Boca Juniors resumed 2018 on top of the Superliga and as firm favourites to retain their title and after Saturday evening there is no need to reevaluate that as Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side defeated Colón in La Bombonera to extend their lead at the top to six points.
That is not to suggest that Boca were perfect and Colón certainly had their moments but without ever reaching anywhere near their top gear, the Xeneizes secured the victory that made San Lorenzo’s defeat 24 hours earlier all the more damaging in the title race.
With Carlos Tevez starting and Boca’s three Colombians reinstated into the starting eleven after missing last weekend’s Superclásico, it took less than three minutes to lead against a Colón usually so tough to break down. Walter Bou, preferred in the number nine role, provided a clever flick into the path of Cristian Pavón and the 22-year-old raced away from the visiting defence to finish past Alexander Dominguez.
Despite falling behind early, Colón continued to press Boca and the home side needed to remain alert to keep out Eduardo Domínguez’s dangerous side. However, after half time, Boca began to take a tighter grip of the game and after 65 minutes doubled their lead. Carlos Tevez played the impressive Nahitan Nández through on goal and the Uruguayan maintained his composure to lift the ball over Dominguez and into the net.
Hopes of Colón still causing an upset were dashed when Gustavo Toledo was shown a red card for a high boot planted into Carlos Tevez and from there Boca were able to canter towards the final whistle.
Given the resources available to Guillermo Barros Schelotto, the players yet to come back into the side, and the six-point lead his side now command at the top of the Superliga, toppling Boca will take an almighty effort from one of the challengers.
Earlier in La Fortaleza, Lanús continued life post-Copa Libertadores and as many supporters suspected it doesn’t look so bright. After coming a stones throw from history, Lanús are now six Superliga matches without a win after Patronato came from behind to salvage a point.
New manager Ezequiel Carboni has already lost a number of the team that took Lanús to the Libertadores final but despite a shaky start his side still led after 26 minutes when Gabriel Carrasco headed in from Gastón Lodico’s corner.
Patronato have only won once outside Paraná this season equalised with 14 minutes remaining thanks to leading scorer Sebastián Ribas. The home side were looking for an offside flag that never came and Ribas thrashed the ball past Esteban Andrada for his seventh of the season.
Patronato held on for a valuable point close to the relegation zone in the descenso while Lanús look understandably a shadow of the team that roared back against River Plate in the Libertadores semi finals only a couple of months ago.
Lanús 1 – 1 Patronato
Boca Juniors 2 – 0 Colón