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Three Reasons Boca Juniors Are Superliga Champions

Three Reasons Boca Juniors Are Superliga Champions

Boca Juniors have clinched the Superliga title and are now back to back champions of Argentina! This is something Boca has achieved ten times in their history and should not be belittled.

Since the 1990/1991 season, there have been three long “European style” seasons in Argentina: 2015, 2017, and 2018. All have been won by Boca, making it an even bigger accomplishment.

Boca winning the Superliga can be attributed to: a tremendous start to the season; key players such as Dario Benedetto, Wilmar Barrios, and Cristian Pavon playing at a top level; and last, but not least, being able to supplement injured players.

Boca had one of the best starts to a season in history winning their first eight fixtures. Not only did they win them but they were also won very convincingly, sometimes destroying their opponents.

At home they defeated Olimpo 3-0, Godoy Cruz 4-1, and Belgrano 4-0. Away they defeated Velez Sarsfield 4-0 which included quite possibly the goal of the Season by Benedetto.

They also defeated eternal rivals River Plate at the Monumental 1-2. In those first eight fixtures Boca scored 21 goals, conceded six goals and had a seven point advantage over second place Union de Santa Fe.

A very convincing Superliga start can be attributed to a tremendous form by Benedetto. Scoring eight goals and assisting four in only nine matches played. This helped Boca cement themselves at the top of the Superliga, and allowed Benedetto to earn a place on the Argentina national team for the last two World Cup qualifying fixtures.

Unfortunately, Benedetto suffered a season ending injury but his Superliga start was superb and one of the reasons Boca is back to back champions.

Wilmar Barrios has been playing a containment role as a classic number five and allowed Boca to have the fifth best defence in the Superliga conceding 22 goals this season. Before Barrios earned a spot in the starting eleven, Boca had a very vulnerable and criticised defence.

Barrios is a very quick midfielder who pressures the opponent very high and recovers the ball nine out of ten times. He is also in charge of stopping an opponent’s counter attack and initiating an attack with very quick passing. He is a horse in the midfield with a tremendous work rate.

Cristian Pavon has been Boca’s player of the season. Constantly destabilising the opponent on the left flank and often taking on multiple players in order to set up a goal as seen in the video below.

Pavon has scored on six occasions and set up eleven goals allowing him to have the most assists of any player in the Superliga.

When Boca had a dip in form at the beginning of the year and could not pick up their form as the months progressed, Pavon was somewhat of a saviour for the team always competing at a high level and showing up in crucial games that were not going in Boca’s favour.

When Boca faced Palmeiras in Brazil and conceded in the 90th minute, it was almost certain Boca would go back home empty handed in a game that called for a draw or perhaps a Boca victory analysing how the match played out. In stoppage time Pavon created a play out of nothing and assisted Carlos Tevez for the equaliser. Pavon has been crucial for Boca this season.

Boca has done a good job of overshadowing injured players such as Dario Benedetto and Fernando Gago. Benedetto scored eight goals prior to his injury. With Pavon, Ramon Abila, and Walter Bou, Boca scored 10 goals ultimately making up for Benedetto’s absence.

In contrast to Benedetto, Boca has had more trouble making up for Fernando Gago’s absence. He is a creative midfielder who does a fabulous job of creating chances with precise passing and threaded balls.

A combination of Pablo Perez, Emanuel Reynoso and a resurrection of the forgotten Sebastian Perez have allowed Boca to somewhat make up for Gago’s absence and fabricate goal scoring opportunities.

Congratulations to the players, coaching staff, fans, and everyone that played a role in Boca Juniors Superliga conquest.

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