Badge kissers, killers and little donkeys

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Hilario ‘The Ice Truck Killer’ Navarro

For some he always looks like he has only just woken up. Others prefer to point out he belongs to the Dmitri Kharine school of keepers by wearing his tracksuit for the duration of games. To this blogger, he bears a startling reminiscence to the baddy from the first series of Dexter – the Ice truck killer.

To previous coaches at Independiente, Hilario Navarro simply hadn’t been the favoured number one, but new man on the block Antonio Mohamed had no doubt in putting him in goal for the derby with Racing. He made several brilliant saves, earned a 10/10 rating from almost all the papers, and won Independiente the clásico. Some would say with their finishing, Racing lost the clásico, but we’ll stick with the positive for now.

Juan Manuel ‘The Little Donkey’ Martínez

When Wigan decided to pay £6.3 million to have Mauro Boselli sit on their bench, Estudiantes went looking for a replacement. They found him at Vélez, and indeed Hernán López scored for the pincha this weekend. That move in turn opened the door for Juan Manuel Martínez to get more minutes at Vélez.

With every weekend he is improving, and his second at the weekend reminded everyone just why he was nicknamed after Ariel Ortega for his trickery in the area and brilliant finish. He was in inspired form as Vélez hit Colón for six. Martínez, along with his teammate Santiago Silva, is the league’s top scorer with six.

Matías ‘The Badge Kisser’ Gimenez

When Clemente ‘a red card waiting to happen’ Rodriguez lived up to his (pretend) middle name last weekend, Claudo Borghi was forced into making at least one change for the traditionally tricky trip to Tigre.

In came Matías Gimenez, who Boca purchased from Tigre just a year ago, and predictably the 27-year-old opened the scoring against his old side. In reacting to the goal, he first put his hands together and apologized to the home fans. Fair enough. But then, just split seconds later, he was reaching for the badge of his current side and giving it an affectionate kiss. And then they complain they get abuse from the terraces…

Erik ‘He’s going to be a bit special’ Lamela

River taking on Gimnasia was as much of a six pointer as they come. Both are in the relegation playoff zone, and going head to head on Monday’s bank holiday gave either the opportunity to get some breathing space ahead of the other.

Gimnasia, however, have been poor this season. River should have won easily. In the first half, the 18 year old Erik Lamela terrorized the Gimnasia defense, hit the woodwork, and looked like River’s best chance of creating a goal.

Nobody understood why he didn’t come out after half time. Stories of a bust up with Ortega in the dressing room must be true, because nothing else explains why he didn’t carry on. River failed to score, and were booed off the pitch.

River Plate relegation watch: The millionaires failed to capitalise on Huracán, All Boys and Tigre all dropping points, and are still five points from safety.
Quilmes win watch: good point in Rosario for the Brewers, but still no win in sight.

Title watch: Estudiantes were eight points clear for a couple of hours on Friday night, but Arsenal and Vélez both won, bringing back the deficit to five points.

RESULTS Estudiantes 2-0 Olimpo; Arsenal 1-0 Banfield; Huracán 1-1 All Boys; Lanús 2-0 San Lorenzo; Argentinos 0-0 Godoy Cruz; Newell’s 1-1 Quilmes; Independiente 1-0 Racing; Vélez 6-0 Colón; Tigre 1-2 Boca; River 0-0 Gimnasia.