Although River Plate dominated proceedings, failing to find the net became as much a problem for the men in red and white as it has been for Boca all season. It’s good news for goalkeepers with clean-sheet bonuses stuck in their contracts, but for football fans, it was a little less interesting.
River played with high intensity, reclaiming the ball like men possessed, a feature of coach Marcelo Gallardo’s style during his first season with the club. By playing the ball out wide and constantly finding attacking mid Rodrigo Mora, Boca left back Jonathan Silva was left exposed and isolated. He got beat pretty much without fail by his River counterpart, but despite their success in the build up, the finishing was lacking any kind of composure or class.
It’d be fair to say no one really lived up to their billing, aside from perhaps River’s center mid Nicolás Domingo who played well with the ball at his feet, bossed the midfield with his marking and generally got the better of his opponents.
Seventeen minutes in was when the first chance came with River left back Leonel Vangioni hitting a free kick into the area and defender Gabriel Mercado fluffing his lines, hitting the ball past the right hand upright.
The next came 10 minutes later, but Boca keeper Agustín Orión was equal to midfielder Leonardo Ponzio’s weak effort.
The full match highlights, if you even feel like watching them.
With Carlos Tévez far below his usual standards, Boca literally didn’t even threaten the River area. Its star man would probably have to be Orión who managed to save two further River chances in the second half, but the game turned into a stalemate with neither team able to find that cutting pass or moment of inspiration.
Silva got left eating dust in wide midfielder Gonzalo Martínez’s wake, but the latter’s cross was left unmet by Uruguyan strikers Iván Alonso and Rodrigo Mora.
And that was that, a second 0-0 draw for new Boca coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto in as many games, which all things considered isn’t too bad given both matches were against immediate rivals. River will certainly be bitter it didn’t win this one, despite being the better team. If we can blame anyone for this match it’s Racing and Unión who used up all of the weekend’s allotted goals in a 6-3 thriller, as Racing came away with all three points in the match of the season so far.