Here your five conclusions from the fourth week of play in the Liga MX Apertura
Club America go second after win in Jalisco
It might just be that Club America’s opening defeat to Querétaro meant little and told us barely anything about this Aguilas team. On Friday, Miguel Herrera’s men earned their third consecutive victory of the season by beating Atlas 1-0 with a late Oribe Peralta penalty. The win was enough to lift Club America to second in the league table and only a point behind leaders Monterrey.
America have certainly started looking like a brighter team. Predictably and understandably most Liga MX squads will start the season in scrappy fashion, and the azulcremas are guilty of that. However, Miguel Herrera seems to have found a way to give this team a purpose, and one can argue that we haven’t yet seen the best of this Aguilas team. With new signing Mateus Uribe also waiting to get his chance, there is a lot to look forward to for America fans after just four weeks.
Monterrey crush Chivas 4-1
There’s the thought that Monterrey might be a little overrated by some experts because while they boast of an array interesting individual talent, as a team they have failed to live up to expectations in recent seasons. Of course, it is unlikely to know if that will change anytime soon, given how early in the season we are, but against current champions Chivas, Monterrey looked superb.
It was a competitive game up until the second half, sure, but it was the fact that Monterrey’s individualities served the overall collective of the team that made this win so valuable. It was Rogelio Funes Mori’s ability to make space for teammates with his back to goal. It was Avilés Hurtado’s ability to play in between lines. It was Dorlan Pabon’s unselfishness that continues to make him one of the best players in Liga MX. It goes without saying, it is these type of performances why Monterrey are considered one of the favorites to win it all.
Tigres stumble again
It seems like ages ago that Tigres demolished Puebla 5-0 in the opening weekend of the season. Since, Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti and his team have drawn twice and lost once. Their defeat came against Pachuca over the weekend at the Estadio Hidalgo, with Erick Gutierrez scoring the winning goal in the 79th minute.
While it isn’t time to panic just yet, Tigres are once again showing that spending big is not always a foolproof problem-solver. Tigres’ squad is not something you would call “thin”, but as of now, they are struggling in both Liga MX and Copa MX. That said, it's hard to escape the idea that Tigres will somehow find a way to have a terrible season, but they definitely have to do better.
Nico Castillo saves Pumas once again
Few would argue that Nicolas Castillo isn’t one of the most talented forwards in Liga MX. He is the sort of striker you get the feeling won’t last very long in Mexico. On Sunday, Nico Castillo scored twice to help Pumas UNAM earn a 2-1 win over newcomers Lobos BUAP. The win was vital for the Universitarios, who broke a four game winless streak in all competitions.
Last season, despite being curtailed by a variety of injury problems, the Chilean international managed to score eight times. This season, he has four goals in just four weeks, leading all goalscorers in Mexico. It is particularly clear that Nico Castillo is one of the stars in this league, and if he continues scoring like this, it is a matter of time he leaves Pumas for greener pastures.
Santos Laguna’s slow start continues
Santos Laguna have started the campaign with three straight draws and a defeat, losing against Veracruz 3-2 in their latest game. This has been a far from convincing start to the season from the Guerreros, so much that some fans are starting to ask for Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre to resign as manager. Bizarrely, not much has changed from the Santos Laguna team that made the Liguilla last season, but considering this is Chepo’s third season in charge, the fans are right to ask more of their manager. At four weeks into the season, there is still a lot to play for, but you can add Santos Laguna to the list of teams that need to show more after just one month of play into the new season.