Independiente bounce back, Vélez deflate Newell’s, Patronato peg back Central & Defensa y Justicia pile pressure on Gimnasia (VIDEO)

After elimination from the Copa Sudamericana and a woeful display against Estudiantes last week, Independiente needed a performance on Saturday evening in Avellaneda. Far tougher tests lie ahead for Sebastián Beccacece but El Rojo produced the type of display supporters demand and a 2-0 win over Colón, that in truth flattered the visitors, ensured the red half of Avellaneda went home satisfied.

Having failed to score in the past two games, Independiente made the perfect start with what replays eventually showed was a Lucas Acevedo own-goal. Alexander Barboza rose at a corner looking for his first goal in an Independiente shirt and although the recent signing wheeled-away in celebration the conclusion touch was off Acevedo’s head.

The relief was clear and Independiente were dominant from thereafter. Colón posed a minute threat but as long as the difference remained at only one, there was a nervous tension in the air.

After spurning countless opportunities to extend the lead, El Rojo eventually wrapped up the points in stoppage time. Fabricio Bustos bursting down the right, capping off a performance that was a return to the level that saw the 23-year-old break into the Argentina team, and crossing for Silvio Romero to nod past Leonardo Burián.

Beccacece’s only concern was the excellent Lucas Romero leaving the pitch during the second half with clear discomfort in the groin. Independiente will be hoping that was just precautionary as for the first time since the change of manager, El Rojo appeared to be finding their feet.

Independiente  2 – 0  Colón

Vélez Sarsfield were also in need of a response following defeat to Lanús last week and Gabriel Heinze got that with a 3-1 win to put the brakes on Newell’s Old Boys fine start to the season.

Lucas Robertone drew a fine save from Newell’s goalkeeper Alan Aguerre with an early free-kick but it was Vélez’s most impressive young midfielder who broke the deadlock. Just as he did against Racing Club in Liniers a few weeks ago, Nicolás Domínguez timed his run in behind the backline and finished with aplomb, further enhancing his burgeoning reputations as one of Argentina’s best midfield prospects.

Maxi Rodríguez brought Newell’s level before the break, forcing in the rebound after seeing his initial penalty saved by Lucas Hoyos but unlike against Racing, Vélez did not allow a comeback.

Boosted by the appearance of Fernando Gago off the bench following nine months out with an achilles tendon injury, Vélez produced some of the football that has earned them such praise under Gabriel Heinze.

Recent signing Lucas Janson crossed for Domínguez to head the home side back in front and a fine passing move twenty minutes from time saw Janson slide in a third.

Vélez Sarsfield  3 – 1  Newell’s Old Boys

Defeat to Newell’s drops La Lepra back into the relegation zone and while Frank Kudelka’s side were losing on the road, back in Rosario, Central were held to a 1-1 draw by Patronato, further congesting what is gearing up to be a nervy battle to avoid the drop.

Central will certainly feel they allowed two points to get away from them having dominated for large parts against Patronato. Talented youngster Maxi Lovera had already gone close with one wonderful solo effort when he cut inside onto his right to give El Canalla a 32nd minute lead.

When Damián Lemos was sent off for the visitors for a challenge on Leonardo Gil shortly after the break the points looked certain to be staying in Rosario. Julián Chicco had other ideas though, the on-loan Boca Juniors midfielder playing a one-two on the edge of the penalty area to rifle a low shot past Jeremías Ledesma.

While the draw at the Gigante de Arroyito keeps Central and Patronato locked level on points, Gimnasia are in danger of being completely cut adrift at the bottom of the promedio table.

A Defensa y Justicia side yet to pick up a point were the visitors to La Plata and with Gimnasia ten points from safety, anything less than victory for El Lobo was another blow to their hopes. Gimnasia created the clearer opportunities and would have felt they deserved to be ahead when a defensive lapse saw Rafael Delgado give El Halcón the lead. El Lobo argued that the ball had gone out of play when hooked back into the penalty area but there could be excuses for leaving Delgado completely unmarked seven yards from goal to volley past Alexis Arias.

Rosario Central  1 – 1  Patronato

Gimnasia  0 – 1  Defensa y Justicia

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