Monday, February 15, 2016

Central dominates Newell's in Clásico Rosarino win

(photo from

The stage on Sunday afternoon was set in sunny and hot Rosario: It was time for the Clásico Rosarino. Rosario Central, started into the season with a 1-0 victory over Godoy Cruz, hosted their archrival Newell’s Old Boys, who started with a 1-2 loss against San Martín. 
Newell’s were without Diego Mancini after his red card last week, while Central celebrated the return of their captain and last season’s top scorer Marco Rubén. The only other player rotating into Central’s lineup was offensive midfielder Giovani Lo Celso. In place of them, Cervi and last week’s goalscorer Delgado found themselves on the bench.
Meanwhile, NOB made three changes. Mugni, Formica and Formiliano played instead of Scocco, Rodriguez and Paz. Their back three from last week turned into a four for this derby.

Atmospherically, as you would expect, there aren’t many better games in the world. As the teams came onto the field, the non-existent roof was lifted and the visiting players got their first taste on today’s hostility. The last few times have not been good experiences for Newell’s at all. On four of the last five occasions, they stood no chance and lost to their foes.

Today, they did not look any better during the opening moments. Central were in control and had the bigger share of possession and as it turned out, chances. Larrondo’s header was the best opportunity of the first half that was by no means spectacular or appropriate for this outstanding crowd. Old Boys were completely toothless and gave the hosts nothing to worry about, leaving more question marks about this team than there were before. 

After a goalless first half, Central decided it was time to really get going. The title candidate stepped it up by at least two gears and had a lot more dangerous opportunities now, led by Marco Rubén, who did not seem fully fit yet. Still, he remained the focal point and had several shots that just went over. 

Gol Larrondo! (photo from
José Fernandez fired a shot against the crossbar to open things up in the second 45. Shortly after, it was him again whose cross from the left was met by a sliding Marcelo Larrondo. 1-0 for Central and it was deserved. 

As pressure continued to mount onto the helpless visitors, they lost another player due to a sending off for the second straight week. Franco Escobar could not stop the run of Rubén with legal means and brought the striker down. Frankly, this red card ended any hope Newell’s might have still kept alive at that point. Shocking statistic in general: a total of 3 shots in 90 minutes, 0 of them on goal. 

Finally, what had to happen did happen. Marco Rubén got a well-earned goal in his return. In injury time, he chipped the ball over the body of goalkeeper Unsain, right into the hearts of Newell’s supporters.  

2-0 was a rather lucky scoreline for NOB at the end of the day, as Central had multiple further big chances. Instantly after the full-time whistle, Newell’s coach Lucas Bernardi was relieved from his duties. The club will likely keep struggling as the season progresses while Rosario Central contest for the title again. Last week showed it, this week proved it.


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