River He began to become champion the night that Atlético Mineiro passed him in Belo Horizonte, beat him 3 to 0 and took him out of the Copa Libertadores in the round of 16. With the outlook cleared of international commitments, Marcelo gallardo He calibrated his gaze and pointed to the local championship: River had not won one since 2014 and that was the only pending issue in a historic cycle.
The consecration arrived on the night of this Thursday. With four dates in advance and a perhaps unthinkable advantage when he took the lead on the 14th date, after winning the superclassic against Boca by 2 to 1. That in just eight dates he has distanced himself so much from his rivals speaks more about the mediocrity of the competition itself than about the real merits of a good team, but that in no way seems destined to make history.
Gallardo had to rearm this River twice. First to compensate the players who were falling for their sales abroad (Exequiel Palacios, Juan Fernando Quintero, Ignacio Scocco, Lucas Pratto, Lucas Martínez Quarta, Ignacio Fernández, Rafael Santos Borré and Gonzalo Montiel). Later, to accommodate his pieces in the face of the injuries that the squad were punishing him: Matías Suárez had to undergo surgery on his right knee, Fabrizio Angileri spent more time in the consulting rooms than on the court, Felipe Peña Biafore also broke the cruciate ligaments in his right knee and now, Enzo Pérez dislocated his left elbow and was left out of the final matches.
Then some juveniles appeared on the scene like Santiago Simón and Lucas Rollheiser, who the technician had been simmering. And Julian Alvarez, the great figure of the championship, exploded: He scored 14 goals in the last 10 games and he is perhaps one of the main responsible for this title: no player was as decisive as him. But River was not the only inspiration for the player in a state of grace. There are several other reasons that explain the intense happiness that was experienced last night in the old Monumental stadium.
Gallardo had clear ideas. And he knew how to explain and apply them. Without ceasing to worry about the defensive, the coach put the accent on the offensive operation and provided variants so that, from a high and rigorous pressure, the ball would move with fast and strong passes and five or six players would reach the rival area in every play. Of the last 36 points, River won 32 (He only tied as a visitor against Independiente and Estudiantes) and in the packaging of those 12 devastating dates, he built the difference that last night allowed him to be champion by knockout. Four dates before and with football and efficiency in similar proportions.