Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Clausura 2011 Round 3 - Worried Leaders

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It probably can happen only in this league : the two leaders, Olimpo and River, are at the same time at the top of the standings and fighting to avoid the promotion playoffs at the bottom of the Averages table.
There's still a long way to go in Clausura but it's still a very funny situation.

The round started with a crazy Friday.
Gimnasia won their first game of 2011, playing away after 14 games without winning outside their stadium, and scored 3 goals as visitors for the first time since 2006 !! (88 games)
At the same time, Olimpo was cruising 2-0 at HT vs Godoy Cruz reserves, 20 minutes later they were 2-3 and in the 94th minute got the 3-3 to save the day.

Good win for Lanus, although maybe a little short in the score because they were definitely better than Quilmes. Offensive midfielder Diego Valeri, who is also the top scorer of the league, is definitely the player to watch so far in this Clausura 2011.
He was one of the best players in the team that won Apertura 2007 and in 2009 was sold to Porto, where he didn't play much and neither did in Almeria last year. Now back in Lanus he seems to be back from where he left, and on Saturday he scored both Lanus's goals in his 100th game in 1st division.
Check here, worth watching specially the 1st one : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxE35_3IGH4

Very disappointing performance by San Lorenzo who deserved to lose. The 1-0 came from a corner, and after it they played their worst game of Clausura so far just giving the ball to Racing so it was matter of time until the visitors scored like they did.

Boca deserved a little better luck and could have won it, but all Boys fought to get a draw and played the whole 90 minutes only focused on that. Finally they left with their objective complete, and Boca is a time bomb as fans protested against coach Julio Cesar Falcioni's decision to leave playmaker Riquelme out of the team.

Estudiantes finally lost a home game after 16 matches. It can't be said it was really deserved, but Banfield fought for it and Estudiantes left a little worried because even though they won 2 of 3 in the league, they are not playing as the champion team and they have a tough schedule ahead with the league and Copa Libertadores,starting next Saturday with the HUGE derby vs Gimnasia.

Velez doesn't look neither like the team they were only a couple of months ago. Leading 1-0, and against 10 men of Argentinos Juniors, who had played Copa Libertadores 72 hours before the league game they were not able to manage the ball and had to settle with a 1-1 and no wins in the 3 rounds of the league.

Big win for River in the last minute of the derby @ Independiente who keeps sinking in the Averages table and they are now really worried about the future.
16 points in the season, only 2 wins in 22 games this season, none in the last 13 games and now River is only 1 point behind them in the Averages table !

The final games of round 3 confirmed that Huracan will need a miracle to avoid playing the promotion playoffs or going directlyto 2nd division. They had a huge chance to win it in the end, but they were also lucky that Arsenal didn't seem to be much interested in winning it, because they missed lots of counter attacks.

Intense game between Tigre and Newells, and the home team was a deserved winner. There's no doubts that this are two very irregular teams and anything (well, except good football) can be expected from them.

Round 3 results :

Colón 1 - Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata 3
Olimpo de Bahía Blanca 3 - Godoy Cruz
Lanús 2 - Quilmes A.C. 1
San Lorenzo 1 -Racing Club 2
Boca Juniors 0 -All Boys 0

Estudiantes de La Plata 0 - Banfield 1
Argentinos Juniors 1 -Vélez Sarsfield 1
Independiente 0 -River Plate 1

Huracán 1 - Arsenal F.C. 1
Tigre 1 - Newell´s OId Boys 0

The round 4 will have the BIG La Plata derby between Gimnasia and Estudiantes, another derby in Banfield - Lanus, and an interesting game in Velez- Boca

Friday March 4
19.10-- All Boys-San Lorenzo. (TV).

Saturday March 5
17.00-- Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata-Estudiantes de La Plata. (TV).
19.10-- Newell's Old Boys-Huracán. (TV).
21.15-- Racing Club-Olimpo de Bahía Blanca. (TV).

Sunday March 6
17.00-- Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-Colón de Santa Fe. (TV).
17.00-- Banfield-Lanús. (TV).
19.10-- River Plate-Argentinos Juniors. (TV).
19.10-- Quilmes A.C.-Tigre. (TV).
21.15-- Vélez Sársfield-Boca Juniors. (TV).

Monday March 7
20.10-- Arsenal F.C.-Independiente. (TV).

Standings :

Averages Table (http://www.argentinapreviews.com/2010/05/how-are-relegations-decided.html) :

Copa Sudamerica 2011 table ( Top 6 qualify to Copa Sudamericana 2011 + Independiente because they are Sudamericana 2010 champion) :

* Tables taken from "La Redó" (www.la-redo.com.ar)

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