River's youngsters deal final blow to Basile

Possible typos/factual errors/abnormally incoherent blog disclaimer: It’s late afternoon. A load of menacing-looking mettlers have just parked outside, opened up the boot to allow a stadium rock-sized speaker some breathing space, prized open four litre-bottles of beer on the curb, and are now enthusiastically (some would say aggressively) discussing what the ideal set list would be at tonight’s gig. Metallica are in town. Concentration levels are not the highest.

"We’re going to the Boca to burn the place down," sing the River Plate fans.

For those needing a clarification of just what their reasoning was for torching the old port area of Buenos Aires, "to make sure we kill all the Bosteros" followed shortly afterwards.

The soundtrack to the first superclásico of 2010 up at the River Plate end included other charming ditties such as "Boca, you cr*p your pants," "you’re the cops’ best friend" and a play on the old favourite of "you’re not singing anymore," which culminates with a crescendo of insults taken from the Racists’ Thesaurus of Foul and Abusive Language.

Argie Bargy was sat closer to the River Plate fans than the Boca ones for the pre-season ‘friendly’, so the elated gallinas drowned out any noise from the other end.

But judging by the sight of xeneize supporters bouncing up and down throughout the game, they never stopped singing.

Given the result, hats off.

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The result was so bad that it dealt the final blow to Alfio ‘Coco’ Basile, who quit after making it three pre-season games – against San Lorenzo, Estudiantes, and River – without a win.

Boca now have to find themselves a coach and dust themselves down for the return leg of the pre-season superclásico on Sunday, but it’s all smiles at River where they think they may have found two new gems.

Without veterans Marcelo Gallardo and Ariel Ortega to face Boca, Leo Astrada went with the duo Gabriel Funes Mori and Daniel ‘Keko’ Villalba.

Their opposite number, Martin Palermo, was the pair’s senior – that’s the two combined – by a year.

But while the 36-year-old Boca striker spent most of the game shushing abusive River Plate fans after equalising, the second half, and the headlines, belonged to the rookies.Funes Mori and Villalba, 14 first team games between them, wrote their names in River Plate folklore, not to mention a few scouts’ notebooks, with their goals against Boca.

Mori won a reality show to play in the US and came to River via a failed trial at Chelsea.

He has admitted he calls the older players at the club ‘Sir’.

Villalba – think a short version of the 1998 Michael Owen – was on £133 a month till he signed professional terms with River last month.

Yet between them they won the superclasico for River.

"We deserved two or three more," said captain Matias Almeyda after the 3-1 win, and he was right.

Centre-back Nico Sánchez, meanwhile, enjoyed telling the press that Boca "chased the ball the whole game."

"We'd like to dedicate this next song to Alfio Basile!"

The sight of Boca on the back foot fuelled River’s 15,000-strong choir, and eased the mood.

The expected battle between River Plate fans and River Plate fans didn’t happen (that one isn’t a Metallica-inspired mistake, a civil war is said to be brewing amongst the fans at the Monumental).

Brawling between the two sets of supporters was largely avoided, and there were only a handful arrests - two were for carrying knives inside the stadium.

Yes, knives. Inside the stadium.So let’s hope that we’ll still only be talking about the singing and the football next week, after River face Boca again in Mendoza on Sunday night.

The Metallica gig has started. The house is literally shaking. Adiós.

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