Saturday, September 4, 2010

Peratta Saves The Day As Newell's Salvage A Point

I'm at a lost as to what to say about Newell's Old Boys 1-1 home draw against Independiente. Truthfully, I'm a bit ticked off, but I don't want to be, because it's Independiente. There exists a bond between these two teams that Los Diablos Rojos fans once called on their team to lose to La Lepra to insure that we won a championship title. Add to that, they are my second favorite team, if I'm allowed to have such.

Thing is, I'm not mad about the result so much as the way Newell's played in the first half, going down 1-0 wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for the fact that Néstor Silvera, who scored Independiente's goal, was constantly allowed behind our defense to face Sebastián Peratta alone. If not for the saves made by Peratta (the first breakaway he stopped is pictured above) Newell's could well have been down 3-0 by the end of the first 45 minutes. Peratta thus is my man of the match, with out him, this could have been ugly.

Gabriel Cichero did play his best game defensively... while lining up on the left side of midfield. Go figure that one out, I can't. Play him as a centerback, and he'll get caught up field far too often. Tell him to play midfield, and he plays the way you'd want him to play when you ask him to play as a centerback... I don't have enough hair left to be pulling more out.

Newell's forwards were as ineffectual as they have been sense the Apertura began. espndeportes reported Newell's lining up as:

Vella, Alayes, Shiavi
Sperdutti, Mateo, Villalba, Cichero
Borgello, Velázquez

That was hardly the case. In fact the announcers made a comment that Newell's seemed to be playing more of a 3-3-3-1 formation than anything else during the first half. The truth was closer to:

Alayes, Shiavi, Cichero
Vella, Mateo, Villalba
Sperdutti, Fórmica, Velázquez

Considering the way Independiente have been struggling one might expect that any formation that Sensini threw out there could have worked, but, for whatever reasons, this one didn't. In fact, I'd venture to say that we haven't seen such a crazy formation fielded by Newell's sense Nery Pumpido had the team play a 6-3-1.

Anyway, come half time Villalba came out in favor of Ignacio Fideleff, while Daniel Salvatierra replaced Velázquez. Villalba had been playing well, but may have aggravated the injury he picked up during last week's match. Velázquez, however, was pretty lost out there, almost like he wasn't sure exactly where he was supposed to be playing.

Nacho played well as a defensive midfielder, which is nice to see. With the way things are going up front, maybe Sensini should try him up there. It certainly couldn't hurt.

Whatever, the moves seemed to work, Independiente didn't get to face off against Peratta alone during the entire second half (unless I missed it... which is possible, considering the feed I was watching lost it's signal a couple of times.) Salvatierra showed a bit of promise at being an effective forward, which is more than any of the other players Newell's have played up front (yes, Luis Rodríguez has scored a goal... but that was against a team that was playing with nine men.)

In the 76th minute it was Mauricio Sperdutti who set up Mauro Fórmica for the goal that tied the game. Right now they are the only two attacking players for Newell's who seem to know what they're doing out there. All things considered, maybe Sensini should move them both up front, and have our "forwards" give midfield a shot. It certainly couldn't hurt, could it?

(OK, looking at the video highlights, Rodriguez did crack one off the crossbar. But, really, that's a shot I'd expect out of a midfielder, not a forward.)

In the end this leaves Newell's with six points from five games. Not exactly an impressive start, but if the forwards can start scoring... who knows, maybe they're saving themselves for the Copa Sudamericana.

Independiente sit flat bottom of the standings with only two points from their five games. That leaves the question, just how long will their coach, Daniel Garnero, be able to keep his job? Garnero was very popular as a player for El Rojo, but all that will be for naught if the team doesn't start picking up some wins. I would not be surprised if he does not even make it to the next weekend, to be honest.

Up next for La Lepra are Clausura 2010 Champion's Argentinos Juniors in an away game. So far they too are struggling in the early stages of the season, as they are tied for last place with Independiente with only two points from five games. (There are two other teams that only have two points, but both have games in hand.)

No comments: