The Copa Libertadores finalists only had next week’s Superclásico on their minds but with Superliga fixtures to be played, Boca Juniors celebrated a 4-1 win over Tigre at La Bombonera and River Plate slipped to defeat against Estudiantes.
River’s rotated side travelled to Quilmes and while defeat alone would have been cause for frustration, far more concerning was the crowd trouble before kick off that saw up to 50 arrested and an injury to Ignacio Scocco, one of the few starters that Marcelo Gallardo wouldn’t have wanted to see injured before next Saturday.
Scocco’s calf injury hasn’t proved too serious but the striker is still a doubt for the first leg against Boca while the disturbances before kick off that saw police fire rubber bullets will surely impact the discussions of allowing visiting supporters at the Libertadores final.
River for the most part played like a team that had qualified for the final only days earlier and had one of the biggest game’s in the club’s history next week and so the match was settled five minutes after half time. Gastón Fernández lined up a free kick 25 yards from goal and his effort took a huge deflection, looped off the top of the River wall and past a wrong-footed Germán Lux.
Nothing is more important the Copa Libertadores but River could be ten points off the pace in the Superliga by the end of the weekend and Boca Juniors were also in the position of not wanting to lose more ground after their defeat to Gimnasia last week.
Relegation candidates Tigre were the visitors to La Bombonera and when Federico González smashed the visitors in front after ten minutes it looked as though Boca might slip up once more.
However, Carlos Tevez tapped in an equaliser soon after and from that point Boca were dominant. Darío Benedetto and Mauro Zárate had both gone close and the Superliga champions were made to wait for their second but as soon as Edwin Cardona rifled a shot into the bottom corner the result didn’t look in doubt.
Substitute Cristian Espinoza, who had laid on the second did brilliantly minutes later to set up Tevez for Boca’s third and Julio Buffarini added the icing to the cake, cutting inside to bend in a superb fourth.
Boca climb to sixth and now the preparations for the biggest game in world football begins. All eyes will be on La Bombonera next week.