Here your five conclusions from the seventh and eighth week of play in the 2018 Liga MX Clausura.
Necaxa have near-perfect week
You can say there is very little appeal in Necaxa, but the Aguascalientes-side had a near-perfect week after earning a 1-1 draw over Atlas on Tuesday and thumping Monterrey 3-0 over the weekend. For purists who enjoy defending, this is your team. Ignacio Ambriz has done a good job since arriving to Necaxa, and while they are no doubt not the most attractive team to watch, they get the job done. Necaxa are currently sixth in the league table, and are tied with Tijuana for the best defensive record in the league.
Santos Laguna experience the ups and downs of Liga MX
Too often, lack of consistency is a huge theme in any given Liga MX season. To a certain extent, Santos Laguna experienced that in just one week. Everything looked stacked in the Guerrero’s favor when on Tuesday they destroyed Leon 5-1, but on Sunday they were on the receiving end of a bad result, as the Diablos Rojos came away with a 2-0 victory.
The good news for Santos Laguna is that forward Djaniny Tavares continues to stay red-hot. The aforementioned difficulties and challenges that Liga MX teams face make it even more remarkable that he has scored a total of 10 goals this season. Djaniny has proven himself unreliable in the past, but if Santos are to find any consistency, Djaniny will have to be key.
Nightmare week for Pumas
Dead and buried last season, Pumas UNAM started this 2018 Clausura looking like one of the best teams in the league. This week, however, couldn’t have gone worse for the Universitarios. After starting the week with a stunning 2-1 defeat at home to Veracruz, Pumas were embarrassed 4-1 by Xolos de Tijuana.
Despite consecutive defeats, Pumas still retains admirers, and it is possible they simply ran into some bad luck. Against lowly Veracruz they were lacking the same desire as in previous games, and against Xolos de Tijuana, defensively they played dangerously at their limit. Overall, there should still long-term interest to see how far this Pumas team can go, but should without a doubt serve as warning to the universitarios.
Club America stay undefeated
It is arguable Club America have been the best team in Liga MX during first half of the season, and at the very least, the Liga MX table shows that. After a midweek victory over Monarcas Morelia and and a 1-1 draw with Veracruz on Sunday, las Aguilas are not only first place in the standings but also undefeated. Club America haven’t dazzled much this season, basically nobody has, but the promise is definitely there. Within the squad, there is more depth than ever, and players like Jeremy Menez and Henry Martin have kept things going in front of goal.
The problem, of course, is that the busy part of the schedule is coming up for las Aguilas, and it will be interesting to see if this does anything to disrupt their positive momentum. Up next for Miguel Herrera and company is a tough visit to Costa Rica to face Deportivo Saprissa in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Chivas’s misery continues some more
Chivas have now collected just six points from 24 possible this season and keep going nowhere in the league table. Owner Jorge Vergara’s decision to tweet his support to the team after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Pachuca on Saturday was welcomed, but it is obvious this team is lacking severe confidence. The most frustrating aspect continues to be the team plays reasonably well, but they just can’t seem to find their reward.
Coach Matias Almeyda isn’t completely blameless, of course, and recently, his lineup tinkering has rubbed some Chivas fans the wrong way. At the end of the day, though, perhaps it is time to just say it — Chivas aren’t good enough. If Chivas want to win a title this season, they might want to start looking at the CONCACAF Champions League.