Newell’s Old Boys publicly backed manager Omar de Felippe this week and while frequently changing coaches has hardly helped La Lepra in recent years, defeat to Atlético Tucumán in Rosario to extend a winless start to the campaign has ramped up the pressure.
Despite the visitors securing a historic Copa Libertadores quarter final spot last week, it was Newell’s that started better and after Víctor Figueroa had gone close, firing into the side netting, La Lepra led.
Luis Leal’s bicycle kick was blocked at point-blank range by the arm of former Newell’s defender Bruno Bianchi and although Mauro Formica saw his penalty tipped onto the post, the 30-year-old bundled in the rebound.
The goal stirred Atlético and Newell’s needed to get into half time with their lead intact. However, two minutes before the break a superb outside-of-the-boot cross by Guillermo Acosta found Mauro Matos and the veteran striker planted a header past Nelson Ibáñez.
Newell’s had chances in the second half but it was Atlético, just as they did last week against Colón, who struck late. Luis Miguel Rodríguez released substitute Leandro Díaz and the striker managed to slide the ball past Ibáñez to snatch all three points.
One point from four matches, Newell’s hover above the relegation zone and while the cushion may prove enough to survive this season, getting points on the board for the next campaign is equally important.
Newell’s Old Boys 1 – 2 Atlético Tucumán
In the final game of Round Four, San Martín de Tucumán and Gimnasia, two more of the clubs battling against relegation played out a late draw does little to help either side.
Both sides had missed good chances but when Mauro Guevgeozián headed Gimnasia in front five minutes from time after just replacing Santiago Silva it looked as though El Lobo would be leaving Tucumán with an important three points.
However, as the game crept into stoppage time a free-kick into the box saw Lucas Acevedo nod in an equaliser and while San Martín remain winless and entrenched in the drop zone, avoiding defeat to a direct rival was vital.