BUENOS AIRES, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Boca Juniors beat archrivals River Plate 1-0 on Sunday to go top of the Argentine first division and earn a measure of revenge for stinging defeats in South American cup competitions earlier this year.
In a match of few chances, substitute Nicolas Lodeiro got the winner after 18 minutes when he hammered home a rebound to finish off a Boca counter attack.
"I put my heart into it and luckily it went in," Lodeiro said of his strike. "I really wanted to play in this game and although it's not nice coming on because of a team mate's injury I tried to take advantage of the opportunity and I think did."
Lodeiro, brought on when Fernando Gago suffered an Achilles tendon injury after less than 30 seconds, was a key presence in midfield throughout and helped feed Boca forwards Carlos Tevez and Sebastian Palacios.
River had got the better of their rivals in the Libertadores Cup and Copa Sudamericana earlier this year, but after Boca's win on Sunday in front of 65,000 fans at River's Monumental stadium, Tevez said things were "back to normal".
River won both competitions, the former after they were given a bye when a Boca fan attacked their players in the tunnel and forced the tie to be abandoned.
"It's very exciting, the boy deserved it," said Tevez, who was playing in his first River-Boca derby since 2004. "Winning here isn't easy."
The result takes Boca to 52 points, two ahead of San Lorenzo, who lost 1-0 in their derby against Huracan.
In the weekend's other big derby, Independiente beat Racing 3-0 on Saturday. (Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Peter Rutherford; )