Argentina Clausura Results:
|Friday MAY 4
||Sunday MAY 6
|Banfield - San Martin (SJ)||1-2||Godoy Cruz - Lanus||1-2|
|All Boys - San Lorenzo||0-0|
|Olimpo - Newell's Old Boys||1-2|
||Racing Club - Estudiantes||2-0|
|Rafaela - Boca Juniors||2-2|
| Saturday MAY 5
||Monday MAY 7
|Arsenal de Sarandi - Independiente||3-1||Colon - Belgrano||2-0|
|Velez Sarsfield - Argentinos Jrs||0-2|
|Tigre - Union||4-0|
||Newell's Old Boys
|A brilliant comeback from Gerardo Martino's Newell's Old Boys extended their unbeaten run to nine Clausura matches, and took the Rosario back to joint top of the table alongside reigning champions Boca Juniors.
Playing the almost-condemned Bahia Blanca side away from home, the Lepra were rocked early on when Maximiliano Laso put the Aurinegro into the lead. The advantage was short-lived, however; Victor Figueroa hit back just three minutes later to make it 1-1, the third consecutive fixture that Newell's would have ended with the same result.
But the visitors had other ideas. With 15 minutes left on the clock, Pablo Perez stepped up to fire home the winner and assure three points for Martino's men, moving them up to 25 points for the season. Newell's now share the summit alongside Boca, with Tigre one point further back six games from the season's end.
Nicolas Blandi went from villain to hero as his last-minute equaliser snatched a point for Boca in Rafaela, as the champions settled for a share of the spoils in a gripping match on Sunday.
Pablo Mouche had fired the Xeneize into the lead against the Crema, before Blandi had the chance to extend the lead from the penalty spot. The ex-Argentinos man fluffed his kick, however, and Boca were punished for their profligacy when Fabricio Fontannini dragged the relegation strugglers back into proceedings with a second-half equaliser.
Dario Gandin had appeared to give his side all three points when he hit the net in the third minute of injury time. Referee Carlos Maglio added two additional minutes for the ex-Independiente poacher's exuberant celebrations, however, and with no less than 96 minutes on the clock a spectacular overhead kick from Blandi sealed a draw and brought Boca level with Newell's at the top.
|Lowly Estudiantes suffered once more with their fifth defeat in six games, as Racing bounced back from their failure against Lanus to take down their rivals from La Plata thanks to a wonderful strike from Gio Moreno.
The Pincha, still without a coach after Juan Azconzabal left the previous week, struggled early on against a Racing team whose pace and purpose was unrecognisable from their timid capitulation nine days earlier. La Academia took the lead in the final minutes of the first half, when Lucas Aveldano scrambled to turn in a loose ball following Ivan Pillud's teasing cross.
Estudiantes battled back after the break, but despite throwing men forward found no way through. Substitute Gio Moreno provided the final flourish; the Colombian ghosted past his marker with a wonderful run, before delicately chipping over Mariano Andujar to seal a vital victory for Luis Zubeldia's charges. Racing's fourth win of the season lifts them to 16th in the Clausura, one point behind Sunday's rivals who just one month earlier were talked of as championship contenders.
|Best of the Rest|
|A rampant Tigre stayed in contention for the title with a 4-0 destruction of Union, although the Matador remain in direct relegation danger. Ezequiel Maggiolo and Carlos Luna were unstoppable in Victoria, and both recorded doubles to sink the Santa Fe side. Facundo Sava, meanwhile, continues to be San Martin de San Juan's miracle man. The former Fulham striker earned his second win in as many games as a coach, as the relegation strugglers picked up an invaluable 2-1 victory over Banfield.
Velez Sarsfield's title aspirations were dealt a blow at the hands of local rivals Argentinos Juniors, who ran out 2-0 winners in Liniers. The home team suffered a classic continental hangover after Tuesday's marvellous victory in Medellin over Atletico Nacional, and goals from Santiago Naguel and Pablo Hernandez sunk a Fortin team containing the majority of their Libertadores heroes. Arsenal de Sarandi, meanwhile, can still dream of a first-ever national title. The Arse took down Independiente 3-1, and lie within three points of the summit.
|The Good, the Bad & the Ugly...|
Hero of the Week
A cult figure on the pitch, Facundo Sava is fast winning admirers for his work from the sidelines as well. The mask-donning former striker has picked up a full six points from his opening games as a coach, moving previously-demoralised San Martin to the brink of safety in the Primera Division.
Zero of the Week
Gabriel Milito just cannot seem to catch a break in his return to Argentine football with Independiente. The veteran defender had to have glass removed from his eye two weeks ago when Godoy Cruz thugs smashed the windows of the players' coach, and Gabi's calamitous own goal this weekend contributed to a painful 3-1 reverse at the hands of Arsenal which stops the team's revival in its tracks.
Back to the Future of the Week
There is nothing better than a bit of forward planning in football, a march forward to fresh ideas and a new perspective. The Estudiantes board, however, do not concur; their response to five losses in six and a team crisis was to turn to World Cup-winning coach Carlos Bilardo, at the ripe age of 73. 'El Narigon', unsurprisingly, prefers semi-retirement to the La Plata pressure cooker and politely declined the offer.