How do you replace Tévez? You don’t. Guillermo knew for sure that the departing idol would be missed in Boca’s game, but he also knew the possible benefits of it. With Carlitos on, it seemed as if every ball had to go through him. And that wasn’t always the best option. With Tévez in China, Boca found their style. Boca got it’s fourth win out of five matches since the Primera Division got back on track. Vélez seemed a harder trial at first glance, playing at home but against relegation. Their intensity lasted for 15 minutes at best. That was until Centurión took the ball, passed it to Pavón who found Benedetto for the opener. They made it look easy, all 90 minutes of it. Pavón rounded a perfect match, giving two assists and notching the final goal. 3-1 for Boca, with Peruzzi executing the ex’s law, and their leadership extends to 43 points. It was one of those matches that could have been so much harder for Los Xeneizes, knowing before hand that everyone else had done their homework.
So let’s move down to everyone else. Estudiantes looked shaky on Friday night at Mar del Plata, but Aldosivi’s defense made it right for them. All four goals where set pieces, which at this point is Estudiantes legacy to Argie football. San Lorenzo played Sarmiento at home and won it in true Cuervo style: with a penalty goal from Ortigoza. But the real news is that Belluschi is back. Rabonas, backheels and free kicks, all included in the repertoire. On top of that, he’s found a partner in Botta, one of the season’s candidates for underdog of the year. There’s just one thing lacking: a goalscorer. Blandi’s getting blander and Bergessio can’t produce for the whole of the match. Keep up the home performances and they might be on to a chase. Both San Lorenzo and Estudiantes sit third in the table, tied on 37 points.
Right above them, Newell’s is putting up a fight. Arsenal, never a comfortable visit, did their typical game, which consists of stretching football as we know it into a new, unpleasent ball sport. Yet the lepers can always count on Maxi Rodriguez. His effort from outside the box found a defender’s side and ultimately the net. Second place for Newell’s, with 38 points, 5 behind Boca. But local media is not taking all three teams mentioned seriously, mainly due to their inconsistency. Enter River Plate. Gallardo’s team got its mojo back and took it’s fifth win in a row against Quilmes. River looks solid at home and away. The midfield has been fine tuned since Ariel Rojas came back and fans are loving the new Pity Martínez. Topping this, Lucas Alario had another brilliant night, scoring both goals, the second one after a great counter attack alongside Mora and Driussi. Eight points separate them from the leader. There’s a superclásico in a month, where anything can happen.
We need to talk about Independiente. Holan, the man with a plan (supported by drones), finally reaped what he sows. In his first few matches you could spot an idea, growing inside Ervitti’s intelligent passing, Barco’s explosiveness and Gigliotti’s struggle. It was Rigoni’s show in the first half, scoring a beauty and setting up Barco for the second. The final 45 minutes saw Rigoni getting his brace, Albertengo assisting and scoring and Independiente winning 5-0.
Elsewhere, Banfield got back on their feet after the defeat in El Clásico del Sur. Brian Sarmiento and Dario Cvitanich were the difference. The number 10 played as expected and Cvita got another one in the back of the net. 2-0 against Belgrano, who are playing Talleres in next weekend’s must watch match. The T won big against Lanús with another great performance from Reynoso.