Sunday, September 19, 2010

Borghello Scores As Peratta Steals The Show

River Plate came into the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa looking to reclaim the top spot in the league, which they had shared with Estudiantes (who lost 2-1 to upstarts All Boys... you know, the team that sent Rosario Central and all the Sinas to the B in the relegation playoffs), and Vélez Sarsfield, who where held to a scoreless draw by Arsenal Arsenal de Sarandí. Those results allowed San Lorenzo to take over the league lead when they defeated Olimpo de Bahía Blanca 3-1 on Saturday.

Those results also gave River Plate a chance to take sole possession to first place with a win in Rosario. Instead, they were in for a rude awakening... Newell's Old Boys were not going to roll over and play dead for them. In fact, over all, that this was the best game that Newell's have played this Apertura. Sure, there is still room for improvement, like the fact that they didn't get nearly as many chances to score as they would have liked, but credit River's defense for that. Iván Borghello scored the lone goal in the 10th minute off a perfect cross from Mauricio Sperdutti after his initial freekick rebounded off of River's wall.

Sperdutti had a very strong game, which normally would merit giving him a man of the match mention, but I have to reserve that accolade for Newell's goalkeeper Sebastián Peratta. Not only did he make a number of crucial saves, but he also took a boot to the head from Ariel "El Burrito" Ortega. Ortega made as if he was all apologetic after the incident, but Peratta was having none of it, while at the same time keeping calm. The keeper came away with a small cut just to the side of his right eye which had to be bandaged. Later, when Peratta collected a cross, and lost his balance only to ram into a River forward, Ortega came rushing in to confront the keeper. Peratta merely pointed to the bandage by his eye and spoke a few words... El Burrito backed off.

Playmaker Mauro Fórmica didn't have his best game, but far from his worst. He was, again, the target of multiple fouls, the worst of which was the Roberto Pereyra fist/closeline to the face. In my mind it deserved more than the yellow card that referee Néstor Pitana gave it. Totally intentional, malicious, this sort of thing belongs in Lucha Libre, not futbol.

Daniel Salvatierra was the first sub off of La Lepra's bench, and continues to impress me. He may not have scored any goals as yet, but he is a player that is destined to have a very nice career in the game. He's a good dribble, positions himself well, and passes the ball well. I'm going to enjoy watching him develop as a player, provided, of course, Newell's can keep a hold of him.

With the win Newell's are now with in three points of league leaders San Lorenzo... mind you Estudiantes do have a game to make up. Next, it's off to La Plata to face Estudiantes, yet again, in the second leg of Newell's opening match up in the Copa Sudamericana.

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