It would appear that no side wants to truly take the initiative in the title race as both River Plate and Boca Juniors dropped points on Sunday to leave just three points between the top nine.
A full strength River were expected to have far too much for Rosario Central in the early kickoff at the Monumental but a flat performance and a defensive lapse was punished by the vistors.
Marcelo Gallardo’s side dominated possession but struggled to breakdown a resolute Central and when Gonzalo Montiel was caught in possession a minute after the break, Lucas Gamba poked the ball past Franco Armani.
River’s response was laboured and for all of their time on the ball the usual menace that is characteristic of Gallardo’s side in the Copa Libertadores was lacking. Central goalkeeper Jeremías Ledesma had little to do and the Canalla held on for a famous away win.
River Plate 0 – 1 Rosario Central
River’s failure to leapfrog Argentinos Juniors and Lanús, both of whom suffered defeats on Saturday, left the way clear for Boca Juniors to take top spot.
Gustavo Alfaro’s side needed to beat Vélez Sarsfield to fully take advantage but Boca were instead held to a goalless draw leaving a three-way tie at the summit of the Superliga.
The return of Mauro Zárate to Liniers after his controversial decision to leave Vélez for Boca provided the main talking point yet for all the quality on the pitch, it was a game littered with fouls rather than chances.
Most attempts on goal came from set-pieces and even when Boca had Frank Fabra sent off for a second yellow card on the hour mark, the game failed to open up.
Agustín Almendra thrashed a wild attempt off target when racing away on the counter and Vélez pushed for the win but found no way past Esteban Andrada.
Vélez Sarsfield 0 – 0 Boca Juniors
Racing were the only side in the top six to pick up a win and with it closed to within a point off the top after battling past Huracán.
La Academia are struggling for the fluency that crowned them champions last season but remain a potent threat aerially. The game’s only goal came fifteen minutes from time when another cross into the penalty was met by Darío Cvitanich and although Antony Silva kept out the initial header, fellow substitute Nicolás Reniero rose to nod in the rebound.
Huracán sub Juan Vieyra had shortly before spurned the game’s best chance, Gabriel Arias denying him when through on goal and after Reniero’s decisive goal, the visitors somewhat lost the plot.
Carlos Araujo was sent off for a stamp on Cvitanich and Lucas Merolla followed his captain straight off for his part in the subsequent melee.
Racing Club 1 – 0 Huracán
While Racing are back in the thick of the title race, Newell’s Old Boys bounced back from consecutive defeats to beat Defensa y Justicia and with it potentially close to only a point off the top.
That is dependent of course on a win in their game in-hand against Independiente but regardless it was an important win for La Lepra on Sunday afternoon. An early Maxi Rodríguez penalty and a Mauro Formica header just before half time gave Newell’s a somewhat unconvincing lead but one that proved decisive.
The battle at the foot of the relegation table isn’t quite so tight but Gimnasia picked up an invaluable victory over rivals Aldosivi.
A scrappy Maximiliano Coronel goal gave Gimnasia the lead and during a period of sustained pressure Eric Ramírez doubled the advantage on the counter.
Matías García wrapped up the points from the penalty spot twenty minutes from time and with it Diego Maradona celebrated a third win as Gimnasia manager. El Lobo remain bottom of the table, still some eleven points from safety and Aldosivi are also becoming increasingly cut adrift.
Aldosivi 0 – 3 Gimnasia
Newell’s Old Boys 2 – 0 Defensa y Justicia