On the face of it, Racing, All Boys, River and NewellÃ¢ÂÂs are the same this season.
Sure, Racing and All Boys have won one more game than River and NewellÃ¢ÂÂs, but River and NewellÃ¢ÂÂs lost fewer and drew those matches. They are all on 22 points.
They are not having a particularly good - nor a particularly bad - season. Were they in Europe, theyÃ¢ÂÂd be chasing Europa league spots. And with this points parity, youÃ¢ÂÂd expect things at the four clubs to be much the same. This would be incorrect.
On the one hand we have All Boys, who are now officially the Ã¢ÂÂsurprise packageÃ¢ÂÂ of the season. The side promoted just a few months back has claimed the scalp of River, Independiente, Estudiantes and Boca at their rickety home ground. After another three points at the weekend and an excellent performance, the coach JosÃÂ© Romero modestly suggested that other teamÃ¢ÂÂs fans should come to watch them play. "The truth is that it is a pleasure to watch this team play," he confessed.
All BoysÃ¢ÂÂ points were taken at NewellÃ¢ÂÂs expense. The men from Rosario are now the paragon on stability in the Argentine league, with Roberto Sensini the longest-serving coach in top flight. Nothing exemplified the work being done at the club more than the heroic defeat at altitude and against one of the continents top sides in the Sudamericana recently. But then All Boys happened. Ã¢ÂÂIt was the worst performance of the year,Ã¢ÂÂ said midfielder Bernardi. He was not far off.
RacingÃ¢ÂÂs performances and results, meanwhile, are directly proportional to the quality of performance by the Crouch/Riquelme/Guti/Rivaldo DNA experiment, aka Gio Moreno. With him out of sorts, the Academy struggled to beat Quilmes, and the chances of qualifying for the Libertadores diminish.
River, meanwhile, should feel they are doing pretty well given the state of the sideÃ¢ÂÂs relegation average, plus the dire state of the club Ã¢ÂÂ this week the true extent of the clubÃ¢ÂÂs debt was revealed, discussed and shouted about. Bankruptcy is still not too distant a possibility. And they were truly dire against San Lorenzo.
Yet all four are on the same pointsÃ¢ÂÂ¦
Elsewhere this weekend, many were quick to point out that there were ONLY 18 GOALS!!!! This apparently equates to a level of tedium only previously recorded when Ricardo Fort is on TV (we're not going to pretend we know who this is - ed).
But no - there was plenty of entertainment to be had. Carlos SÃÂ¡nchez scored a belter against Banfield, while Sergio Araujo scored his first goal Ã¢ÂÂ a brilliant one - for Boca (video below) and will soon no doubt soon provoke the typical INTER/BARCELONA/CHELSEA/MILAN/BENFICA/JUVENTUS SWOOP FOR BOCA ACE headlines.
Franco Neill scored a perfect bicycle kick to earn a point for Argentinos.
Maxi VelÃÂ¡zquez was invited by the ColÃÂ³n defence to run at them, before he tired, and hit a 25-yard shot for Independiente, before being sent off.
And Mario Regueiro scored an inch-perfect freekick, plus a volleyed second, to win the points for LanÃÂºssÃ¢ÂÂ debutant coach, Gabriel Schurrer.
To this list we must add two more. First is Gabriel MendezeÃ¢ÂÂ for Banfield, but it seems like a cross more than a shot.
Second is David RamÃÂrezÃ¢ÂÂ goal against Banfield for Godoy Cruz. It was Ronaldinho-esque. The commentators thought it was genius. Ã¢ÂÂWatching it on TV it does look like I meant it,Ã¢ÂÂ said the playmaker after the game. Ã¢ÂÂBut it was a cross.Ã¢ÂÂ
Things are not all that they seem, either on TV, or in the league.
RESULTS Godoy Cruz 2-1 Banfield; All Boys 2-0 NewellÃ¢ÂÂs; Estudiantes 2-0 HuracÃÂ¡n; San Lorenzo 0-0 River; Boca 2-1 Arsenal; Gimnasia 0-0 VÃÂ©lez; Racing 1-1 Quilmes; Olimpo 1-1 Argentinos; ColÃÂ³n 1-1 Independiente; LanÃÂºs 2-0 Tigre.
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