Here your five conclusions from the fifteenth week of play in the 2017 Liga MX Apertura.
Cruz Azul season entering crisis territory
Paco Jemez and Cruz Azul returned to the scene of the crime after losing 3-1 to Club America their last time out at the Estadio Azul. For the second time in two weeks, La Maquina folded in a must-win game, losing 2-1 against Tigres on Saturday.
Just a few weeks ago, Cruz Azul was riding an unbeaten run and looked in firm contention for a Liguilla place. Now, things look worrying for the Mexico City side who are eighth in the table, just one point above Atlas who have a game in hand. Cruz Azul’s remaining games are against Monarcas Morelia and Veracruz, which are no easy feat. With Paco Jemez’s contract coming to an end, it is now or never for the Spanish manager. If his reputation was already on the line coming into this season, the pressure is only going to get worse.
Monterrey reach the Liguilla and beat Club América
For many, this game was billed as the match between the two best teams in Liga MX. While Monterrey had already clinched a place in the Liguilla minutes before the actual match started, there was no putting the foot off the pedal for the Rayados, who took home a deserved 2-0 victory. Despite the victory, Club América look destined for a place in the Liguilla but the lethargic nature of their recent performance should raise alarm bells. Both of the Monterrey goals came as a result of defensive mistakes, and that type of complacency can become a habit if things aren't fixed in Coapa.
Necaxa thump Lobos BUAP 5-0
Necaxa made light weight of a vulnerable opponent on Saturday when the Rayos defeated Lobos BUAP 5-0. This was an inspired opponent from a Necaxa team not used to scoring a lot of goals this season. Results like these have been far uncommon in Aguascalientes in the last two years, but this one seems to come at an important time for Necaxa. The team are currently sitting sixth in the league table with 24 points and slowly moving up the table after consecutive league victories, including one against Club America away from home. Necaxa are coming in fresh, but with two weeks remaining this season, anything can happen.
Too little too late for Chivas
Rattled by a bad preseason and wracked by injuries, Chivas season hasn’t panned out as expected. The Rebaño Sagrado are still alive in the Copa MX, but the Liga MX is a lost cause for Matias Almeyda’s men. That said, Chivas can still play spoiler, and they did just that on Saturday when they defeated Xolos de Tijuana 3-1. That’s now three straight victories for Chivas in all competitions and has one wondering why this didn’t happen earlier. One of the two remaining games for Chivas is against Atlas, a team who they wouldn’t mind spoiling the season for with a win.
Monarcas Morelia continue to stay hot
Monarcas Morelia celebrated another win on Sunday, defeating Toluca 1-0 at the Estadio Nemesio Diez. The Michoacanos are slowly becoming one of the in-form teams of the season, and it is now five games without a defeat for Morelia. Beating Toluca in their own stadium is no easy slouch, and with the three points, they are currently sitting third in the league table and virtually qualified to the Liguilla.