Here your five conclusions from the thirteenth week of play in the 2018 Liga MX Clausura.
Chivas re-enter the Liguilla race
Chivas have at least shown they want to give themselves a chance of making the Liguilla. It would have been easy for Matias Almeyda’s side to play like they know the CONCACAF Champions League is all they can aspire for this season, but they didn’t. On Friday, albeit a nervous ending, the Rebaño Sagrado managed a 2-1 victory away to Monarcas Morelia to climb up to 12th in the league table and two points away from seventh-placed Puebla. Chivas have some tricky games against Xolos de Tijuana, rivals Atlas, and Club León remaining, but it is safe to say they are firmly in the race for a spot in the Liguilla.
Atlas shock Santos Laguna
Santos Laguna slipped out of first place in the league table as the Guerreros fell 3-2 to Atlas on Friday. A visit to lowly Atlas is perhaps a game from which you’d expect Santos to get three points, but thanks to a Milton Caraglio brace, the Rojinegros were able to get only their third victory of the season. To be fair, Santos were without several key players, including the league’s top scorer Djaniny Tavares. Among those missing was also Nestor Araujo, who is expected to miss the next few weeks after picking up a knee injury for the Mexico national team during the international break.
Toluca go top with win over Lobos BUAP
It is hard to see anybody doing better than Toluca right now. The Diablos Rojos clinched their ninth straight victory in all competitions, beating bottom dwellers Lobos BUAP 2-1 on Saturday. Toluca have chalked up one of their most impressive seasons in a long time and are also a game away from their first Copa MX Final since 1989. The Diablos Rojos have shown plenty of evidence of their potency, but the big question is will it last? Toluca have gone in impressive runs like this one in the past, only to have their season blow up come the business end of the season. For now, they will wake up on Monday morning as suplerlideres.
Tigres cruise past Donovan’s Club León
If Tigres had not been at their most fluent in recent weeks, they definitely were on Saturday as they demolished Club León 4-1. A few weeks after suffering elimination at the hands of Toronto FC in the CONCACAF Champions League, Tigres returned to winning ways against a León team that had Landon Donovan as a starter for the first time this season.
Regardless of where Tigres finish at the end of the regular season, they know it is title or bust. They have a difficult run-in that includes games against Toluca, Cruz Azul, Necaxa and rivals Monterrey. While it is not exactly ideal, Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti’s men will have to show their mettle if they want to finish the regular season with the type of momentum that usually lands them a title.
Club América take Clasico Joven
Club América goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin is rapidly turning into one of those keepers that earns his team a few extra points every season. Las Águilas conquered the Clasico Joven on Saturday, defeating rivals Cruz Azul 2-1, behind another superb performance from Agustin Marchesin. The Argentine was once again a barrier for the azulcremas, making a total of five saves across 90 minutes. Marchesin’s array of saves helped América bounce back from defeat to Toluca two weeks ago and gave his team a boost ahead of their crucial CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal First Leg against Toronto FC. As for Cruz Azul, they are simply not good enough. Their Liguilla hopes are practically over, and Pedro Caixinha may already be looking at the Summer transfer window to look for solutions.