LN – River – Boca, like a formula 1 against slow flyers: the tactical duel began to be won by Marcelo Gallardo from the physical, the power and the speed of the passes


An infantile expulsion of Rojo at 15 minutes. A great goal from Julián Álvarez at 24. And there the classic ended. There was a long time ahead and in football anything can happen, but … River is still River, still with nuances and setbacks. The result was opened by a genius of the youthful Alvarez who showed, once again, why he is in the Argentine team. But Boca not only sacrificed Cardona (correct exit, because if a team must play with ten, the Colombian 10 does not enter, although the entry of Zambrano may be for the debate …), but also had on the court an Agustín Almendra who gave obvious physical advantages.

On the papers There was a River that was a Formula 1 in power and the speed of resolution of its midfielders, in front of a set of flyers that, except for Campuzano, arrived late at each intersection. Advíncula and Fabra, who were to be the midfielders’ first partners, played at very low speed as well.

The best of the game

What is worth analyzing is what Marcelo Gallardo did to play with that advantage of being 11 vs. 10, that the man of more seemed two or three with the passage of the minutes. River was not clear but even in numerical equality he had shown faster game speed. In fact, the expulsion of Rojo is for being late to a crossing. River began to win the classic from the physical and individual duels, he ended up winning it with the individual and collective hierarchy.

Gallardo had praised the hitch position in the previous one, but finally started with a scheme 4-4-2, with a line of flyers with Simón, Enzo Pérez, De la Cruz and Palavecino; Romero and Alvarez more advanced. But after the expulsion of Rojo and the associative difficulties in River, Gallardo began to play with a scheme 2-1-4-1-2: Rojas and Paulo Díaz; Enzo Pérez; Casco, Simón, De la Cruz and Angileri; Palavecino; Romero and Alvarez.

The expulsion of Red

In case there were doubts that no River forward relaxed after the advantage, Julián Álvarez was cautioned two minutes after his first goal for a foul on Campuzano after running from behind at the Colombian wheel. The forward who already knew that he would be the cover of all the newspapers the next day was still the first defender. Concentration, speed and tactical intelligence at the service of the team.

After the 1-0, he was forced to make a change due to Romero’s injury, but there too the DT analyzed that he would not need an area reference like Girotti, but preferable a Carrascal that manages to break lines from behind, attacking the space of a mouth that was already standing 4-4-1, with Zambrano instead of Rojo and now without Cardona, with Pavón flying and Orsini as the only point.

Red is expelled and Battaglia was forced to reorder Boca's team too quickly

Rojo is sent off and Battaglia was forced to reorder Boca’s team too quickly (Mauro Alfieri /)

Could you have bet on any innovation that allows you to have some additional offensive tool? Perhaps Campuzano from central and the entrance of a Briasco that he has a deployment to play as a left-wing midfielder could have been an alternative; o Molinas, that has also played out there and showed personality to play with the Boca jersey. If perhaps he never rehearsed it or the Colombian does not feel comfortable as a central defender or thought it was risking too much, he decided on the safe side. Likewise, Boca never managed to return to the game.

And Battaglia’s modifications at halftime They seemed more designed not to lose by a landslide than to dream of a reaction. Anyway, beyond the decisions of the coaches, they also play (and a lot) the decisions that footballers make on the pitch. Enzo Pérez was booked after 4 minutes and he knew how to live with that. Red added his second yellow just two minutes after seeing the first.

Scene of the match between Boca Juniors and River Plate

Scene of the match between Boca Juniors and River Plate (Mauro Alfieri /)

Zambrano’s final discount was a postcard of what would have happened, perhaps, if Boca remained with eleven, but the difference in the result was greater than 2-1. The game, before and after Rojo’s innocent act, was played as River wanted.



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