While the dust was still settling from last weekend’s fecha de clasicos mayhem, the Primera Division took one step back towards normality in this round of fixtures. Here’s some of the highlights:
Boca back on track for the title
League leaders Boca Juniors looked to have put their Superclasico demons behind them on Saturday as they welcomed Newell’s Old Boys – themselves having suffered a 3-1 defeat to rivals Rosario Central last weekend – to La Bombonera, in what was dubbed Boca’s last genuine obstacle between them and the title.
Boca coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto named a much changed side in the wake of last week’s 3-1 drubbing to River Plate, with Colombian midfielder Wilmar Barrios coming in and proving his worth in the starting XI – he was given a standing ovation from the xeneize support for his efforts, too.
It was also his run and pass that set up striker Dario Benedetto’s long-ranged effort on 27 minutes, the game’s only goal:
— Pasion x Boca ? (@Pasion_BocaOK) May 20, 2017
Newell’s had a man sent off late on, capping off a match where a Boca victory never seemed too much in doubt. The win means they remain top with 52 points – six clear of second-placed San Lorenzo, whose habit of losing against ‘lesser’ teams reared its head on Sunday, with a 1-0 loss at home to 26th-placed Aldosivi. Newell’s remain in fourth.
Last gasp winner for in-form Independiente
El Rojo’s climb up the table continued on Saturday night as they clinched a 2-1 home victory over Huracan.
The visitors had been leading for most of the game after Independiente’s Gigliotti had put the ball into his own net on 27 minutes.
El primer gol de Gigliotti que festejó Angelici. pic.twitter.com/OU1I4FZZUm
— Un Metro Adelantado (@metroadelantado) May 21, 2017
It was Independiente who dominated for the most part, however, searching for another win following their emphatic 4-2 victory over Racing in last week’s clasico de Avellenada. That goal eventually came, through an Ezequiel Barco penalty on 81′, but there was yet more drame to come, in the last minute of added time:
— Juan Ignacio Egido (@JuanchiEgido18) May 21, 2017
Erviti’s header – virtually the last touch of the game – send Ariel Horan’s side up to seventh position in the table, just two points behind second-placed San Lorenzo.
“We’ve become a comptetitve team – and we’re going to battle until the very end“, said Horan, who has overseen 12 games without a loss in charge of El Rojo.
Best of the rest:
It was a busy weekend for other teams in the Primera Division, too, and an unhappy one for some. Colon, who last month were an outside bet for the title, continue to fall down the table (they’re now in 8th) after they lost 3-0 away to Temperley on Sunday.
16th placed Atletico Rafaela’s good run of form also came to and end with a 2-0 defeat away to Lanus, while Sarmiento suffered a hefty 4-1 loss to Talleres de Cordoba in Junin
Last but not least, Rosario Central gave their side a heroes welcome on Sunday after they thrashed Newell’s 3-1 in last weekend’s clasico Rosarino. Goals from Teo Gutierrez, Burgos, Camacho and Lovera lead the team to another impressive victory, with the match ending 4-1 to the home side. It was not so much the football that had the papers talking on Monday, however, as Central fans bombarded the pitch with baby dolls dressed in Newell’s colours in reference to the side’s poor showing last week. Argentine football fans truly never fail to impress:
Los de Rosário Central arrojaron bebes a la cancha con camisetas de Newells pic.twitter.com/4tVr4zeLFi
— Barrabrava.net (@barrabrava_net) May 22, 2017
River Plate visit Gimnasia de La Plata later tonight, while Estudiantes go to Olimpo.