While attention was focused on a certain Rosarino blowing the title race wide open in Madrid last night, his old club were doing much of the same here in Argentina.

Newell’s pile the pressure on leaders Boca

It wasn´t all too long ago that fans and reporters alike had Boca Juniors down as a shoe-in for the league title. It looked like they would get away with some less than convincing results as well, as the other top four sides struggled to find their feet, meaning that the league leaders´shock home defeat to Talleres last month came and went with little panic.

Newell´s Old Boys look set to diminish any remaining premature title chat, however, as they brushed aside Mar del Plata´s Aldosivi 3-0 on Saturday. Captain Maxi Rodriguez took the game´s finest goal, following some impressive build-up play from the Rosarinos.

“We have to keep expressing and doing what we have been showing since the beginning of the season. The team is good, solid. We continue to face the situation with a very committed coach”, said Rodriguez, known as La Fiera or ´the Beast´.

The win takes them to within three points of Boca, who failed had to settle for a goalless draw against the struggling Atletico Rafaela in Santa Fe.

In fact, Rafaela´s Estadio Nuevo Monumental has become somewhat of a bogey ground for Boca in recent times, having failed to collect three points there in their last four visits – the last time they did was in 2004.

Coach Guilermo Barros Schelotto called the stadium “small, and very bad” after the game, before finding himself on the receiving end of insults from his own fans.

“I can´t continue like this”, said the coach as he spoke to reporters outside the stadium.

Boca fans need not worry, though, with Maradona himself coming out to offer his support for the coach, who has faced criticism in recent weeks for his team´s lack of consistency. “I back him and love him”, said El Diez. High praise indeed.

In less savoury news, police arrested 81 Boca barras (hooligans) prior to the game, finding three firearms in the process. It looks like Argentine football´s crackdown on violence will be a drawn out one.

Read more: AFA seek to reduce football violence with latest regulation 

Newell´s were the only team near the top to take advantage of Boca´s slip-up, however, as others faltered over the weekend.

San Lorenzo went down 1-0 at home to Temperley to slip to fifth in the table, while Estudiantes and River Plate had to settle for 1-1 draws respectively. Racing, meanwhile, go up to third in the table, following their 4-1 victory over Tigre in the midweek.

There were jubilant scenes at Velez, meanwhile, who beat Union 2-1 to record their first back-to-back league wins since February 2016, breathing life back into their season.

Ganó el Fortin y el vestuario lo sabe #VamosVelez

A post shared by Vélez Sarsfield (@velez) on

Una publicación compartida de Vélez Sarsfield (@velez) el 22 de Abr de 2017 a la(s) 4:56 PDT