Between the dynamics of the unexpected and the mechanics of what has been worked on, River unfolds on the playing field. Surprise, ingenuity and inspiration are always at your command, but Marcelo Gallardo’s team trademarks are repeated over and over again. After stomping in Brazil with a great dominance of the game, in Peru he managed to transfer soccer supremacy in the result and revalidated the 2-2 against San Pablo. With the 6-0 to Binacional with goals from Nicolás De La Cruz, Fajardo against, Nacho Fernández, Julián Álvarez and Lucas Pratto, the outlook became clearer.
There were no equivalences in Lima. They faced a fully consolidated team against another more than irregular and with too many shortcomings for the requirement of an international tournament. The overwhelming tactical, technical and physical differences between the two had already been exposed in the 8-0 on March 11 for the second date of Group D at the Monumental. But the development of the party in Peru confirmed them and the Millionaire’s solid overall performance accentuated them.
Perhaps Binational is not a direct parameter when analyzing the present and the short-term future of River, but there are game characteristics that were repeated in the return: high pressure to recover and hurt, wide sides and deployed in attack, splits permanent, precise triangulations in the opponent’s field, first-rate walls, quick one-touch connections, deep passes, patience to build, central defenders stepping on the area and a constant physical display to wear out. They don’t seem to have spent six months without official matches. River plays as always. Pure dynamics and attitude.
The summary of the match
In the initial 4-3-3 that DT has, Suárez and Álvarez start from the outside, but they constantly close to look for the filtered pass of the midfielders and allow the deployment of the full-backs, who play almost as wingers and are shown on the line to hurt. Thus, with the central pair advanced to the central circle, the scheme seems to mutate to a 2-5-3 to attack. then, to defend, the inexhaustible Álvarez backs down, leaves the offensive line and joins the midfield band to form a 4-4-2.
In order to sustain this game mechanics, River also relies on two fundamental aspects: concentration and intensity. First of all, you need to be 100% focused, especially on your bottom line, to avoid any neglect that could cost you dearly, as happened in Brazil against São Paulo. And second, the ingrained gaming ideology forces you to play the 90 minutes as if they were your first. Taking your foot off the gas doesn’t seem like an option.
After an overwhelming first half with a 3-0 that was perhaps short, the fourth goal of the night was the great mirror of what River was looking for throughout the game: he built a play of 13 touches in which eight different players participated. Montiel started it on the right, it was passed between De La Cruz, Enzo Pérez, Angileri, Pinola, Suárez, Nacho Fernández and Álvarez, the ball turned from right to left and Montiel himself ended up overflowing the right wing and assisting with a center back to Nacho Fernández.
Y the last two goals had a flavor of redemption for Pratto. After missing the game in Brazil due to a strained right hamstring, the Bear entered in the 27th minute of the second half and managed to break an old streak that saddened him: he converted after 29 games. His last celebration had been on May 30, 2019 in the 3-0 of the Recopa Sudamericana against Athletico Paranaense. In the middle, he added 882 minutes, contributed two assists and could only start seven times. All round.
River takes from Lima more than good feelings. He resumed his path in the Copa Libertadores with four of the six possible points, had two solid and convincing performances, scored eight goals (he is the highest-scoring team in the Cup with 16) and maintained a collective level that does not seem to have cracked despite the extensive stand up for the pandemic.
Now, it will be his turn to revalidate what he has achieved as a visitor at the Independiente stadium. Next Wednesday he will receive San Pablo and on October 20 he will face Liga de Quito. Today he leads the League with nine units, but the Millionaire has seven, is an escort and depends on himself: if he wins both games he will stay with Group D and, thinking about the classification, he made a great goal difference (+11) in case to match with the Brazilians (third with four points). Everything in favor for the Gallardo team that plays as it dreams. Intensely.