BUENOS AIRES, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Rampant Boca Juniors won their fifth straight game in the Argentine Apertura championship by beating Estudiantes 2-0 on Sunday.
The visitors had striker Mariano Pavone, goalkeeper Martin Herrera and coach Diego Simeone sent off as they dropped from third to sixth.
In other games, former Costa Rica striker Paulo Wanchope scored his first goals for Rosario Central in a 2-2 draw with Independiente 2-2 and former Argentina forward Ariel Ortega inspired River Plate to a 2-0 win at Arsenal.
Estudiantes midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron, who had a spell at Boca early in his career, was greeted with a resounding chorus of jeers on his return to the Bombonera.
'They're going to insult me in all the stadiums,' said Veron, who was widely criticised for his performance in Argentina's unhappy 2002 World Cup campaign and still suffers hostility from some fans.
Boca went ahead after 11 minutes when striker Rodrigo Palacio scored following a corner.
Estudiantes were in more trouble after half time as former Argentina captain Simeone was ordered from the touchline from dissent and Pavone was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Boca completed their 12th successive league win when striker Martin Palermo, who scored a hat-trick in last week's 7-1 demolition of San Lorenzo, tapped home the second from Neri Cardozo's pass.
Estudiantes's problems continued when goalkeeper Herrera was sent off for hauling down Palacio and midfielder Pablo Alvarez was forced to go in goal, the visitors having used up their substitutions.
Boca were playing under assistant coach Jorge Ribolzi as Alfio Basile was in charge of the Argentina team for their friendly against Brazil in London.
Basile will take up the Argentina job full-time on September 15 and will be replaced by Ricardo La Volpe.
Boca, with 15 points from five games, opened up a five-point lead over Independiente, River Plate, San Lorenzo and Belgrano, who each have 10.
Independiente lead the chasing pack on goal difference after their draw in Rosario.
Emiliano Armenteros put the Red Devils ahead in the 35th minute and Wanchope replied with an angled shot one minute later.
The Costa Rican added a second in the 58th minute after a superb pass from Cristian Gonzalez before Independiente rescued a point with a Daniel Montenegro penalty in the 67th minute.
Ortega set up the first goal for Fernando Belluschi in the 21st minute and converted a 53rd-minute penalty as River beat Arsenal.
Daniel Passarella's team won comfortably despite having Rene Lima sent off for a second bookable offence.
San Lorenzo bounced back from their 7-1 Boca defeat with a 2-1 win at lowly Banfield, thanks to two goals from striker Andres Silvera.
Colon, where coach Julio Toresani resigned last week, picked up their first points with a 2-0 win over Godoy Cruz, who slumped to last place and have yet to score a goal.