It was an intrigue-packed evening of football in Argentina on Thursday, in the eighth round of the 2009 Torneo Apertura. Colón went fourth with a performance full of golazos to beat Arsenal 4-1. Shortly afterwards champions Vélez Sársfield, who haven’t lost a single match at home in 2009, ended Argentinos Juniors’ unbeaten run with a Maxi Moralez goal which takes them back to the top of the table. A nice pick-me-up after the news that Atlético de Madrid plan to make Nicolás Otamendi a January signing. And finally, the clásico between Racing and Boca, although not affecting the top of the table in any way, still carried some drama – a headline performance from Lucas Viatri, in the team due to Martín Palermo’s call-up to the national side, ensured that Ricardo Caruso Lombardi will be standing down from job as Racing manager.
Colón’s performance at home to Arsenal would have been worthy of sending them top, had it been mathematically possible, but they’ll settle for fourth with a smile on their collective face all the same. Alfredo Ramírez got things going twenty-two minutes in, and although that was the only goal of the first half, things opened out a lot in the second. Germán Rivarola doubled Colón’s lead just a minute after the break, Matías Pérez pulled one back almost immediately, and Colón then ran away with it before the 75th minute with first Facundo Bertoglio and then youngster Jonathan Bauman completing the rout. Javier Yacuzzi was sent off for the visitors with eight minutes left.
Vélez’s win over Argentinos was hardly as convincing, but no less important. Thursday brought the news that Atlético de Madrid were sending a representative to Liniers to try and thrash out a deal for centre back Nicolás Otamendi at a cost of around US$8.8 million, but it was a player who’s already had a spell in Europe who won the match for them. Maxi Moralez ensured that his side are now 13 unbeaten at home with a goal five minutes before the break.
In the clásico in El Cilindro, Racing started off well and took the lead through Pablo Caballero after 32 minutes, but fell to an eighth consecutive defeat courtesy of two goals from Lucas Viatri in the second half, the second after a wonderful interchange with Juan Román Riquelme. Prior to the match, Ricardo Caruso Lombardi had said he’d leave his job as Racing manager if his side lost. The next few hours will make it clearer as to whether he’ll go through with that promise.
On Wednesday night, there were three score draws: Tigre drew 2-2 with Huracán, after El Globo had been 2-0 up at half time. Carlos Luna and Rodolfo Arruabarrena cancelled out first half goals from Lucas Trecarichi and Rodrigo Díaz. Luis Rodríguez gave Atlético Tucumán a 1-0 half time lead away to Banfield, but Santiago Silva continued his recent good form to level things in El Sur, and Godoy Cruz vs Newell’s also finished 1-1, with Mauro Fórmica (Newell’s) and Leandro Torres (Godoy) the scorers.