“We will fight until the death,” were the words of Diego Dabove after his Argentinos Juniors side maintained their unbeaten home record to defeat Newell’s Old Boys and go level on points with Boca Juniors at the top of the Superliga.
The Bichos winning the league or even maintaining this run late into the season appears unlikely but Argentinos Juniors are proving tough to beat and another clean sheet on Monday night to go with a formidable record in La Paternal makes Dabove’s side a threat.
Newell’s Old Boys’ form has dipped and three defeats in four has seen La Lepra’s own faint title aspirations drift. Another lacklustre display was punished five minutes after half time when Gabriel Hauche skipped past the challenge of Mariano Bittolo, rounded Alan Aguerre and rolled the ball into the net.
With the second best defensive record in the league that proved enough for Argentinos and with it the Bichos move to 28 points, level with Boca and three clear of third.
Argentinos Juniors 1 – 0 Newell’s Old Boys
City rivals Rosario Central had been on a dreadful run of form and been sucked into the thick of the relegation battle but for the second consecutive home game the Canalla scored five and in demolishing Aldosivi extended their winning run to three.
Federico Andrada actually gave Aldosivi a 35th minute lead but it was almost immediately cancelled out by Diego Zabala and from that point on Central took control.
A swift counter led by Lucas Gamba saw the 32-year-old cut inside and bend a wonderful finish inside Luciano Pocrnjic’s far post. The floodgates opened amid a defensive collapse by Aldosivi, Facundo Almada nodded in a third, a handball allowed Sebastián Ribas to thump in a penalty and Ciro Rius sealed the rout.
The victory gives Central a little more breathing space just one place above the relegation zone while Aldosivi are in danger of becoming increasingly cut adrift.
Rosario Central 5 – 1 Aldosivi
So too are Patronato who prior to Central’s victory suffered a damaging defeat to Godoy Cruz in Paraná.
Bottom of the table Godoy Cruz had only won twice and had key players suspended and yet a second half brace by Juan Brunetta gave El Tomba victory. That defeat and Central’s victory leaves Patronato eight points from safety and in need of a strong 2020 to avoid the drop.
Colón were in danger of being dragged into the mix having focused on their historic run to the Copa Sudamericana final but with the disappointment now behind them, El Sabalero returned to domestic duties and the Pulga inspired once more.
Two goals and an assist from Luis Rodríguez helped Colón to a hard fought 3-2 win over Estudiantes and eased fears near the bottom of the promedio.
A superb Pulga free-kick opened the scoring but before Colón could relax Estudiantes turned the game on its head with goals from Edwar López and Gastón Fernández. The visitors were unbeaten in five and hadn’t conceded a goal during that time so the home supporters hopes for three points appeared slim.
However, Rodríguez fired an equaliser on the hour mark and six minutes later lofted a ball over the top for youngster Braian Galván to run onto and volley past Mariano Andújar.