Friday, February 11, 2011

One Small Step Towards Finding A Goal Scorer

I wish I could say I was not expecting this result, but when Newell's Old Boys opened the 2011 Clausura on the road to Apertura Champions Estudiantes... well, any one who predicted Newell's to win was almost guaranteed to be disappointed.

Really, in the end a 2-1 defeat does not look to bad, all things considered. Newell's midfield looked flat with out a playmaker. The best option, in my opinion, to take over that role, Mauro Sperdutti, played more as a traditional winger on the right side, seldom venturing back for the ball. Still, it was from this position that he managed to set up Newell's goal in the 89th minute. After a miscue from Estudiantes' defense, Mauro put in a low pass just in front of goalkeeper Agustín Orión that found Newell's new goal scoring forward. No, not Claudio Bieler, but young second half substitute Juan Manuel Cobelli, who had come on in the 55th minute in place of "Pulga" Luis Rodríguez.

Team captain Rolando Schiavi had a couple of headers that he could not put on target, but otherwise he had a solid match, based on what I saw, as well as the announcers stating he was the best Lepra on the field. New forward Bieler had an opportunity after an earlier poor pass by the Estudiantes defense put him in a position with only Orión to beat. Unfortunately, he proceeded to rush his shot and sent the ball some ten feet wide of the right post. He did nothing else that caused me to take notice of him either way.

Over all, I was not happy with the way Newell's played. The midfield seemed disjointed, not really playing as a unit, but as a group of individuals. Hopefully things will improve as the Clausura progresses. A healthy Vangioni certainly should help out the midfield situation. (Please, God, let him stay healthy.)

I can not say much about the first half of the game, during which Estudiantes scored both their goals, as by the time I got home from work the second half was about ten minutes old. Gastón Fernández scored the first goal in the 12th minute, followed by a Gabriel Mercado strike in the 23rd. Fernández then fail on a penalty in the 42nd.

No comments: