Boca Juniors may have left the door ajar several times this season but finally appeared to close the title challenge on Sunday evening with victory over Newell’s Old Boys.
Godoy Cruz’s 1-1 draw with Banfield on Saturday presented Boca with the opportunity to open up a six-point gap and thanks to Cristian Pavón and Ramón Ábila, the champions did just that.
Pavón was instrumental in downing Newell’s 3-1 at La Bombonera and with only three games remaining, there is surely no further twist that will deny Boca a successful title defence.
Just below that Independiente were the big losers in the race for Copa Libertadores qualification as Ariel Holan’s side slumped to defeat against a rampant Defensa y Justicia. El Halcón coming off victories over Boca and Racing, showed no regard for another of the grandes and snatched a 1-0 win in Avellaneda.
This dropped El Rojo to sixth, just outside the Libertadores spots after San Lorenzo saw off Chacarita Juniors, Talleres bounced back from their defeats to win against Gimnasia (a result that saw Facundo Sava fired as El Lobo manager) and Huracán maintained their fine form with a win over Tigre.
Competition for Copa Sudamericana qualification is equally tight with just five points separating Racing Club in seventh and Atlético Tucumán in fifteenth.
Fine goals from Brian Mansilla and Lautaro Martínez pushed La Academia to victory over Rosario Central and up into seventh, not entirely closing the door on hopes of Libertadores qualification and Argentinos Juniors stayed with them after a narrow win against Olimpo.
River Plate made is six wins on the bounce as Marcelo Gallardo’s second-string plus goalkeeper Franco Armani still proved far too much for relegated Arsenal and Defensa y Justicia and Colón complete the available Sudamericana spots as it stands after good wins.
Unión and Atlético Tucumán’s goalless draw so them both lose ground and Belgrano’s 1-0 win over Estudiantes in La Plata, took El Pirata right back into the thick of the battle.
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 four…
Argentinos Juniors 1 – 0 Olimpo
Estudiantes 0 – 1 Belgrano
San Martín 1 – 1 Lanús
Temperley 2 – 4 Vélez Sarsfield
Talleres 2 – 0 Gimnasia
Banfield 1 – 1 Godoy Cruz
San Lorenzo 1 – 0 Chacarita Juniors
Tigre 0 – 2 Huracán
Rosario Central 0 – 2 Racing Club
Atlético Tucumán 0 – 0 Unión
Arsenal 0 – 3 River Plate
Boca Juniors 3 – 1 Newell’s Old Boys
Colón 4 – 0 Patronato
Independiente 0 – 1 Defensa y Justicia