Caruso Lombardi shimmied one way and then the other. Dropping a shoulder, he headed to his right before transferring his weight onto the opposite ankle and bursting forward. But his opponent didn’t buy it. Lombardi wasn’t quick enough. The younger, more agile Fabian Garcia knew what was coming… Lombardi’s left hook hit nothing but thin air.
As the Television cameras rolled, San Lorenzo coach Caruso Lombardi continued the street fight with Garcia, assistant to Lombardi’s predecessor Leonardo Madelon. Garcia had taken exception to some of Lombardi’s comments during a radio interview, and so made his way to the station to confront the current San Lorenzo DT.
It was textbook Lombardi, really. The worrying thing for the El Ciclon faithful, is that all of a sudden, it appeared classic San Lorenzo.
Things are falling apart in the Boedo, with it looking increasingly likely that the club will become the next grande to follow River Plate to Primera B. Saturday’s defeat to Union left the club third from bottom in the relegation table, with just four games to save themselves from the drop. ‘It’s now or never,’ said La Nación this past week. And the pressure is already proving too much for some.
As his teammates sat silently inside the changing rooms of the Estadio 15 de Abril in Santa Fe on Saturday night, goalkeeper Pablo Migliore dumped himself down on a step, brought his hands to his head, and wept.
‘It was a violation of our privacy,’ said Migliore of the footage. ‘What is happening to us really hurts,’ he continued, ‘but we still have a chance [to save ourselves].’
Paraguayan international Nestor Ortigoza was a little more emphatic in his reaction, making both his fellow teammates and the coaching staff well aware of his feelings, lamenting a perceived lack of desire that has engulfed the playing staff before storming out and ordering a taxi to take him some 250 miles back to Buenos Aires. He was eventually convinced to return to the team bus, where the discussions continued.
San Lorenzo have four games to save themselves, two of which are against direct relegation rivals in Tigre and San Martin.
‘People know we’re giving everything on the pitch’ said defender Jonathan Bottinelli, who himself was involved in something of a scrape last year. ‘We want to turn it around and keep San Lorenzo in the first division.’
There’s no doubt that the desire is there; it’s the way in which everyone at San Lorenzo shows that passion will likely be the difference between survival and relegation.
Elsewhere in week 15, Boca Juniors returned to the top of the table with a 2-0 win at Racing Club, Lucas Viatri crowning his first appearance in over 6 months with a fine individual effort to put the game beyond La Academia.
Boca’s victory was enough to regain top spot after Newell’s Old Boys went down 3-1 to a revitalised Tigre who look destined for relegations at the start of the Clausura. Tigre are now unbeaten in six and remarkably find themselves just one point Boca in second. Estudiantes and All Boys made it two wins in a row with victories over Banfield and San Martin respectively, while Arsenal joined Tigre on 28 points with a 3-1 win over Lanus last night.
Elsewhere, Atletico Rafaela were held at home by Colon, as were Godoy Cruz by Argentinos Juniors. Copa Libertadores quarter finalists Velez went down 1-0 at home to Belgrano while Olimpo condemned struggling Independiente to their third straight defeat.
Arsenal 3-1 Lanús
Olimpo 2-1 Independiente
Vélez 0-1 Belgrano
Atletico Rafaela 0-0 Colón
Racing Club 0-2 Boca Juniors
Banfield 0-3 Estudiantes
All Boys 1-0 San Martín
Unión de Santa Fe 1-0 San Lorenzo
Godoy Cruz 1-1 Argentinos Juniors
Tigre 3-1 Newell's Old Boys