Here your five conclusions from the sixth week of play in the Liga MX Clausura.
Tijuana get a taste of their own medicine
Xolos de Tijuana’s run at the top of the league table came to an end on Friday as Necaxa went into the Estadio Caliente and came out 2-1 victors.
You could say Tijuana have been quite lucky so far in the Clausura. Although they can certainly boast of commanding victories over Club Leon and Puebla, they have have looked second best on a number of occasions.
And so, against Necaxa, Tijuana got a taste of their own medicine. Ironically, Tijuana looked the most promising, but it was Necaxa who found a way to win the game through a Claudio Riaño brace.
Of course, the result won't matter too much for Miguel Herrera's side, as they still sit second in the league table with 12 points. However, they will have to show more if they want to be considered concrete contenders for the title as the season progresses.
Leon’s 2-1 defeat to Queretaro summed up so much of what has gone wrong with los Esmeraldas this early in the season. Leon’s offense was a big reason the team went on a fascinating run to the Liga MX semifinals last Apertura, but their tameness on the attack has been a cause of concern. In short, rather than the inspiring Leon side we saw in the last campaign, the Esmeraldas look a touch too lumbering.
Generally, it wasn’t a bad game from Leon, and perhaps Queretaro’s last minute winner was cruel on Javier Torrente’s team. But with a record of just four points in six games, you have to wonder if Torrente’s magic has faded.
Chivas run Jalisco
Chivas came out totally fired up on Saturday and triumphed over rivals Atlas 2-1 in another edition of the Clásico Tapatío. Sure, Atlas made a game out of it in the final five minutes of the game, but before that, there was only one team on the field and it wore red and white. This was a fairly middling performance from Atlas, who prior to Saturday marched perfect at home in the Clausura.
You can say no Atlas player affected this game in the manner that coach Jose Guadalupe Cruz wanted. In contrast, the craft and movement of Chivas’ attackers were causing the Rojinegros all sorts of problems through the 90 minutes.
In the way that it has been for the majority of this rivalry, Chivas were simply the better team. Once again, Guadalajara and all of Jalisco is red and white.
Pressure on La Volpe
As ever, talk of the manager seems to dominate all the discussion in the build-up to matches where Club America are struggling. Las Aguilas found themselves handled by the surprising Chiapas during the midweek, which meant the pressure was on Ricardo La Volpe to beat last-place Puebla on Saturday. Of course, this didn’t happen, and the match ended in a goalless stalemate at the Estadio Azteca.
It wasn’t a poor game by any means. Puebla simply did enough to keep America at bay and even came close to grabbing the breakthrough on a few occasions.
Now, sitting 12th after just six games shouldn’t be the end of the world, but this is Club America we are talking about. If Ignacio Ambriz’s firing last season conforms to a trend, then there is reason for La Volpe to worry. Beyond next week’s Clásico Nacional, Club America has perhaps one of the toughest schedules in Liga MX, with games against Cruz Azul, Leon, Necaxa, and Pumas UNAM all coming up. Ricardo La Volpe will have to find some sort of inspiration soon or the writing will be on the wall.
Toluca go top
Toluca are not messing around. If the focal point of the Diablos Rojos’ centenary season was to finish as league champions, they are showing promise. On the day celebrating their 100th anniversary, Toluca managed to defeat Veracruz 1-0 through a Fernando Uribe goal, supplied by Rubens Sambueza, to go top of the Liga MX table.
At the end of the game, Toluca coach Hernan Cristante was not satisfied with his team’s finishing, claiming it all came down to the tension caused by the anniversary celebrations. Whether he is right or wrong, Cristante has been impactful in the way past coaches haven’t in Toluca. He addresses problems and he fixes them. In that regard, it has been refreshing to see from one of the youngest managers in the league.
All things considered, it is still too early to tell how far this Toluca team can go, but there is reason to be excited with Hernan Cristante at the helm.