Sunday, September 26, 2010

Clean Sheets All Around - Thank You Peratta, Damn You Campestrini, And Bless The Woodwork

Newell's Old Boys faced Arsenal de Sarandí at Estadio Julio H. Grondona. By the sounds of the match one would have been hard pressed to guess that this was an away game for La Lepra. Arsenal haven't seen many fans at their games for some time now, if they ever did, and it makes one wonder if naming the stadium after current AFA president Grondona has anything to do with it.

This was Newell's fourth match in eleven days, and as such Roberto Sensini decided to let a few key players get some rest. As I didn't get around to a preview of this game, here's how the starting eleven lined up for La Lepra:

Sebastián Peratta
Alexis Machuca, Agustín Alayes, Rolando Schiavi, Gabriel Cíchero
Franco Dolci, Diego Mateo, Leonel Vangioni
Mauricio Sperdutti
Sebastián Taborda, Luis Rodríguez

Vangioni getting his first start of the season after a long injury was good to see, but he's a bit of a ways from being up to form. Sperdutti did what he could in the playmaker role, but didn't have much to work with considering Taborda has yet to do anything that resembles a threat on goal. Rodriguez had a couple of chances, but couldn't come up with anything that gave Arsenal keeper Cristian Campestrini much trouble.

Looking for a player of the match... it's a tough call, I'm giving it to Newell's keeper Peratta, who made a number of critical stops, though I almost might as well give it to the woodwork behind him as El Arse rang shots off it twice in the first half. In the end though, the clean sheet gets credited to the man, not the framework, so Seba, thanks to you Newell's earned an important point on the road in this scoreless draw. Thank you, Flaco, perhaps next time out the team in front of you can score a goal or two.

On a side note, Roberto Sensini received a red card after the half time break as he kept the team in the locker room a bit too long. Amazingly the team seemed to play better with out him on the sidelines. Just like a player who receives a red card, the Senseless One will now have to sit out the next match.

Speaking of which, it's Peratta's former club Vélez Sarsfield, who will end this weekend on top of the league, one point ahead of Estudiantes (who still have a match to make up.) Newell's currently sit in sixth, but River Plate has yet to play. Considering their match is at home, against Quilmes, I expect La Lepra with have to settle for seventh place for now. Still, with eight games played Newell's are only four points from the top. Not a bad place to be, all things considered.

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