Estudiantes have taken full advantage of their early start to the weekend, applying pressure on River Plate by going top of the table themselves on Friday night with a comfortable 3-1 win at home to Rosario Central. The visitors were victorious against River last weekend, but this time round Roberto Sensini’s men were too much for Central, in spite of the rosarinos‘ penalty equaliser midway through the second half.
All the goals came in the second half, after the first had been largely incident free. Estudiantes appeared to already have one eye on next week’s Copa Libertadores last 16 clash away to LDU Quito, playing distractedly in the first half, but all the same would have had no excuses had they gone in at the break trailing by a goal or even more – plain and simply, Central were the better side in the first half. It remained goalless until the interval, though, and when Estudiantes’ first strike came courtesy of Juan Manuel Salgueiro in the 56th minute.
After that goal Estudiantes began to improve, although ironically Central actually equalised from a penalty. Nine minutes after the goal, the referee thought he’d seen a foul in the box from Marcos Angeleri (no-one else spotted it), and José Vizcarra made no mistake from the spot. Immediately afterwards, though, Estudiantes reclaimed the lead through defender Juan Manuel Díaz, and within five minutes Pablo Piatti had finished the match off with the hosts’ third. He hit the post shortly after, otherwise the margin might have been even more.
Estudiantes top the league, then, at least until River take on Argentinos – a game Diego Simeone’s side now must win if they want to remain level on points at the top going into next weekend’s superclásico. Central, meanwhile, will find themselves in the relegation places again should Racing avoid defeat against Tigre on Saturday.