Here your five conclusions from all of this week’s action in the Liga MX Clausura, including the midweek games.
Xolos de Tijuana have a near-perfect week
One of the two big winners this week has to, undoubtedly, be Xolos de Tijuana. Not only did Miguel Herrera’s men earn two wins this week, but both of those wins came away from home (Queretaro and Chiapas). The border side haven't exactly developed as the title contenders they once were last season, but after this week’s matches, Tijuana is virtually a point away from sealing a place in the Liguilla. Not bad from a team that last Gabriel Hauche and Dayro Moreno in the offseason. Of course, Aviles Hurtado has been sensational for Xolos, leading the way with eight goals.
Necaxa officially achieve survival
Even if it has been a Clausura to forget for Necaxa, the Rayos achieved their Liga MX permanence on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Veracruz. Necaxa owe much of this achievement to the grit they showed last season, where they manage to get all the way to the semifinals.
Necaxa aren’t a very entertaining team to watch, but when it comes to fighting off relegation, playing well barely matters. It is about the results, and luckily for the Rayos, they got those results. Next season, though, might be a completely different story for Alfonso Sosa’s men, especially if star player Edson Puch decides to seek greener pastures.
The champions have awoken
This is the point of the season where all that matters is getting the the three points. Tigres are doing that and doing it in style. After struggling in the last few weeks, Tigres are starting to show signs of life. The champions thumped both Chivas and Pumas this week, 3-0 and 4-0 respectively, to move all the way to ninth in the league table.
As ever, Andre-Pierre Gignac has lead the charge with four goals in his last five matches, and against Pumas, the frenchman scored his 50th career goal for Tigres.
Not that you need mentioning, but the presence of Tigres in the Liguilla should be enough to scare any team in the “Fiesta Grande”. Their ability to achieve results when it matters most and the amount of firepower they have in their squad makes them one of the automatic favorites to win it all, even if they do make the Liguilla as the last seed.
Club America continue Liguilla push
In addition to Xolos and Tigres, the other team that had a perfect week was Club America. Injuries and all, Ricardo La Volpe has found a way to get this team to start winning games at home, and as of now, Las Aguilas find themselves in a position of relative safety, in fifth place and five points above ninth place Tigres.
La Volpe’s unbending commitment to what many call “Lavolpismo” is perhaps a little outdated, and there is even a debate whether what Club America is playing should even be called “Lavolpismo” anymore. The bottom line is Club America are winning at the Estadio Azteca, and what’s more, haven’t even received a single goal playing at home this season. The rest of Liga MX should be warned.
It is now or never for Pumas
The refreshing thing about Pumas ever since Francisco Palencia’s arrival to the Universitario’s bench is that they try to give everyone a game. It’s this willingness to play on the front foot that makes them an interesting asset to this league.
The problem, though, is that it doesn’t always guarantee results. It’s this tit for tat style of play that makes them vulnerable against better teams, of which Tigres is a prime example. After an entertaining 1-1 draw with Atlas on Wednesday, Pumas went on to get hammered by Tigres 4-0 on Saturday. The result proved costly, as it moved Pumas all the way down to 11th in the table.
There is good news and bad news for Pumas. The good news is that of the remaining three games, all three are against teams in the bottom half of the table. The bad news is that all three of these teams are fighting to escape relegation and have everything to play for against the Universitarios. In essence, a lot of what Pumas do in the next three weeks will make a huge difference at both ends of the table.