Marco Rubén netted a hat trick as Rosario Central beat Uruguayan outfit River Plate in a 4-1 win for the Argentines in the fourth week of the Copa Libertadores.
It was a match Rosario dominated, with 73 percent of possession and 16 shots to River Plate’s five. Central took the lead in the 19th minute and didn’t relinquish it once, with a glut of goals coming in the second half.
Things got off to a shaky start for Central with the defense hesitating on the ball, allowing number 10 Michael Santos to have a shot on target within the first minute.
But, quite frankly, that was the most the away team, whose own stadium has a capacity of just 6,000, threatened until the 64th minute when Santos scored a well worked goal, but by that stage it was already 3-0 to Rosario and it was a mere consolation.
Second striker Germán Herrara also scored a cracker for Rosario, who was without Marcelo Larrondo, to give Central the much-needed bounce back after it lost to Palmerias last week, while this was a first loss for River Plate in this season’s Copa Libertadores.
San Lorenzo drew 1-1 with Brazilian team Grêmio in Porto Alegre in its fixture, with number nine Martín Cauteruccio netting for the away side.
Elsewhere, it was all good news for Argentines in the Champions League last night, with La Seleccion’s attacking mids Ángel Di María and Javier Pastore helping Paris Saint Germain knock Chelsea out of the competition’s last 16 for the second consecutive season in a 2-1 victory for the French team in London.
Benfica left it late to defeat Zenit St Petersburg, with perennial Argentina sub Nicolás Gaitán scoring in the 86th minute, giving him four goals and three assists in seven appearances in the Champions League this season.
Tonight in the Copa Libertadores, Boca faces up against Bolívar while River Plate has a tough fixture against Brazilian team São Paulo. Across the pond, center back and oft Argentina left back Marcus Rojo and hell, maybe even international number one Sergio Romero will be looking to defeat Liverpool with Manchester United.