San Lorenzo stay top

The opening matches of the ninth round of the Primera A Apertura have seen a couple of dramatic results. On Friday night Racing thrashed Central 4-1 in Avellaneda to draw level with the Rosario team in the relegation table and lift themselves – for a couple of tantalising hours until Banfield won away in Tucumán – out of the relegation zone. On Saturday there was business to be done at the other end of the table, and San Lorenzo consolidated first place against Vélez in Liniers, thanks to a late winner from Bernardo Romeo.

It was the first meeting between Vélez and San Lorenzo since the match during the Clausura which was postponed due to the death, on his way to San Lorenzo’s ground, of Vélez fan Emanuel Alvarez. For that reason, and for the fact that this was third hosting first in the Apertura table, it was a highly-charged match, but was played in good spirit as San Lorenzo dominated the opening exchanges. Vélez found themselves pushed back and it was only a sterling performance from Germán Montoya between the sticks that kept things level. The 28th minute substitution due to injury of Cuervo midfielder Cristian Ledesma seemed to even the match up a little, with Vélez taking advantage of the situation with more confidence in the midfield, though they were unable to translate their newfound control of the central third into a final ball or a goal.

In the second half Vélez went in search of the opener with more adventure, a particularly good chance coming in the 64th minute when Víctor Zapata set up Hernán López, whose header didn’t trouble Agustín Orión in the visiting goal. San Lorenzo managed just one chance of note in response to El Fortín‘s improved showing in the second period, with Néstor Silvera heading against the crossbar after a cross from Adrián González. Vélez, much better now, just didn’t have the luck at the other end. They paid for it with three minutes left on the clock. Gonzalo Bergessio got loose on the right and sent over a centre which found Romeo free in the middle. The striker made no mistake. A minute later, a frustrated Víctor Zapata was sent off for Vélez after headbutting Aureliano Torres to end a vibrant match under a cloud. San Lorenzo claim the three points and are five clear of Tigre in second, who play later in the evening. Miguel Angel Russo’s first semester in charge is going swimmingly so far.

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3 thoughts on “San Lorenzo stay top

  1. It’s not out of the question that Lanus could still put a run together and win this.
    At their best, they play the most beautiful football in the whole league. It doesn’t always come off, but when it does it’s a joy to watch, and they could’ve beaten Argentinos 10-2 tonight, not 4-2. Salvio is another fantastic talent off the production line, and his absolute joy in playing is so refreshing to watch, and an antidote to the overhyped Premiership ‘heroes’.

    I thought San Lorenzo were functional and got the job done eventually, but I can see Lanus getting stronger with Tigre, Velez and San Loree all to play.

  2. It is good to see Lanús playing well again after falling apart during the Clausura Matthew, I agree. They didn’t get mentioned here because in an effort to get something up on Saturday rather than Sunday, I was typing this story whilst watching the second half of their match with Argentinos.

    They’re certainly contenders. I don’t want anybody to mention by name the side currently in second place as being in with a chance though, I’d hate my site to be the ones to jinx them… Let’s see how they get on tonight.

  3. As regards San Lorenzo, they really are Chelsea-lite, you would expect any DT to do well with a squad in which they seem to have two top class, experienced players for every position.

    Is this the deepest squad in the league? I think if they don’t win it from this position, it would be a major failure. But, like the Chelsea of Mourinho, others play better football more often, and would deserve the title more.

    But CASL A*need* to win this title, because they *need* to qualify for the Libertadores, which they *need* to win. I imagine their fans are sick of Velez fans carrying Japanese flags and wearing Kamikaze headbands, of Mohamed holding up imaginary Copas (much like the ones his beloved Huracan have won), and of the well worn CASLA acronym.

    The pressure could start to tell if the run-in gets hairy.

    Lobo Ledesma seems so important to them, they are lucky to have this two week break.

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