Here your five conclusions from the fifth week of play in the Liga MX Clausura.
Jimmy Lozano earns first point
Cruz Azul and Queretaro on Saturday was a game of firsts. For starters, 37-year-old Jaime “Jimmy” Lozano became the youngest manager in Liga MX history, as he replaced Victor Manuel Vucetich on the Queretaro bench.
Queretaro, of course, arrived to this game scoreless after four weeks and in search of their first goal of the Clausura. Given that, Jimmy Lozano’s first task in his first official game as manager was to coach his team to their first goal of the season.
Cruz Azul might have taken the lead when Luis Miguel Noriega managed to put the ball into his own net, but in much Cruz Azul fashion, the Cementeros found a way to bottle it. Having seen Tiago Volpi make save after save, Noriega capitalized on a chance at the other end to score Queretaro’s first goal and earn Jimmy Lozano his first ever point as manager.
The talk in Queretaro is Lozano is a big-club attitude kind of guy. His contract only runs until the end of the season, but there is no doubt at 37 years old he has a bright future ahead of him. For now, he will hope this point is the first of many still to come this season for the Gallos Blancos.
This 1-0 defeat at home to Toluca means it is now three defeats in five Liga MX Clausura games for Tigres. The champions seem to have a bad case of “Campeonitis”, and not even new-signing Eduardo Vargas seems to have the cure. The Chilean international made his debut for Tigres in the 73rd minute, shortly after Rubens Sambueza scored the eventual winner for the Diablos Rojos through a free kick. But in his 20-minute cameo, Vargas couldn’t muster up a single shot for the Felinos.
The champions’ biggest concern might be just that. Tigres have been shut out in four of their five games this season. That’s not a good look for a team that boasts arguably of the best attacking players in all of Mexico.
Club America sink Monarcas Morelia
Club America swatted aside Monarcas Morelia 2-0 on Saturday to send the team from Michoacan into deeper crisis. Both teams showed caution in the first 45 minutes, but after Cecilio Dominguez opened the scoring in the second half, the game was las Aguilas’ to lose.
The result proved costly for coach Pablo Marini, who quickly became the third manager to lose his job this season. Confidence is at a minimum, and whoever decides to take over the job needs to desperately look for something to turn their season around. Otherwise, the state of Michoacan might be without a Liga MX team for the first time in a long time.
As for America, that’s two league wins in a row for the Azulcremas. With a game against Chiapas during the midweek, a win would put Ricardo La Volpe’s side back in the top eight. Who said anything about trouble in Coapa?
Tijuana keep rolling
Xolos de Tijuana remain a constant curiosity this season. They are clearly a good team but have a couple undeserved victories under their belt. On Saturday, there seemed to be little doubt about whether they deserved the victory or not. Miguel Herrera’s side went into Guanajuato and took down Leon with a resounding 4-2 victory. The Esmeraldas took a deserved lead, but thereafter, it was all Tijuana, scoring four unanswered goals on their way to a dominant victory.
With the result, Tijuana showed why we could be seeing them at the top of the league table for weeks to come, while Javier Torrente and his side continue to struggle to bring points the Bajío.
Chivas fail to capitalize again
For Chivas, this was another flat performance on the offensive, but they will at least take solace after rescuing themselves in their 1-1 draw with Santos Laguna on Sunday. It almost seems like the same things are being said week in and week out. Chivas has the potential to be one of the excellent teams in this league, but they just can't finish off their plays. At one point in this game, Chivas had three chances in a space of a few seconds and somehow found a way to not score a goal.It’s all the more frustrating considering this has happened in two consecutive home games now for the Rebaño. Their next home game is against none other than Club America, where they won’t be afforded this type of finishing if they want to come out with the victory.