Here your five conclusions from the eleventh week of play in the 2018 Liga MX Clausura.
Cruz Azul get back on track
Cruz Azul got their campaign back on track with a 5-0 thumping of Pachuca on Saturday. After going six straight games without a win in all competitions, just about everything went right for La Maquina, who took an early lead and never looked back. All that frustration was taken out on Pachuca, and most importantly, Cruz Azul’s best players finally decided to show up.
That said, despite the win, it’s definitely too early to jump back on the Cruz Azul train. All of the negativity surrounding the team won’t be washed away that easily, and the team’s Liguilla prospects still seem quite complicated.
Chivas finally win again
Given Chivas have an important game against the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday, you’d forgive Matias Almeyda and company for not giving their best against Lobos BUAP. The Rebaño Sagrado, however, got a win away from home on Saturday, beating the Puebla side 1-0. After an early Chivas lead, Lobos BUAP did respond, controlling almost every aspect of the game, and should have pulled level.
To Chivas credit, it wasn’t pretty, but they did something they haven’t done all season, close out games. Chivas fans can now be a little more confident in getting a result against Seattle and doing the same.
Club America stay undefeated against Landon Donovan
Club America delivered once again on Saturday, defeating León 2-0 to stay undefeated in all competitions. Following an authoritative 4-0 win over Tauro in the CONCACAF Champions League, las Águilas returned to league play and matched their best start in a Liga MX tournament ever. Even Landon Donovan, who received a chorus of boos upon his entrance at the Azteca, couldn’t stop las Águilas. Collectively, Miguel Herrera’s men are currently in cruise control, boasting of the best defense in all of Liga MX. Individually, Mateus Uribe’s brace against the Esmeraldas elevated his position in Colombia’s depth chart ahead of the 2018 World Cup. All in all, It is happy times in Coapa.
Toluca sink miserable Pumas
While Club America might be the only team undefeated left in the tournament, they aren’t exactly the team best in form. That title has to go to Toluca, who in a blink of an eye have six straight wins in all competitions. It took a late own goal from Marcelo Diaz, but the Diablos Rojos’ latest victim was Pumas UNAM.
As ever, Toluca are accomplishing things quietly and under the radar. They are a proud group that has gone through some tough Liguilla eliminations in recent seasons, and now appear to have the confidence to fight for the top positions in the league table. Of course, lack of consistency remains one of the biggest factors in Liga MX, and there is no telling how long this will last or if Toluca are real contenders. Look at where Pumas UNAM is now after having the hottest start to the season. C’est Liga MX
Santos Laguna stay top with win over falling Monterrey
In one of the more exciting games of the week, Santos Laguna stayed top of the Liga MX table with an entertaining 3-2 win over Monterrey. The biggest story here is not Santos Laguna, it is Monterrey’s woeful run in recent weeks. Last season’s “superlider” has lost everything super about it and have just one win in their last six league matches, including four defeats. To make matters worse, Antonio Mohamed’s side were eliminated in the Copa MX this past Wednesday by Queretaro on penalties. Obviously, they played a tough team in Santos Laguna, but their remaining games are also not a piece of cake, with matches against Pachuca, Pumas UNAM, Club America and rivals Tigres. While Santos might be looking at a possible first seed in the Liguilla, their northern neighbors might be looking from the outside.