It may have taken some time for Guillermo Barros Schelotto to find a balance with this Boca Juniors side but Los Xeneizes are definitely starting to click and Sunday’s impressive victory over Racing puts them right in the title mix.
The visitors arrived at La Bombonera following a convincing clásico but were immediately on the back foot and found themselves behind after 24 minutes when former Boca full back Emanuel Insúa headed into his own net attempting to keep out Frank Fabra’s chipped finish.
Boca remained in control with Fernando Gago back from injury and looking as though he had never been away in his deep lying midfield role. Walter Bou doubled the advantage just before the break with a neat shot on the turn and it left Racing with a mountain to climb.
La Academia needed a response but within two minutes of the second half, Bou had his second and Boca were cruising.
However, when Lisandro López volleyed in Oscar Romero’s lofted ball over the top and then pounced on a spilled free kick to tap in another, a Racing comeback suddenly looked on the cards.
Carlos Tevez had been guilty of a glaring miss just before López’s second but the iconic forward swiftly made amends and put the result beyond doubt. Agustín Orión looked to have saved Racing when he parried away Cristian Pavón’s effort but Tevez chased down the loose ball, barged Nicolás Sánchez out his way and cut back to slot the ball into the net.
Boca are now just two points behind Estudiantes and with Fernando Gago making such a successful return to the first team, the depth of the squad to not miss the likes of Darío Benedetto, Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side might just be title favourites.
In Avellaneda, Gabi Milito just about managed to earn a reprieve as his under-fire Independiente side squeezed past an under-strength River Plate. Marcelo Gallardo selected a youthful reserve eleven ahead of next week’s superclásico and Copa Argentina final but El Rojo still had difficulties breaking them down.
Independiente have struggled in front of goal all season and Milito’s decision to partner Diego Vera with Germán Denis was supposed to add firepower but instead was predictably simple for River to defend against. Eventually, after both managers had made changes, Vera nodded in the only goal of the game but it was a far from convincing performance from the home side after their humbling against Racing.
Earlier in Córdoba, Belgrano’s woes continued as Leonardo Madelón secured a second goalless draw in as many matches in charge. Relegation threatened Temperley were the visitors but El Pirata were unable to add to their meagre five goals scored this season and remain with the just one win in twelve.
Boca Juniors 4 – 2 Racing Club
Belgrano 0 – 0 Temperley
Independiente 1 – 0 River Plate