Boca Juniors put the disappointment of two consecutive draws behind them with a comfortable 3-0 win over Arsenal in La Bombonera and with it restored their three-point lead at the top of the Primera.
The return of Fernando Gago from injury perhaps unsurprisingly improved Boca’s midfield but a first start for 18-year-old Gonzalo Maroni provided the real excitement.
Struggling Arsenal had a decent early chance wasted by Juan Sánchez Sotelo and it was almost immediately punished by Darío Benedetto, as the striker slotted past Pablo Santillo with ease.
A little later Wilmar Barrios teed up Benedetto again and the Primera’s leading scorer doubled the lead against his former club.
Boca were cruising and Maroni thrilled the supporters with a Riquelme-esque sombrero and nutmeg during the first half but the youngster’s full debut was to get a real highlight after the break.
— Boca, un sentimiento (@BocaXentimiento) May 1, 2017
Defending their lead with relative ease, a third goal looked on the cards and when Arsenal failed to clear a cross into the penalty area the ball dropped to Maroni, who expertly volleyed into the corner.
It’s too soon and Arsenal are too poor to read much into Maroni’s performance and Boca’s victory but the result will have eased some of the nerves beginning to build in La Bombonera and Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side remain title favourites.
In Bahía Blanca, Olimpo’s survival bid took a real blow as the Aurinegro lost 2-1 at home to ten-man Atlético de Rafaela.
Atlético themselves are on the brink of relegation and scrapping for every point but when Teodoro Paredes was sent off just after Olimpo’s Carlos Rodríguez had cancelled out Fernando Luna’s opener, it looked as though there would be only one winner.
However, Gabriel Gudiño raced through on goal to reestablish the lead for La Crema’s ten men and they held on for all three points.
Boca Juniors 3 – 0 Arsenal
Olimpo 1 – 2 Atlético de Rafaela