10 minutes into his comeback from a cruciate ligament injury, the talented Xeneixe striker turned on the style to break the deadlock against Racing and inspire victory
Argentina Clausura Results:
|Friday MAY 18
||Sunday MAY 20
|Godoy Cruz - Argentinos Jrs||1-1||Olimpo - Independiente||2-1|
|Tigre - Newell's Old Boys||3-1||Rafaela - Colon||0-0|
|Velez Sarsfield - Belgrano||0-1|
||Racing Club - Boca Juniors||0-2|
| Saturday MAY 19
||Monday MAY 21|
|Banfield - Estudiantes||0-3||Arsenal de Sarandi - Lanus||3-1|
|All Boys - San Martin (SJ)||1-0|
|Union - San Lorenzo||1-0|
|Boca Juniors Lucas Viatri took just 10 minutes to bounce back from an eight-month injury lay-off, as an outstanding goal opened the scoring in Avellaneda and led the Xeneize back to the top at the expense of lowly Racing.
The home side more than matched Boca in the first half, taking advantage of an XI composed from fringe first-teamers and youngsters due to commitments in the Copa Libertadores. Coach Falcioni decided to throw Viatri into action at the break, and his decision had almost instant repercussions. The striker received the ball on the right and cut back with a delicate flick, before smashing the ball past Sebastian Saja to net the first.
The opener seemed to deflate Racing, and from that point there appeared likely to be just one winner. Nicolas Blandi confirmed victory in the closing stages of the match, blasting home after being teed up by excellent work from Pablo Mouche down the left.
The Xeneize move back to first thanks to defeat for rivals Newell's, and midweek will travel to Rio to meet Fluminense in the Libertadores quarter-final.
||Newell's Old Boys|
A brilliant hat-trick from Carlos Luna sunk Newell's Old Boys to move Tigre out of the direct relegation places, and just one point off the Clausura summit in second place.
In the unique situation of fighting for the championship and against the drop, the Matador know that every game at this point is a must-win and played accordingly, their cavalier style putting pressure on Newell's from the first whistle. They were ahead within 15 minutes through Luna, although the lead was short-lived as Victor Figueroa dragged the visitors back into the game.
A stunning left-footed volley from Luna just before half time gave Tigre a decisive advantage, and the striker's third in the dying minutes killed off the encounter. 'El Chino's' hat-trick goal was something to remember, as his bicycle kick looped over Peratta's head and into the net. The home team join Arsenal de Sarandi and Newell's tied in second, with just four games to play of the season.
|Arsenal de Sarandi||3-1
|Arsenal's dreams of a first ever national championship were maintained in style on Monday, as the Sarandi outfit breezed past Lanus to move into joint-second.
The hosts wasted no time storming into the lead, as within 25 minutes they found themselves with a two-goal advantage. Nicolas Aguirre opened the scoring, before Emilio Zelaya hit his fourth of the season with an incisive close-range finish.
Lanus were given a glimmer of hope when Mario Regueiro cut the lead to one, but it was not to be the Grana's day. The Uruguayan had barely returned to his half when the Arse instantly hit back, Jorge Ortiz heading home a cross just 50 seconds after Regueiro hit home from the penalty spot. Arsenal took all three points and have a great chance of challenging in the final fixtures, while Lanus fall back to 12th.
|Best of the Rest|
|Nerves in Boedo are frayed almost to breaking point, as a first league defeat for Ricardo Caruso Lombardi since he took over San Lorenzo left the Cuervo on the brink of relegation oblivion. The giants went down to Union 1-0 in Santa Fe, and thanks to Tigre's victory fall behind the Victoria club for the first time this season to sit perilously close to automatic relegation.
San Martin were the team who suffered most at the weekend, as a 1-0 defeat to All Boys left them in the direct drop zone. Olimpo occupy the other place and look certain to go down; but two goals from Nestor Bareiro kept the Bahia Blanca side alive for at least one more week as they downed under-pressure Independiente. And woeful Banfield sit rock bottom of the Clausura after their ninth defeat of the season: losing 3-0 to an Estudiantes team inspired by the return to fitness of captain Juan Sebastian Veron.
|The Good, the Bad & the Ugly...|
Hero of the Week
There is only one possible Hero this week. Three outstanding goals took Carlos Luna to 10 for the Clausura season, and the league's top scorer has played a massive part in ensuring Tigre's dual hopes of winning the title and avoiding the drop remain very much alive and kicking.
Zero of the Week
It seems rather churlish to blame Eduardo Acevedo for Banfield's latest misfortunes, when we refer to a club that in the last 12 months has seen four different coaches pick up just 21 points. The Uruguayan trainer, however, is hanging by a thread in Lomas de Zamora after his team capitulated to an awful home defeat against Estudiantes.