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“I never saw anything like this in Matute”: The five compelling reasons why Alianza is the deserved champion of the Apertura and the best team in League 1

The intimates fulfilled their duty this Sunday and they thrashed Binacional in a brilliant night by Hernán Barcos and Christian Cueva. The day was a total party in Matute that once again showed off a full house to celebrate the first title of the year with the goal set on winning the three-time championship, something that no team has achieved since Universitario de Deportes did it between 1998 and 2000.

There are still two games left (those from Salas will visit ADT in Tarma this Friday and then they will receive Deportivo Garcilaso to celebrate with the champion plate) and their minds are set on the Copa Libertadores (next Wednesday they will collide against Atlético Mineiro in a match that will mark the path of the team), but Alianza Lima today has proven to be the best in Peruvian soccer, at least at the start of the year.

Sport Total spoke with five specialists who analyzed the factors that have made Alianza Lima the champion of the Opening Tournament 2023. From the conformation of the squad to the importance of having two scorers who get along very well off the pitch.

The best reinforced

“The reinforcements that we will do as a club are thinking about the Cup”had advanced Jose Bellina, Alliance sports manager, in an interview with this newspaper at the end of November. With two consecutive national titles, in Matute they were clear that it was necessary to make a quality leap in terms of players to compete in the Libertadores and, as a consequence of this, they could fight for the Apertura.

Alianza made use of its much-talked-about wallet and brought in big-name players like Carlos Zambrano, Christian Cueva and Gabriel Costa, three summonable to the Peruvian team. The Colombians Andres Andrade (who played the Playoffs last year) and Pablo Sabbag (25-year-old scorer) also joined. then came santiago garcia, defender with extensive career and experience in the Bundesliga. And with them came players from Liga 1 with a lot of potential as Franco Zanelatto, Bryan Reyna and Jesus Castillo.

And the results are obvious: A great first semester.

“Alianza was reinforced in all lines. Those responsible for hiring decided well. The only thing missing was a left back to compete with Lagos, but fortunately Salas did not have any trouble on that side. From there, all the others responded and were decisive in the campaign”analyze Victor Zaferson, renowned Peruvian scout. The intimate sports area did a job of 9.5 points and that is the basis of a good season.

“Let us also consider that not all of them reached one hundred percent, like Andrade and Cueva. Salas had to wait for them to recover their level. This squad is enough to beat almost everyone in League 1″Add.

Today, Alianza has a base backbone with Zambrano, Ballón, Andrade and Sabbag. But when they are not there (the ‘Rifle’ is injured, for example), those who enter can do the same or better. Cave, Boats and other names show that the Victorian establishment is rich in quantity and quality.

Pablo Sabbag (COL, 25 years old)Forwardeleven70
Andrés Andrade (COL, 33 years old)attacking midfieldereleven22
Christian Cueva (PER, 31 years old)attacking midfielder701
Carlos Zambrano (PER, 33 years old)Central820
Gabriel Costa (URU-PER, 32 years old)Rightmosteleven42
Bryan Reyna (PER, 24 years old)Leftmosteleven31
Franco Zanelatto (PAR-PER, 22 years old)Rightmosteleven30
Jesús Castillo (PER, 27 years old)defensive midfielder1212
Santiago Garcia (ARG, 34 years old)Central1210
Edinson Chávez (PER, 29 years old)Right side401
Italo Espinoza (PER, 26 years old)Goalie

The Victorian Fort: Hooch

He made Matute an unbreakable wall. They dared to steal points from the heart of La Victoria clubs like Sport Boys, Cusco FC, Cienciano, Cantolao, Mannucci, Vallejo, Municipal and Binacional. Everyone left with the unease between their teeth and only Municipal and Binacional managed to score, even if it was, a goal.

The other club that could have won all their home games was academic. The creams were victorious in seven of the eight games they played at the Monumental. They only lost one. The rival: Lima Alliancenothing more and nothing less.

Is that phrase that is said in Peruvian soccer true that the team that goes to Matute starts losing 1-0? Is the Victorian cauldron an imposing venue that intimidates its rivals? Ana Lucia Rodrigueza journalist who has covered the blue and white club for many years, answers our questions.

vs. Sports Boys2-0
vs. Cusco FC2-0
vs. scientist2-0
vs. cantolao3-0
vs. mannucci3-0
vs. Vallejo2-0
vs. Municipal2-1
vs. binational6-1
Effectiveness: 100%
Goals for: 22
Goals against: 2

“Since I cover Alianza, when there is a game in Matute, one already gets the idea that the venue is the favorite. The rival doesn’t matter much, speaking of the local tournament, of course. But in recent years there has been a striking trend: Alianza is devastating. Especially this 2023. points out.

For Rodríguez, the fan is the main factor that makes the Alejandro Villanueva stadium a blue and white fortress. “A lot has to do with the fans that fill Matute. They have become an important plus for Alianza to be a very strong local team today. When you talk to the players, they all agree on that, that the support in the stands helps them and in turn puts pressure on their opponents. In addition, we must add that this year the team has players of a high hierarchy. So, in that context, the intimates are very strong”add.

With a showy game or not, even with some experiments by the coach such as putting Cueva and Andrade together; the Victorians did their homework and got the upper hand on the rest. Everyone who visits Matute leaves with nothing in their hands.

