MANCHESTER, England – Ten-man Boca Juniors settled for a lackluster 0-0 draw against Velez Sarsfield on Sunday, a result that handed first place to Newell's Old Boys in Argentina's first division.
Newell's defeated Union 3-1 on Saturday to improve to 28 points in 14 matches. Boca trails by two and Tigre and Arsenal are three back in the Clausura standings - the second half of Argentina's split season.
Boca went down to 10 men in the 42nd minute when Facundo Roncaglia was shown a red card for a sliding, studs-up tackle.
Boca and Velez were surely looking ahead to key Copa Libertadores first-leg quarterfinals on Thursday against tough Brazilian clubs. Boca is home against Fluminense and Velez - also a Buenos Aires club - hosts defending champions Santos. The second legs are next week.
Boca won the first-half of the Argentine title, called the Apertura, and is under pressure to take the Copa Libertadores, which it has won six times but not since 2007.
Both clubs were poor in the first half at Boca's Bombonera stadium.
Boca's Paulo Mouche probably had the best chance in the match, but headed a close-in shot wide in the 52nd. Minutes earlier Juan Roman Riquelme faced a clear shot but fired over the crossbar.
Riquelme also tested Velez keeper Marcelo Barovero in the 75th with a long, skidding shot.
In other matches on Sunday, Lanus defeated Banfield 2-1, Colon and Tigre drew 1-1 and Argentinos Juniors won over Racing 2-1.
In Lanus' victory, Diego Braghieri and Mariano Pavone scored in the first 15 minutes. Facundo Ferreyra scored in the 79th for Banfield.
Sebastian Prediger scored in the 2nd minute to get Colon off to a quick start, but Tigre's Carlos Luna equalized in the 14th.
Juan Morales scored the winner in the 89th for Argentinos Juniors. Juan Ramirez put Argentinos ahead 1-0 in the 9th and Valentin Viola leveled in the 14th.