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Liga MX Apertura Week 7: Palencia and Torrente get the boot

Photo by Alfredo Moya/Jam Media/LatinContent/Getty Images

Here your five conclusions from the sixth and seventh week of play in the Liga MX Apertura

Tijuana finding their feet

Xolos de Tijuana are back to winning form after earning their third consecutive win of the season, downing Pachuca 2-1 on Friday. Their triumph over the Tuzos was not without some nervous moments, but new coach Eduardo Coudet seems to have finally found the formula to get his team to winning ways.

Most importantly perhaps is the contribution star signing Gustavo Bou has made to the team, scoring in each of his last three appearances for Tijuana. Pachuca’s Keisuke Honda might have scored on Tuesday, but Bou is quietly looking like one of the purchases of the season.

Monterrey stay top

Time and time again, Monterrey has often given the impression that “this season will be their season” only to find a way to lose it all in the Liguilla. Not until we get to the latter stage of the season will we be able to properly judge how much of a contender Monterrey is, but after just seven weeks, it is arguable that they are without a doubt the current favorite to win the Liga MX title.

On Saturday, Antonio “Turco” Mohamed’s came close to losing their undefeated status, but thanks to an 83rd minute equalizer by Aviles Hurtado earned a 1-1 draw away to Cruz Azul. Monterrey remains just one of two teams undefeated in Liga MX and they boast of the most goals scored in the league. They have an intimidating front line, and while Mohamed will know there is still plenty of work to do, you get the feeling that this team can only get better.

Palencia out at Pumas UNAM

This season was always going to be an uphill battle for Juan Francisco Palencia. The former Mexican international turned coach was fired during the midweek following Pumas’ defeat to Monarcas Morelia on Wednesday.

Sure, you can justify Palencia’s firing, but you get the feeling he was doing the best with the players available to him. Ultimately, it should be the board that gets the blame not Palencia. There has never been a true rebuild at Pumas, and they have developed a bad habit of selling their best players.

It is hard to tell now what the immediate future is in store for Pumas, but it would be a shock to see them fight for a spot in the Liguilla, though in Liga MX you just never know. For now Sergio Egea is in charge on an interim basis and tasked with giving this team some improvement.

Torrente also gets the boot

On Saturday, Leon’s board had enough, and after losing four of their first seven games of the season, they decided to finally fire coach Javier Torrente. Signs were certainly promising when Torrente took over Leon two seasons ago and led the team to an unlikely run into the Liguilla, but everything after that was underwhelming, including a nightmare 2017 Liga MX Clausura.

You have to wonder what exactly went wrong with Torrente. Leon are essentially the same team they were the last two seasons, and if anything, they have added players to key positions. What’s more Torrente borrowed all of the same elements from his first season, but never really found a way to get his tactics to work after that. It almost makes it seem like his first season in charge was just a big deception.

Chivas still winless

Yes, it almost seems like Chivas will never win a league game ever again. After draws against Santos Laguna and Queretaro, Chivas are penultimate in the league table with just four points and still winless. With the international break coming up, this is the perfect time for Matias Almeyda to gather his troops and work towards improving in what is left of the season. The positive slant is that lessons have been learned and things can only get better from here for the defending champions.