Tigres got back to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over an Atlas side that finally managed to break the longest goalless drought in Liga MX history.
Neither team came into Saturday night’s match in the best of form. Tigres had only managed one victory in their last five matches and Atlas found themselves in last place amidst the longest goalless drought in league history.
In rather uncharacteristic fashion, Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti decided to change things up tactically for Tigres. The veteran manager opted to send his team out in a 4-3-3 formation instead of the usual 4-2-3-1 formation that Tigres fans have grown accustomed to watching recently. The new tactical formation allowed for Rafael Carioca, Guido Pizarro, and Lucas Zelarayán all to play in the midfield giving los Felinos greater offensive fluidity and freedom.
Atlas lined up in a rather unusual 4-1-3-2 formation as they sought to finally score a goal and hopefully get a positive result in the 2018 Apertura season. The unusual formation from the visitors was designed to create as many offensive opportunities as possible. It didn’t take long for the first of those opportunities to fall to feet of an Atlas player.
Just seconds after the opening kickoff, los Rojinegros raced down the field and finally managed to break their Liga MX record 820 minute goalless drought with a goal from Andrés Andrade. The goal came from a brilliant individual play by Andrade who raced from the halfway line, evaded the entire Tigres defense, and then managed to slot the ball past a diving Nahuel Guzmán.
Enoooooooooorme jugada individual de Andrade para abrir el marcador!!! pic.twitter.com/UYjWOFFvIK— Atlas FC (@atlasfc) September 2, 2018
Not to take anything away from the phenomenal individual play of Andrade, but this goal was entirely the fault of Tigres’ relative unfamiliarity with their 4-3-3 formation and the speed with which Atlas attacked. Not a single player in a yellow shirt looked comfortable as Andrade ran circles around them before scoring the visitor’s first goal of the 2018 Apertura season.
There wouldn’t be any other goalscoring action in the first half. It looked as though Tuca Ferretti’s decision to change his squad’s formation was backfiring massively. Los Felinos were playing exactly the same as they had been before; lots of possession and very few quality goalscoring opportunities.
The second half of the match was all Tigres. Los Felinos dominated possession and began to play in a more attacking style. The change in their style of play finally paid off in the 67th minute as Jorge Torres Nilo headed home a dangerously whipped in corner kick from Zelarayán.
A mere eight minutes after scoring their first goal of the night, Tigres doubled their lead from an almost identical corner kick to their first. This time however, it was Andre-Pierre Gignac who headed home from the Zelarayán corner kick.
In the 86th minute Tigres put the icing on top of the cake with a third goal of the match. This time it was Enner Velencia scoring for the squad from La Sultana del Norte. Young starlet Rafael Duran earned an assist for his pinpoint cross that set up Valencia’s first Liga MX goal of the 2018 Aperutra season.
With the result, Tigres find themselves in 6th place on 13 points. Atlas remain at the bottom of the table with a measly two points from their first eight matches of the 2018 Apertura.