The Superliga heads into the International break wonderfully poised for its return as while Boca Juniors remain title favourites, all eyes will be on La Bombonera in a little under two weeks for the visit of second-placed Talleres.
Boca required a last-second winner against Tigre last weekend and were minutes away from defeat away to Atlético Tucumán on Sunday before Walter Bou struck in injury time. The point maintains a six-point advantage but after the embarrassing Supercopa defeat to River Plate in midweek and the Superliga lead being gradually eroded, Boca aren’t looking quite so comfortable any more.
The main reason for that is Talleres, who secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over Defensa y Justicia. Juan Ramírez’s goal was enough in a game that produced three red cards as La T now appear the only realistic challenge. Copa Libertadores qualification alone will be an achievement for Frank Kudelka’s side but nine games unbeaten, if Talleres get a result in La Bombonera, the title race is wide open.
Meanwhile, Godoy Cruz have sneaked up into third after a surprising away win against Estudiantes and it is San Lorenzo and Independiente, whose postponed match against each other is still their game-in-hand, that complete the Copa Libertadores qualification places.
San Lorenzo earning only a second win in seven by beating Olimpo at the Nuevo Gasómetro and an under-strength Independiente being held to a draw away to Tigre.
Racing Club sit just below in sixth but enjoyed a five-goal demolition early on Sunday as Patronato visited the Cilindro and were blown away by Eduardo Coudet’s side. Lautaro Martínez departed for international duty with another fine goal but the shine has been taken off somewhat by Ricardo Centurión landing himself in trouble off the pitch (again).
Unión’s victory over Banfield, Huracán hammering another nail in the coffin of Temperley and Argentinos Juniors bringing Omar de Felippe back down to earth at Newell’s were the other results that had an impact on those 2019 Copa Sudamericana.
But all those sides scrapping for those six positions will now be keeping an eye on River Plate. Marcelo Gallardo’s side appear to have stirred from their slumber and while not yet firing on all cylinders, followed up the Supercopa triumph with back-to-back Superliga victories. Despite gifting Pity Martínez an opener, Belgrano fought back but Nacho Scocco scored twice on the break to win it.
Los Millonarios hadn’t won consecutive league games since September but sitting only four points behind eleventh (the final Sudamericana spot) with seven games remaining, River will fancy their chances.
So, in case you missed any of the action, here are all the games, all the goals and how the table looks after round twenty…
Rosario Central 3 – 1 Chacarita Juniors
Colón 1 – 2 Lanús
Argentinos Juniors 1 – 0 Newell’s Old Boys
Temperley 1 – 2 Huracán
San Martín 3 – 0 Gimnasia
San Lorenzo 2 – 0 Olimpo
Talleres 1 – 0 Defensa y Justicia
Racing Club 5 – 0 Patronato
Arsenal 1 – 1 Vélez Sarsfield
Estudiantes 0 – 1 Godoy Cruz
Atlético Tucumán 1 – 1 Boca Juniors
River Plate 3 – 1 Belgrano
Banfield 0 – 2 Unión
Tigre 1 – 1 Independiente