Independiente’s slow start and continued struggles in Avellaneda has already ruled out the title heading to the Estadio Libertadores de América but El Rojo’s incredible away form dealt a major blow to Newell’s Old Boys’ hopes after a 4-2 win in Rosario on Sunday evening.
The visitors led with less than three minutes on the clock after Martín Benítez led a typically swift counter, found youngster Fabricio Bustos on the edge of the penalty, allowing the 21-year-old to drill the ball past Luciano Pocrnjic with the help of a deflection.
Nacho Scocco equalised from the penalty spot after Walter Erviti was unfortunate to concede a penalty for handball but just as they had in the first half, El Rojo were quick out of the blocks after the break.
Martín Benítez was again the architect but the in-form Emiliano Rigoni still had plenty to do when he rifled the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards. An incorrect offside call denied Emanuel Gigliotti a third for Independiente but moments after the centre-forward could have seen red for a dangerously high kick on Mauro Formica, El Puma headed in Ezequiel Barco’s teasing cross.
A defensive lapse allowed Gigliotti to add a fourth and although Maxi Rodríguez pulled a goal back in stoppage time, Independiente were sealing an eighth away win of the season. With Rigoni, Benítez and Barco racing forward to support Gigliotti, Ariel Holan has formed a dangerous attacking unit and now they must apply this in Avellaneda as the clásico awaits next Sunday.
In Santa Fe, the Primera’s form side, Colón saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end but an Iván Torres injury time goal ensured that Eduardo Domínguez’s side remained unbeaten in nine.
Colón’s defence has been outstanding this season but were noticeably absent when Fernando Zampedri headed Atlético Tucumán ahead midway through the first half.
Ismael Blanco pulled El Sabalero level before the break but despite being down to ten men, David Barbona looked to have nicked it for the visitors. However, Torres’ accurate finish from outside the penalty area salvaged a point for Colón and ensured they remain fourth.
Newell’s Old Boys 2 – 4 Independiente
Colón 2 – 2 Atlético Tucumán