After a long, tense and, if we are brutally honest, not very good Torneo Inicial, Sunday finally saw a winner crowned. That team was San Lorenzo, who came out as the beneficiary of two draws in a delayed title double-header.
The Cuervo almost ‘hung themselves from the crossbar’ (in Argentine parlance) in order to secure the 0-0 draw away to Vélez that would guarantee them at least a place in the play-off to dispute their first title since 2007. That was not necessary, however. Thanks to gripping 2-2 deadlock between fellow aspirants Newell’s Old Boys and Lanús, the trophy was on its way to Bajo Flores.
Okay, so the lack of away fans in Vélez Sarsfield’s stadium was a drag. As was the fact that, for security reasons, San Lorenzo could not do the traditional lap of honour. And fine, they finished with the lowest number of points ever for the winner of a 19-game championship. Whatever. Just two years ago the side was fighting desperately against relegation; until the arrival of former Barcelona striker Juan Antonio Pizzi.
Admittedly helped by generous investments from Argentine television demigod Marcelo Tinelli, the coach built diligently and formed a side that, while capable of some excellent attacking play, were also adept at putting up the barricades and grinding out results.
So Pizzi, The Bubble marks your triumph by recalling your part in maybe the best piece of football commentary ever. ‘PIZZIIIII!!!! PIZZZIIIIII!!!! SOS MACANUDO PIZZIIIIIIIII!!!!’
(Macanudo, according to the Royal Spanish Academy: Magnificent, stupendous).