Here are your five conclusions from the fourth week of play in the 2019 Liga MX Clausura.
Possum stars for woeful Veracruz
To the surprise of no one, Veracruz looks have lost its ability to win games and is headed right into relegation. The Tiburones Rojos suffered their third defeat of the campaign on Friday, falling 1-0 to Puebla at home, in a game whose only real highlight was the appearance of a possum inside the playing field. The possum went on to earn man of the match honors from local television station TV Azteca, and as Puebla’s Twitter account put it at the end of the match, the possum spent more time inside Puebla’s box than even Veracruz.
Monterrey hand Club América first defeat in five months
It was a wild one at the Estadio BBVA Bancomer, as Monterrey were the first team to beat Club América this season, earning a 3-2 win over the defending champions on Saturday. For Las Águilas, this was their first defeat since August of last year and ended a run of 20 straight matches without a defeat in Liga MX.
It is fair to say the officials were all over the place in this one. Ultimately, the game ended with both teams having two of their players sent off, and a real angry Miguel Herrera.
The difference, however, was Rogelio Funes Mori. The Argentine striker scored two of Monterrey’s three goals and was phenomenal through the course of 90 minutes. His second goal midway through the second half was superb and arguably the goal of the week.
El golazo ( hizo 2) del Melli #FunesMori en el triunfo 3-2 de los @Rayados vs @ClubAmerica en un partidazo loco, entre VAR / expulsiones / penales y mucho espectáculo con lluvia incluída ! #LigaMX pic.twitter.com/0FfBr7z1Rl— Juan Pablo Sorin (@jpsorin6) January 28, 2019
David Patiño loses his job after Pachuca defeat
Make no mistake. Even after guiding Pumas to a Semifinal finish last season, there was no doubt in anybody’s mind that this was coming. Following Pumas UNAM’s 1-0 defeat to Pachuca, David Patiño was given his marching orders, making him the second manager fired in this Clausura. Patiño had lost all his credibility after UNAM’s humiliating lost to América in last season’s Liguilla, and the results in this Clausura weren’t getting any better.
To replace Patiño, Pumas have brought on former Pumas player Bruno Marioni, and the question now is will they be patient with him like they were with Patiño or will they use him as a temporary scapegoat like they did with Juan Francisco Palencia? The team failed to invest in any major new signings during the offseason, and that should be the first red flag for Marioni, who will be feeling vulnerable from the very first second.
León feast on Gallos Blancos
It hasn’t been the start of the year that many scripted for Club León, but on Sunday, they were able to grab their first win of the season by thumping lowly Querétaro 4-0. With the departures of Tiago Volpi and Hiram Mier, the Gallos Blancos are a diminishing team at the moment, and León took complete advantage of it by scoring four times in the first 60 minutes enroute to a comfortable victory.
When fit, León is obviously a team to keep an eye out for, especially with the addition of Rubens Sambueza to the midfield and Chivas loanee Jose Juan Macias. With Sambueza out injured, it was the latter who shined for los Esmeraldas. Macias notched his first two goals for León in his first Liga MX start with his new team.
Chivas suffer first collapse in Torreon
The Rebaño Sagrado were unable to keep their good momentum going as they fell 1-0 in their visit to Santos Laguna.
Not even a week had passed since Chivas started looking like a genuine contender for a top-three finish that they suffered their first defeat of the season. It wasn’t the most clinical of performances from Chivas, but it’s all good preparation for what fans hope will be a lengthy run to the playoffs.
Ironically, the goal they conceded was against a former player, Jose Juan “Gallito” Vazquez, the same player that once instilled the spirit and spine on this team. There is a growing belief that Chivas have finally found a way to move on from Vazquez’s departure, and though they were on the losing side this time around, there is still plenty of season left in this Clausura.