Newell’s remain on Boca’s heels with win over Arsenal & San Lorenzo keep pace with victory against Sarmiento (VIDEO)

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Newell’s Old Boys and San Lorenzo are doing their best to ensure that Boca Juniors don’t run away at the top of the Primera and on Saturday afternoon both sides battled to hard fought 1-0 wins over relegation threatened sides.

Up first in Sarandí was Newell’s clash with Arsenal and for once Humberto Grondona’s side will be feeling a little hard done by to come away with nothing. With only one win all season, Arsenal have slipped into the relegation zone but were the better side for large parts against title challengers Newell’s.

The only goal came shortly before half time when Maxi Rodríguez’s shot from outside the penalty area took a wicked deflection, looping up into the air and coming down off the underside of the crossbar. The former Argentina international has been credited with the goal despite inconclusive replays but Ignacio Scocco made absolutely certain by thumping in the rebound.

The win puts Newell’s only two points behind Boca but adds to Arsenal’s concerns in their battle for survival.

A little later in Bajo Flores, San Lorenzo responded to last weekend’s frustrating defeat to Tigre and moved back to within three points of the top of the table.

Diego Aguirre’s side certainly had the chances to make victory more comfortable but instead required a Néstor Ortigoza penalty to see off Sarmiento. Walter Busse handled the ball in an attempt to block Paulo Díaz’s cross and despite the visitors’ protests, the decision was clear.

Boca may well reestablish their lead after the weekend but for now San Lorenzo remain in contention.

Arsenal de Sarandí  0 – 1  Newell’s Old Boys

San Lorenzo  1 – 0  Sarmiento

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