River beat Arsenal 2-1 on the third date of the Diego Armando Maradona Cup Championship Zone, and thus reached the top of the group that it shares with Boca, although Xeneize has one more goal in favor.
The two greats of Argentine football could be added Argentinos, who have 4 points and this Monday will play with Independiente.
The good news for Marcelo Gallardo, in addition to the victory, is that after 26 days Enzo Pérez returned, recovered from coronavirus. The steering wheel, a key piece in the DT’s scheme, was the starter instead of Ponzio.
In addition, the coach also had Nacho Fernández, who suffered from low back pain, and went to the substitutes’ bench, although he entered the complement and was one of the figures.
Beyond the names, River did not change the identity. High pressure and suffocate from the beginning was the strategy that overturned Arsenal’s area. Sarandí’s team, unlike River, came to this game with a short squad due to eight casualties, five due to muscle injuries and three due to coronavirus.
However, Sergio Rondina presented a competitive team, which sought to take advantage of the stopped ball and free throws and that was for the tie until the end.
In the first half River was more, but did not find clarity to break the zero. In the second half, Gallardo sent Nacho Fernández to the court for Zuculini, the only one booked in the millionaire. River came out determined to open the scoring and he succeeded: at 10 minutes, after a shot by Suárez that Gagliardo could not contain, Nacho Fernández pushed the ball almost over the line and put the 1-0.
At 21, Candia threw herself in the River area and requested a penalty that was not. After that play, the quick rejection left the ball at the feet of Nacho Fernández, who enabled Suárez with a lot of quality so that the forward, above Gagliardo, scored a goal for the 2-0.
But the injuries were present in River. Angileri was injured in the first half and was replaced by Casco, who also came out due to a contracture. And Santos Borré had to leave the court due to a blow to the knee.
Arsenal cheered on the end and scored the 2-1 through Candia. Five minutes to go, but River felt the blow. And Rondina’s team had a chance to head Candia for 2 to 2 that would have been a surprise apparently in the 90 minutes.
Thinking about the superclassic, on January 2, Gallardo left worried: Chilean Paulo Díaz is injured, and he is joined by the players who came out against Arsenal. It will be necessary to see how they evolve. But the coach knows how to draw strengths from weaknesses and always shows that he has a great team, beyond the names.
The good news is that River won, is first with Boca, and is already thinking about the match against xeneize for the local tournament. And also, in the series against Palmeiras on January 5 and 12, with the great objective of being a finalist for the Libertadores again.