Ahead of a huge Copa Libertadores clash against Cruzeiro with a Copa Libertadores semi final spot on the line, Boca Juniors were able to put a week to forget behind them with victory over Colón in La Bombonera.
Superclásico defeat to River Plate was followed by a Copa Argentina exit at the hands of Gimnasia and with ever increasing questioning of manager Guillermo Barros Schelotto and many of his players, Boca were in need of victory. Colón were the visitors hoping to add to Los Xeneizes’ woes but quickly discovered that even a largely second string Boca were too much.
Weak defending at a corner allowed Lisandro Magallán to tap Boca ahead after quarter of an hour and another series of errors saw the home side double their advantage 32 minutes in. Sebastián Villa had already been in behind once with only the legs of goalkeeper Leonardo Burián denying the Colombian but Matías Fritzler inadvertently released the unmarked Villa again and on this occasion Burián brought down the rapid forward. Mauro Zárate stepped up and in sending the keeper the wrong way put Boca in cruise control.
It hasn’t been all one way traffic and Colón had come close on a couple of occasions but the visitors couldn’t find a way past the unfancied Agustín Rossi. The goalkeeper made a superb stop to keep out a Mariano González volley just after half time and maintaining the two-goal lead meant that when substitute Carlos Tevez fired in a third goal from just outside the box, the points were secure.
Gonzalo Bueno did pull one back for Colón four minutes from time but it was nothing more than a consolation and Boca were able to celebrate victory before another important week. Three points took the champions up into fifth, six points off leaders Racing at this stage.
Boca Juniors 3 – 1 Colón
In the relegation battle things got a little more complicated after Patronato picked up a first win of the season with victory over Talleres while Belgrano slipped to defeat against Huracán, closing the gap between the bottom four and safety.
Despite suffering a late defeat away to San Lorenzo last week, scoring twice provided some hope for Patronato and Mario Sciacqua was able to carry that into Sunday’s game to earn an invaluable three points. When goalkeeper Sebastián Bértoli fumbled the ball after 11 minutes and allowed Nahuel Bustos to volley in a simple opener things didn’t look good but Patronato’s response was excellent.
Mauricio Sperduti almost immediately equalised from the penalty spot and after riding their luck to keep Talleres out, substitute Facundo Barceló eventually snatched the win. Unmarked at a free kick from the right, the striker’s glancing header found the back of the net and with a first win of the season, the relegation picture is now looking a little more interesting.
Particularly after the result in Córdoba, Belgrano were fortunate that Andrés Chávez missed the target after running clear on goal in the opening stages of their clash but could do nothing about Huracán’s opener half an hour in. Andrés Roa advanced on goal from half way and still unchallenged 25 yards out the Colombian unleashed a rocket into the top corner to break the deadlock.
That proved to be enough as Belgrano’s lack of cutting edge meant the home side were unable to muster even an equaliser. The result leaves El Pirata only a couple of points above the drop zone ahead of next week’s clásico – another poor result and Lucas Bernardi might be looking for a new job once again.
Belgrano 0 – 1 Huracán
Patronato 2 – 1 Talleres
Gimnasia are only a little more comfortable than Belgrano at this stage and missed the opportunity to pull away further after defeat to Unión.
Diego Zabala’s volley shortly before half time proved decisive but Unión were made to work to maintain their impressive record in Santa Fe. Gimnasia youngster Jan Carlos Hurtado was at the centre of things late on and after having a strong penalty claim waved away and heading against the post, the Venezuelan was responsible for getting Unión’s club dog off the pitch.
Unión 1 – 0 Gimnasia