A decisive weekend in the Superliga saw Boca Juniors move a step closer to being crowned champions thanks to a last-minute winner against second-placed Talleres and the relegation battle claimed its first victim as Arsenal’s sixteen-year spell in the top flight was brought to an end.
For the third consecutive round, Boca snatched an injury time goal and despite not playing particularly well have shown the spirit of champions to extend their lead at the top to nine points. Talleres were the visitors to La Bombonera, hoping to blow the title race open but instead saw Pablo Pérez volley a 93rd minute winner and all but seal Boca’s title defence.
Godoy Cruz and San Lorenzo chalked up victories over Colón and Lanús respectively to take the next two spots in the league, with Racing Club and Independiente both dropping points. All eyes will therefore be on Avellaneda on Wednesday, when El Rojo host San Lorenzo in a game that could have huge significance for Copa Libertadores qualification.
And as sides jostle for Sudamericana qualification, it was a good weekend for Argentinos Juniors and River Plate.
Unión held to a surprising draw at home by San Martín, Huracán taking only a point from the visit of Banfield and Estudiantes playing out a highly entertaining 3-3 draw against ten-man Vélez saw plenty of the competition fail to take maximum points.
So, Argentinos Juniors’ deserved victory over Gimnasia in La Plata saw Los Bichos climb into the Sudamericana places and River Plate’s win against Defensa y Justicia pushed Marcelo Gallardo’s side to within two points of Colón and Belgrano fighting over that final qualification spot. With a third straight win, few would bet against Los Millonarios with six matches remaining.
All this may still remain up in the air but this year’s predictable relegation battle finally swallowed Arsenal. Sergio Rondina’s side battled back to claim a draw against Chacarita Juniors but after Patronato defeated Rosario Central, Arsenal were down. Sixteen years in the top flight, brought swiftly to an end after the death of Julio Grondona…coincidence? No.
Chacarita Juniors surrendering their lead against Arsenal look almost certain to join them in the Nacional B and so too do Olimpo and Temperley after their draw in Bahía Blanca did nothing to help either side.
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 one…
Huracán 1 – 1 Banfield
Belgrano 2 – 2 Racing Club
Vélez Sarsfield 3 – 3 Estudiantes
Newell’s Old Boys 2 – 1 Tigre
Gimnasia 1 – 3 Argentinos Juniors
Unión 1 – 1 San Martín
Independiente 0 – 2 Atlético Tucumán
Defensa y Justicia 1 – 3 River Plate
Chacarita Juniors 2 – 2 Arsenal
Patronato 3 – 0 Rosario Central
Boca Juniors 2 – 1 Talleres
Lanús 0 – 2 San Lorenzo
Olimpo 1 – 1 Temperley
Godoy Cruz 2 – 1 Colón