Argentine Primera, Week 3 Review: Title Contenders Grab Wins, Relegation Battle Gets Interesting

Most of Argentina's title contenders and relegation-threatened sides brought their best over the weekend in Week 3 of the Clausura. Boca Juniors won for the first time in three games while Estudiantes La Plata got back on track towards title contention and Velez Sarsfield won again. At the bottom of the coefficient table, all of San Lorenzo, Tigre and All Boys scored victories.

'Boring' Boca Breaks Down Newell's

Gerardo Martino's Paraguay sides were notorious for playing conservatively and keeping their shape well, but his Newell's Old Boys team didn't defend terribly well on Sunday. After two great performances to start the season, they faltered in a 2-0 loss to Boca Juniors at La Bombanera.

They almost got to halftime tied 0-0, and if they did, this probably would have been a much different game. In the 44th minute, following a throw-in, Clemente Rodríguez played a ball into the box for Darío Cvitanich, who probably should have been a mile offside. Instead, incredibly, there was a Newell's defender standing on the endline, keeping him onside. He scored while clear through on Dario Peratta, changing the game significantly.

Juan Roman Riquelme sealed the victory with a brilliant direct free kick in the 80th minute, and Julio Falcioni's slightly defensive tactics were justified once again.

Velez Almost Chokes It Away Late

Velez Sarsfield won again to go top of the table (at least until Lanus plays), but they almost choked away a certain win. After going up 3-0 on Arsenal after 60 minutes, they allowed their visitors to score twice and get back into the game.

Augusto Fernandez scored the opener on an impressive volley following a corner in the 34th minute and Velez drew a penalty just a minute later. Juan Manuel Martinez converted it and the sides headed into the break with Velez up 2-0. Fernandez would complete a brace to make it 3-0 in the 61st before things got dicey.

Emilio Zelaya headed in a cross by Carlos Carbonero in the 67th minute and Luciano Leguizamon scored on a free kick in the 82nd for Arsenal, but they couldn't find an equalizer. Because of what happened elsewhere, the dropped points in this and every match could be crucial for Arsenal in their battle to avoid the bottom four.

Three Relegation Battlers Win

San Lorenzo, All Boys and Tigre all clinched victories over the weekend. All Boys are now out of the bottom four, while San Lorenzo are in the last relegation place, just behind 16th-placed Arsenal. Tigre are in 19th and catching up to 18th-placed Union, who lost over the weekend. Tigre are almost certainly too far behind the teams who are currently safe to climb out of the bottom four, but in their current form, they look good to get up into the relegation playoffs from their current automatic relegation position. Bottom-placed team Olimpo lost, and they look certain for the drop.

Teo Gutierrez Is A Melter

Via Daniel Colasimone, here is how Racing Club's star striker Teofilo Gutierrez got himself sent off this weekend. Racing would go on to lose 2-1 at home to Banfield, who looked like the division's worst side by far in the first two rounds.

Scores

Belgrano 1-0 Union
Atletico Rafaela 0-1 All Boys
Estudiantes 2-0 Independiente
Argentinos Juniors 0-1 San Lorenzo
Colon 3-1 Olimpo
Godoy Cruz 0-2 Tigre
Racing Club 1-2 Banfield
Boca Juniors 2-0 Newell's Old Boys
Velez 3-2 Arsenal

Still to come

Lanus vs. San Martin - Monday, 7:15 p.m. ET

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