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Published on August 22nd, 2018 | by Peter Coates

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History made as Boca Juniors knocked off top of Superliga perch

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The Superliga season is already well underway but two rounds in and the two-time defending champions Boca Juniors are in the unfamiliar position of playing catch-up

It was December 11th 2016 when Carlos Tevez inspired Boca to victory over River Plate in the Superclásico that saw Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side go top. Since that day, Boca have remained there and lifted two league titles while Tevez has had time for a year off in China.

Tevez was on the bench on Monday afternoon in Quilmes to watch Boca slump to defeat against Estudiantes and with it yield top spot in the Superliga.

Boca may well point to their midweek exploits as they were throughly outclassed by Messi and co in the Camp Nou in a friendly clash but a dismal performance was punished by Leandro Benítez’s talented young side.

The headlines naturally focus on Boca but credit to Estudiantes for their start to the season. 18-year-old Matías Pellegrini scored the second and in a side containing Iván Gómez, Lucas Rodríguez and Juan Apaolaza all 21 and 19-year-old Iván Erquiga the future for El Pincha looks promising.

So as Boca slipped up, Rosario Central climbed into a surprising position as the only club still with a 100 per cent record after two games.

This after a second consecutive 1-0 win. Central struggled last season under three different coaches and ended the campaign in 20th with one of the worst defensive records in the league.

However, a return to the club for Edgardo Bauza has seen an immediate turnaround. Despite El Patón’s obvious failings as Argentina coach this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise given the pragmatic coach’s adeptness for organising his teams.

Central are yet to concede and Friday’s victory over Talleres was a second 1-0 win courtesy of a solitary headed goal. How long El Canalla can keep this up remains to be seen but supporters can expect a season of better results even if there are relatively few thrills.

Racing Club are one of the clubs chasing still unbeaten after La Academia bounced back with victory over Vélez Sarsfield.

Throwing away their two-goal lead last week in Tucumán and the row that was created in the aftermath surrounding the talented yet troublesome Ricardo Centurión meant it wasn’t the easiest week for Eduardo Coudet’s side but their response to deservedly beat Vélez was a good sign.

Lisandro López and Pol Fernández scored the goals but there is much more to come from Racing and they should grow stronger over the coming weeks.

Boca, Racing and at least two of the remaining grandes are likely to battle out for the title. Although River Plate were held to another frustrating goalless draw and Independiente sloppily allowed Newell’s to comeback and claim a point in Rosario, all four clubs still look the strongest on paper and in time should rise to the top.

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About the Author

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Peter is a British football writer living in Buenos Aires, who specialises on Argentine football. His passion for the game in South America took him to Argentina in 2011 and aside from starting his own site 'Golazo Argentino', he has covered the national side for The Independent and acts as WhoScored's expert on the Primera División.



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