The Xeneize came back from behind to win their sixth game in nine, while Basile's 'win or I walk' ultimatum failed to lift Racing past San Lorenzo and Tigre continue downwards
Argentina Clausura Results:
|Friday APRIL 6
||Sunday APRIL 8
|Arsenal de Sarandi - Olimpo||2-1||Belgrano - Estudiantes
|Velez - Independiente
||Godoy Cruz - Newell's
|Saturday APRIL 7
| Banfield - Union
|Colon - Lanus
||Monday APRIL 9
|Boca - Argentinos
||2-1||Racing Club - San Lorenzo
|Rafaela - San Martin (SJ)||3-1|
|All Boys - Tigre||2-0
|Monday's rescheduled clasico ended in a draw that did neither side many favours, as San Lorenzo missed the chance to distance themselves from relegation while the home side failed to get the result they hoped would kickstart their season.
Racing coach Alfio Basile had stated midweek that negative results in this game and the following weekend's clash against Independiente would mean his resignation, and Coco's charges responded well to the challenge. A teasing free kick from Ivan Pillud found Matias Martinez at the far post, and the defender looped a header into the net to open the scoring.
La Academia were pegged back just before half time, however, as the visitors equalised. The Racing defence was paralysed by great approach play from Julio Buffarini, and Emanuel Gigliotti finished the move by nodding in from close range unmarked.
The result leaves Basile's men in the bottom half of the table, with nine points from as many games. Tigre's defeat at the weekend, meanwhile, means that Ricardo Caruso Lombardi led the Cuervo to a four-point cushion from automatic relegation.
|Boca Juniors stayed at the top of the pile in Argentina with a hard-fought victory in the Bombonera, battling back from a goal down to defeat Leo Astrada's unlucky visitors.
Needing a win to return to the summit following Arsenal's victory the previous day, the Apertura champions were surprised on Saturday when Argentinos stormed into the lead. Pablo Hernandez swooped at the near post to turn in a corner, with the game barely a minute old to give the Bicho a dream start.
As has happened so many times in the last year, however, Boca showed their resolve to turn around the destiny of the match. On the stroke of half time goalkeeper Leandro Ojeda spilled a header, and Juan Insaurralde was first to react as he drove home the rebound. Dario Cvitanich secured the sixth Xeneize win of the season, as he headed in a precise cross from Juan Roman Riquelme to give Ojeda no chance.
The victory puts Julio Falcioni's team two points ahead of closest challengers Arsenal at the summit, while Argentinos drop to 11th.
|Estudiantes slumped to a second straight defeat in Cordoba to fall away further from the Clausura leadership battle, as Belgrano continued their wonderful 2011-12 campaign with another scalp.
Coming off a painful defeat at the hands of Boca, the Pincha looked set to make amends as they took the lead early. Mauro Boselli struck with 12 minutes gone to hit his fourth goal of the season, and send the visitors into half time one goal up.
Belgrano were rejuvenated after the break, however, and within five minutes of the restart were level thanks to Esteban Gonzalez's goal. Gonzalez sealed the game for the Pirata thanks to Mariano Andujar's mistake; the keeper came out rashly and failed to claim a cross, leaving the midfielder to net his second of the game.
The win puts Belgrano into seventh place with 14 points, one behind the La Plata side who slip into fifth.
|Best of the Rest
|Independiente's recent renaissance under Cristian Diaz continued on Friday evening, as they played out a hard-fought draw away to Velez Sarsfield. Facundo Parra had put the visitors ahead early, but the Avellaneda side were pegged back by Lucas Pratto's goal and settled for a share of the points. Tigre, meanwhile, are in freefall after their positive start, and went down to All Boys to record their third straight defeat.
One step away from the Libertadores last-16, Lanus' league form continues to disappoint. The Grana were downed by Javier Chevanton's goal and lost 1-0 to Colon, a result that leaves them winless in seven and sharing the bottom of the table with Olimpo. The Bahia Blanca side were victims of a strike 15 minutes from time by Javie Ortiz, to lose 2-1 to Arsenal de Sarandi and look evermore condemned to Nacional B football.
|The Good, the Bad & the Ugly...
Hero of the Week
Just as Alvaro Recoba and Marcelo Zalayeta continue to make headlines in their native Uruguay, Javier Chevanton demonstrated in Santa Fe that the magic remains. The ex-Monaco and Sevilla striker netted a beautifully-taken effort for Colon to lead his side to victory at the weekend over Lanus.
Zeros of the Week
Mariano Andujar has impressed since returning to the club with whom he lifted the 2009 Copa Libertadores, but the former Catania keeper had a game to forget in Cordoba. The Argentina international misjudged a looping cross and was left exposed as Belgrano netted their second of the game, condemning Estudiantes to defeat.
Ultimatum of the Week
"If we don't win on Sunday, I'm leaving."
Alfio Basile decided to play hardball with his misfiring charges in the week, threatening to walk out if a positive result against San Lorenzo was not forthcoming. A draw for Racing was apparently ok as well for the gravel-voiced veteran, who now has another do or die game against Independiente to deal with.