It was a week with lots of action for Mexican players abroad. Midweek and weekend games gave some players the opportunity to get in much needed game time. Some results were great, others not so much. Let’s take a look at how these players did this week.
Javier Hernandez-West Ham United
Hernandez has never been able to score against Arsenal, and unfortunately, the bad streak continued this week. As usual, Moyes waited until his team showed no offensive prowess to bring on Chicharito. He came on at the 60th minute to try and help his team get back in the game but could not get much going because his teammates could not get him the ball. When they did, it was in positions where he could not do any damage. West Ham lost 4-1 and drop down to 15th place in the Premier League.
Sevilla played the final of the Copa Del Rey against Barcelona this week. Sevilla has massively overachieved this season by doing well in the Champions League and Copa. Not many expected them to make it this far. Layun did not get the start and was subbed in at the 82nd minute but it did not go well. Sevilla’s defense was destroyed by the Barcelona midfielders and attackers. Layun along with the rest of the defense could not cope with the intense pressure and the non-stop attacks. They were defeated 5-0.
Hector Moreno-Real Sociedad
La Real played against Atletico Madrid and Moreno got the start. He, along with the rest of the defense, played an amazing game. Moreno and his partner, Raul Navas, shut down Gameiro and Griezmann. They left them no spaces to take advantage of and shot down the passing lanes. La Real won the game 3-0 and showed some hope of moving up from midtable. However, the weekend was another story. La Real played against last place Malaga. Moreno once again started, but he and the rest of the team did not bother showing up. The defense was bullied and pushed around by the Malaga attackers. He played all 90 minutes but could not prevent his team from losing 2-0. His team continues to be in 11th place, with no real hope of improving this season.
Andres Guardado-Real Betis
As usual, Guardado started midweek against Las Palmas. He played a very solid game, providing passes to the front players and the wingers, chasing down opposing players, and just being a very reassuring presence in the middle of the pitch. The 1-0 win sent Las Palmas down to 2nd division and kept Betis in 5th place. The only negative was, as the game ended, he was seen limping a bit and grimacing as he headed back to the locker room. He did not play in this weekend’s match against Atletico. Let’s hope he was just given the day off to rest, recuperate and that he is not seriously injured.
Hirving Lozano-PSV Eindhoven
With the league alraedy wrapped up, the rest of the games this season are just a formality for PSV and Chucky. Chucky started on the right wing, but as usual was given the freedom to drift left and centrally as he pleased. He opened up the scoring for PSV at the 32nd minute when he drilled a shot past the keeper off a pass from Bergwijn. He continued to play well all game and was involved in many attacking plays. His team, though, could only earn 1 point form the 2-2 draw.
GOAL GOAL GOAL HIRVING LOZANO pic.twitter.com/4JESTAqAjz— PSV International (@psveindhoven) April 18, 2018
It felt like deja vu for Antonio Briseño as he once again scored a last minute goal to give his team a win and possibly save them from relegation this weekend. Briseño was given a rare opportunity to start and made the most of it. He defended well but was unfortunate when the ball took a deflection off of him and went into the goal in the 12th minute. Despite the bad luck, he looked very sure of himself most of the game. The game was tied 1-1 until the 84th minute when he headed the ball into the back of the net off of a corner kick. No tears this week as he just put his thumb in his mouth and the ball under his jersey. Feirense moved up but are still in the relegation zone.
Fortunately, Jimenez was not left on the bench this weekend as his team faced Estoril. Benfica was trying to win and reclaim the top spot in Primeira Liga. Benfica won the game 2-1 and played well, although Raul did not really get into the game he played most of it and was subbed off in the 90th minute.
Hector Herrera, Jesus Corona, Diego Reyes-FC Porto
Porto needed a win in order to get first place back from Benfica this week. 2 out of the 3 Mexican players were in the starting line-up. Hector Herrera started in the midfield three, while Corona, recently back from injury, started on the right side of the midfield and played up and down the wing. Diego Reyes was left on the bench the whole game. Herrera was his typical energetic self in the midfield, providing offense, retaining the ball, and tracking back. Corona was the shining Mexican player this week for Porto. His runs up and down the pitch were critical for creating chances. In the 35th minute, he got a hold of a ball outside the area and put in a powerful shot that went past the keeper. Porto won the game 5-1 and regains the lead in the league.
Omar Govea-Royal Excel Mouscron
Govea was a starter midweek in the playoff game against Waasvalnd Beveren. He played on the left side of a three-man midfield. The game was bogged down in the midfield and neither team could get much going, except for a few counter attacks that led to scoring opportunities. Govea played well going forward but he often left his team exposed because of their lack of defensive cover in the midfield. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Meanwhile, in this weekend’s game, Govea was given a chance to start and played more centrally in a five-man midfield. He responded by playing very well and adding an assist in the 51st minute. Unfortunately, his team was outmatched everywhere on the pitch and lost 3-1 to Oud-Heverlee. Royal Excel Mouscron are 4th out of 6 teams competing for a spot in the Europa League for next season.
Guillermo Ochoa-Standard Liege
It was a really mixed week for Memo and his team. During the midweek game, they faced Anderlecht, the second place team in the playoffs. Memo and his team all played well, especially defensively. Memo looked confident in himself and in control of his area. He only allowed 1 goal and his team won 2-1. During the weekend game against Club Brugge, it was another story altogether. Ochoa and his defense were picked apart in the first half as they conceded 3 goals. They were able to compose themselves in the second half but still let in one more goal. Thanks to a last minute goal, they were able to tie the game 4-4. Ochoa once again made a few amazing diving saves and kept his team in the game.
Marco Fabian-Eintrach Frankfurt
Marco started the game on the bench in his team’s visit to Hertha Berlin this weekend. His coach brought him into the game at the 60th minute to provide some much needed offense. The Berlin players pressured the midfield all game, and Marco and his teammates could not get anything going offensively. Marco looked a bit lost during the game, and even though he and his team kept most of the ball possession, they could not make it count as they were thoroughly defeated 3-0.
Carlos Vela- LAFC
As is customary, Carlos Vela was a starter for LA this weekend against Montreal. He played his usual free role just behind the striker. Vela and his team played well offensively, scoring 3 goals before halftime. Vela looked determined to make something happen and took the ball to the opposing defense throughout the second half. LA was awarded a penalty in the 82nd minute, which Vela took. He put in a powerful shot that the keeper had no chance of stopping. Vela has now scored 5 goals in the season, making him the second highest scorer in MLS.