The first (and more important) of the weekend’s two clásicos was Saturday’s first match, and it saw Lanús extend their lead at the top of the table, thus ensuring they’ll finish the weekend top of the table. Elsewhere, Newell’s won at the Nuevo Gasómetro in a clash of two sides scrambling for Copa Sudamericana qualification, and Estudiantes edged out Argentinos in a five-goal thriller. Friday night’s matches both saw away wins.
Lanús won away to Banfield in the 2007 Apertura, the last (and so far only) time they were crowned champions, with two goals from José Sand. Today, the same player scored the only goal, chesting the ball over the line after twenty-eight minutes from a Maxi Velázquez cross. Prior to the goal Banfield had by and large had the better of the play, but in one fatal minute they lost the match. Maximiliano Bustos was off the pitch being attended to for a knock he’d (unintentionally) been dealt by Matías Fritzler when the goal was scored. He immediately raced back onto the pitch to remonstrate with the referee as to why Fritzler hadn’t been punished, and was himself shown a red card for his troubles.
After that, Banfield threw everything but the kitchen sink at their visitors, but in spite of a second half of enormous pressure which could have made spectators forget the missing player, they couldn’t come away with anything. For Lanús, it’s a win which will allow them to watch Sunday’s matches with their feet up. Four games still remain, but whatever happens in Liniers and Santa Fe, the Granate will still be top come Sunday night.
In Boedo, San Lorenzo hosted a Newell’s side battling closely with them for a place in the Copa Sudamericana. The game was still deadlocked at half time but it was the rosarinos who won out in the end, taking the lead through Mauricio Sperdutti just three minutes after the break and thus blowing Diego Simeone’s team-talk to the home side to pieces almost instantly. Just after the hour mark, Alejandro Da Silva put the game beyond doubt for Newell’s.
Also on Saturday, Estudiantes were 2-0 up at half time and looking comfortable against Argentinos in La Plata, thanks to two goals from Enzo Pérez (the second right on the stroke of half time). It took seconds for the visitors to get back into the game through Gabriel Hauche, and just three minutes after that the score was 2-2, Nico Pavlovich getting the equaliser. The scoring wasn’t over though – Pérez completed his hat trick in the 61st minute, and El Pincha won out.
Friday night’s matches saw wins for both the visiting sides, with Gimnasia de Jujuy grabbing the only goal of the game against Arsenal through Héctor Silva, and Tigre beating Godoy Cruz with goals from Néstor Ayala and – can you guess? – Carlos Luna.