A round of surprising results in the Superliga no doubt saw many lose money with the bookmakers but at least prevented the title race from being completely over with two-and-a-half months still to run.
Title challengers Talleres and San Lorenzo both being held to goalless draws by Tigre and Unión respectively on Saturday meant Boca Juniors could have taken what would have looked like an unassailable eleven-point lead against Argentinos Juniors on Monday. However, Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s rotation produced a sub-par Boca performance that was deservedly punished by Los Bichos in La Paternal.
Alexis Mac Allister, son of Boca icon Carlos, and Damián Batallini scored in either half to hand Argentinos Juniors victory and means that Boca’s lead is cut to eight.
Independiente climbed level on points with San Lorenzo after easing to a 4-0 victory over San Martín in San Juan and local rivals, Racing Club now complete the 2019 Copa Libertadores places after battling to a 2-1 win against Vélez Sarsfield. El Rojo put the disappointment of their defeat in Venezuela last week behind them and made amends for their usual profligacy in front of goal while Racing were once again indebted to the individual talents of Lautaro Martínez and Ricardo Centurión.
With four of the Big Five sitting at the top, where are River Plate? Well, Marcelo Gallardo’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by relegation bound Chacarita Juniors in El Monumental and the number of voices now questioning whether El Muñeco is still the best man for the job are growing louder with every passing week.
The only team in worse shape than River are last year’s Copa Libertadores finalists, Lanús, who allowed Arsenal to secure a second league win of the season. Relegation is still a certainty for Arsenal but Lanús’ victory over River is the club’s sole victory since mid-October.
Godoy Cruz recorded a rare away win over Rosario Central, normally so strong at the Gigante de Arroyito, to climb just below Racing on goal difference, and Estudiantes sit a point behind after swiftly putting an end to Olimpo’s faint hopes of a great escape in the relegation battle.
And finally, Sebastián Ribas became the Superliga’s leading scorer, notching a brace in Patronato’s 2-2 draw away to Belgrano.
So, in case you missed any of the action, here are all the games, all the goals and how the table looks after round eighteen…
Arsenal 2 – 1 Lanús
Belgrano 2 – 2 Patronato
Colón 0 – 0 Huracán
Tigre 0 – 0 Talleres
San Lorenzo 0 – 0 Unión
Rosario Central 1 – 2 Godoy Cruz
Temperley 1 – 1 Gimnasia
Atlético Tucumán 0 – 1 Defensa y Justicia
Banfield 1 – 0 Newell’s Old Boys
River Plate 1 – 1 Chacarita Juniors
Racing Club 2 – 1 Vélez Sarsfield
San Martín 0 – 4 Independiente
Estudiantes 1 – 0 Olimpo
Argentinos Juniors 2 – 0 Boca Juniors