Here your five conclusions from the tenth (pending) and fourteenth week of play in the 2017 Liga MX Apertura.
Chivas’ season summarized in Clásico Nacional defeat
Final results sometimes offer a false impression in fútbol. Yes, Club America were more ruthless in front of goal but there is no denying Chivas deserved more from their 2-1 defeat on Wednesday. To put it bluntly, Chivas haven’t played all that terribly this season, but like last week when Carlos Salcedo incredulously scored an own goal in the final seconds of the game, Chivas always seem to find ways to lose.
Chivas are a team of great talent, but their depth has been tested, and they have been found wanting all season. Club América, on the other hand, have thrown their weight throughout the campaign, and as oppose to Chivas they seem to find ways to win. That’s why one team is challenging for the title, while the other is sitting at the bottom of the table. If there is a bit of irony, though, it is that Club America then went on to lose to Necaxa at home, while Chivas beat Veracruz away from home.
Perfect week for Santos Laguna comes too late
It was unusual to see a team like Santos Laguna just surrender their season at the halfway mark of the campaign. Under Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre, the results weren’t coming, but you got the feeling the problem had to more with the fact that their forwards were simply just not doing their job.
With their Liguilla aspirations now virtually over, Santos’ forwards seem to have woken up and the team has entered something of a small hot streak, winning their last two games. Julio Furch, Djaniniy, and Jonathan Rodriguez all got on the scoresheet for the Guerreros, with Furch scoring a combined total of three goals in their last two matches. Obviously, the goals come a little too late for Santos, who need something of a miracle to make the Liguilla.
Jimmy Lozano out at Querétaro
Jimmy Lozano will undoubtedly be a great manager in Liga MX some day, but it just won’t be with Querétaro. The young Mexican manager received his marching orders on Sunday after his team fell for the second game running. Lozano’s firing was long overdue as the team has gone to accumulate a total of 11 straight games in all competitions without a win.
Maybe this is a sign that Lozano needs a bit more experience, but the counter argument would be that there is no better experience than actually coaching in the league. That said, Lozano will be back coaching in Liga MX whether it is this season, next season, or after that.
Leon can be tamed
Leon’s intense style of play had been working in their favor until they came face to face against Pumas. The Universitarios, who almost seem to be fighting with Chivas for who gets last place in the league table, shocked la Fiera by beating them 2-0 and ending their streak of six straight wins in all competitions. Then on Saturday, Leon ended scoreless in their visit to Monarcas Morelia to make it two games in a row without a win for Gustavo Diaz’s men.
With games against lowly Querétaro, Veracruz, and Chivas coming up, Leon are likely to cement their place in the Liguilla sooner rather than later. This, however, should serve the team as a warning. Momentum can be everything going into the Liguilla, and a few losses in the latter part of the season can cost a team in the Liguilla. You want to enter the playoffs in your best shape possible and losing against teams you should be beating is not a good look for la Fiera.
Now or never for Cruz Azul
After Cruz Azul’s 3-0 defeat to Lobos BUAP, coach Paco Jemez challenged his team’s status as a “big team”, giving rise to plenty of debate about the subject. Big team or not, though, the fact of the matter is that Cruz Azul right now are sitting eighth in the league table and can't afford anymore slip ups. Their next game is against rivals Club America in the Copa MX, and they will need all the positive vibes they can get as they head towards the last three games of the season.