Gallardo: River Plate had to 'vindicate' themselves with Colo Colo demolition in Copa Libertadores

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River Plate boss Marcelo Gallardo hailed his team's performance as they secured their path to the Copa Libertadores knockout stage, thrashing Colo Colo 4-0 on Thursday.

Agustin Palavecino's goal just before the interval gave Los Millonarios critical momentum for the second half, with goals from Nicolas de la Cruz, David Martinez and Ezequiel Barco eventually putting them six points clear atop Group F with a game left.

Following the weekend's shock elimination to Tigre in the Copa de la Liga Profesional, Gallardo's side ultimately dominated the Chilean league leaders, recording 28 shots to six for a cumulative xG total of 3.39 to 0.87.

The 46-year-old coach believes it was a necessary response from his team on top of what was at stake in the group.

"We played a very good match," Gallardo said. "I think the first half was quite even. Colo Colo are a tough team.

"In the second half we adjusted some things, we were more precise and vertical. The result could have been even better.

"We had to vindicate ourselves after last week's setback and the team did very well, they recovered against a strong rival. There was a great collective response, we achieved the qualification [to the last 16] and we surpassed Colo Colo by far.

"We were in a key game, with our people, to vindicate ourselves with what was the setback last week. I think we did well, the team recovered against a very good opponent."

In Thursday's other results in the Copa Libertadores, Deportivo Cali leapfrogged Corinthians and Boca Juniors to move to top spot in Group E, securing a 3-0 win over Always Ready, while a Hulk brace helped Atletico Mineiro defeat Independiente del Valle 3-1.

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