killing of Emanuel Alvarez prior to the cancelled match against Vélez a couple of weeks ago, former River manager Ramón Díaz enjoyed success in his old foes’ stadium. The win came largely thanks to his side being so quick off the mark – Néstor Silvera bagged the first goal after just two minutes, and the man who’d set him up, Andrés D’Alessandro, made it 2-0 in the opening minute of the second half. Lanús fought back, with Maxi Velázquez missing a penalty before Germán Cano made it 2-1 in the 65th minute, but D’Alessandro was on hand again to seal the win through a fine free kick with eight minutes of the 90 remaining.
Elsewhere the Gimnasia de Jujuy vs. Central relegation clash ended 1-1, a result which didn’t even do Racing much good – it’s saved them (perhaps temporarily) from slipping into the relegation spots in the Promedio, true, but it also leaves them rock bottom of the Clausura table. And Banfield, not for the first time this season, were involved in a goalfest against Argentinos – they ran out 3-2 winners thanks to a strike from Darío Cvitanich and two from Colombian Jairo Patiño. Gabriel Hauche and Andrés Scotti got the goals for the visitors.
I’m sure Sam will write about it, but I’ve just seen horrible images from a fight between two groups that fight for the power in the River Plate’s barrabrava.
River will face Arsenal later today and they will play at Velez because the Monumental will be hosting Ozzie Osbourne, Korn and other bands (ridiculous! Giving away your stadium when you have a match to play!!!).
Anyway…one of the gangs that push for power inside the barrabrava (La Banda del Oeste -The Gang from the West-) clashed with the traditional Los Borrachos del Tablón (The drunks of the stands -or something like that-). The scenes were horrible. Those criminals hitting each other with belts or bare fists and one of them lying almost unconcious with a lot of blood on his face.
The rest of the public were singing songs against those violent mercenaries that I’m sure don’t give a damn about River Plate and their fortunes.