It is not difficult for him to go out to the province

To fight for a domestic title -in this case, the Apertura- it is not enough to just become strong at home, it is also very necessary to add visitors, especially in the provinces, with all the difficulty it is to play against the local geography, the weather and even the state of the field. Everything affects. No other team achieved so many victories in this contest.

Intimates defeated UTC in Cajamarca, Comercio in Tarapoto, and Alianza Atlético and Atlético Grau in Piura. In the first three places, for example, Universitario fell. And there also lies the difference between one and the other: if Alianza takes eight points from the ‘U’ and Cristal it is because they won abroad. Those from Salas only lost to Huancayo and Melgar, this last clash playing without seven regular starters.

Cristal, for example, took three victories in height and also three draws. The problem with the rimenses is that two of those victories were in the last dates, already with the championship almost sentenced.

“Undoubtedly it is difficult for teams from Lima to go out to the province to play. Weather factors and the state of the fields play an important role. For example, in the capital they are used to a thermal sensation of 20 degrees, but then they have to go to Piura to play under 35 degrees or more. Also going to the height affects so that they can even breathe ”analyze Javier Arcethe Peruvian coach who in 2019 won the Apertura with Binacional, a team that won four victories outside of Juliaca in that tournament.

For Arce, the merit is double that of Salas for knowing how to plan matches away from home. Something that, for example, does not happen with Jorge Fossati’s Universitario. It has taken its toll on the Uruguayan to plan games with the same idea and intensity as if he were playing at the Monumental.

39 points.

31 points.


31 points.

0-1 vs. UTC1-0 vs. Trade1-1 vs. mannucci
2-1 vs. Huancayo2-0 vs. mannucci4-4 vs. Mr. Garcilaso
1-2 vs. Grau1-2 vs. binational1-1 vs. UTC
0-1 vs. A. Athletic1-1 vs. Mr. Garcilaso1-6 Trade
1-3 vs. Trade3-1 vs. A. Athletic0-1 Binational
2-1 Melgar1-0 UTC1-2 Huancayo
4 wins
2 losses
12 points out of 18 possible
1 win
1 draw
4 losses
4 points out of 18 possible
3 wins
3 draws
12 points out of 18 possible

The influence of Carlos Zambrano

If we only count the goals conceived -and we put aside the 3-0 for the ‘walk over’ against Cristal-, Alianza Lima would have conceded just nine goals in 16 dates played in the Apertura. That is, 1.7 per game. It maintained its undefeated fence in eight matches and became the least beaten team. To have a reference: the other club with fewer goals against is the ‘U’ with four more goals.

Considering that the technician chicho salasfor various reasons (injuries, suspensions or rotations for the Cup), the defense only repeated once, it is striking that the Victorian team has remained so strong in said area, although not for Ernest Arakaki, who was his locker room partner in the 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2006 titles; and then they met again working in the minor divisions of the blue and white institution.

“I know Chicho very well. When he was a youth coach, on a day-to-day basis, That is why it does not surprise me that one of its strengths is the rear. He likes to keep his goal to zero because that gives him the chance to win even with a goal in the last minute.”he tells us.

For Arakaki, also a former defender of the Peruvian team, the influence of Carlos Zambrano It has been total, despite the fact that “León” played just eight games in the tournament. “He is a key piece in that back four line because his mere presence commands respect, even when he was not on the field his teammates were left with that security. From the hierarchy, the profession and the experience, Carlos provided security to the defense, and he was also very well accompanied. None of those who played behind were out of tune ”.

Peruzzi – Montoya – Garcia – Lagos1 match
Peruzzi – Zambrano – Garcia – Lagos1 match
Peruzzi – Miguez – Garcia – Vilchez1 match
Peruzzi – Zambrano – Garcia – Vilchez1 match
Chavez – Miguez – Garcia – Vilchez1 match
Chavez – Vilchez – Garcia – Lagos1 match
Chavez – Montoya – Garcia – Lagos1 match
Montoya – Zambrano – Garcia – Lagos1 match
Rodriguez – Zambrano – Garcia – Lagos1 match
Peruzzi – Zambrano – Miguez – Lagos2 matches
Peruzzi – Miguez – Garcia – Lagos1 match
Peruzzi – Zambrano – Vilchez – Lagos1 match
Chávez – Vilchez – García – Amasifuén1 match
Vílchez-Zambrano-García-Lagos1 match

The importance of goals

affirms us Sergio ‘Checho’ Ibarra with that certainty about the subject that his 274 goals in the first division of Peruvian soccer. For the former goalscorer, therein lies the differential that Chicho Salas has with Alianza Lima: Pablo Sabbag (7) and Hernán Barcos (6) they are the team’s gunners without the need to play together. The one who entered always responded and between them they have scored 40% of the 33 goals that the intimates scored in the Opening.

sabbag He has proven to be a ‘9’ who normally must be enabled, although he also knows how to manage to define, supported by his young age and physical integrity. HernanFor his part, he is a ‘9’ with more technique and intelligence to associate with his teammates. He makes the rest of his team play and that adds up.”analyze.

For Ibarra, an important factor in the group management of Salas is that he has maintained a united dressing room. Such a large squad, with many names for positions in attack, needs a guide to keep the waters calm. And that has been done by the Alliance coach and it can be seen in the relationship between the forwards.

Sabbag told a few weeks ago, making it clear that the only dispute between the two is soccer and to see who is the starter.

Source: Elcomercio

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