San Lorenzo, Estadio Pedro Bidegain

They say we’re out our minds, but San Lorenzo isn’t interested, we drink pure demijohn wine and smoke all the marijuana. San Lorenzo have my second favourite football chant after Sunshine on Leith. Now El Neuvo Gasometro isn’t the best ground, it isn’t the most interesting ground but I had to see De la Cabeza live. The Gauchos de Boedo are considered one of The Big Five in Buenos Aires, formed in 1908 they were named after Priest Lorenzo Massa who had given the team a pitch to play on after seeing a boy knocked over by a tram. Lorenzo offered the boys the church yard to play as long as they attended mass on a Sunday, fantastic bribery. From humble beginnings, San Lorenzo have gone on to win 15 titles and after a long wait their first Libertadores in 2014 beating Paraguay’s Nacional in the final.

I was told prior to heading to Flores that the area wasn’t the best, so we did our usual and got an Uber straight to the ground. A little bit early we had a mooch around and picked up a ticket from the ticket office. As I said about, the ground isn’t great. San Lorenzo were sold a dud when Carrefour bought their old ground and they were left with this temporary ground in 1993. The club have since won a court case against Carrefour and, will hopefully finalise plans to move back to the site of their old ground. Tickets cost around £12 and are pretty easy to get as long as it’s not a match against Huracan or one of the other Big Five. There’s large terracing behind both goals but, we decided to have a sit down after the frankly bonkers 4 hours at Boca the previous night. The one main problem we had with El Neuvo Gasometro was it’s open and it was intermittently lashing it down. Prior to kick off we’d pop in and out of the concourse hiding from the rain.

The Barra Bravas poured into the ground to the right of us, bouncing, singing, crashing, hitting and tooting various instruments. Banners danced as the support filled up the terrace but not a peep about that sweet demijohn wine. Similar to the previous two games the noise was relentless, luckily for us being absolutely knackered it was a watched from afar. San Lorenzo’s supporters were superb, this was a nothing game but this was so much fun. To me San Lorenzo were the perfect example of what Argentine football is about, the sights, sounds and smells. It was the perfect middle ground between the calm of Argentinos Juniors and the storm of Boca.

The game was a barnstormer, end to end, two wonderful kits (San Lorenzo similar to Barca, Lanus an inverted Hearts white with maroon sleeves), downpours punctuated the half for us, repeated hiding in the exit as San Lorenzo took the lead, Lanus hit back. In and out we popped as 50 pence piece sized dollops of water pelted us from the skies. Similar to other games the football was fun, frantic, honest and flowing, if you can I honestly advise people to watch Argentine football online. It is a lot of fun on the whole, technically good, hard and without loads of stops. Oh and as an added bonus you get to see players like San Lorenzo’s former Newcastle centreback Fabricio Collocini.

Unfortunately we had to leave a touch early to ensure we made it to Independiente but, as I said this match was a barnstormer. Five second half goals with the lead handed round like a bottle of prosecco at a bottomless brunch eventually saw San Lorenzo come out 4-3 winners. A couple of minutes before we left however, our luck came in, as the flags twitched across the supporters the memorable chorus bellowed out “Oh, San Lorenzo, Oh San Lorenzo”. Their supporters are out of their mind, I don’t think it has anything to do with what they drink or smoke though.

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