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Monterrey blow Pachuca off the pitch with a 5-0 win at home

Funes Mori with two goals and a first goal for former Chivas striker Angel Zalvidar in a Monterrey shirt

Monterrey v Pachuca - Torneo Clausura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

Monterrey and Pachuca went into the match looking to send a message to their Liga MX rivals, and in the end, it appeared that Monterrey threw down the gauntlet to their opponents, running out to a well-played 5-0 win over Pachuca. Young central midfielder Carlos Rodriguez announced his presence by putting in a man-of-the-match performance, along with a brace from Argentina striker Rogelion Funes Mori to give Monterrey the win.

The scoring was opened early, with Carlos Rodriguez playing an absolute peach of a ball to Avilés Hurtado in the 12th minute, who then chipped the keeper to grab a goal for Monterrey. It was a very pretty goal with a even better assist from the young Mexican midfielder Rodriguez.

Both Rogelio Funes Mori and Dorlan Pabón also came close for Monterrey, both of which got off shots in the box from the right-hand side of the box that slid inches past the post. Funes Mori had his chance early in the match, coming in the 8th minute and Pabón’s chance came near the end of the half. They were good book-ends to Hurtado’s excellently taken goal in the 12th minute. Pachuca keeper Alfonso Blanco also did very well to take the ball off of Funes Mori’s feet, although replays suggested that Funes Mori was offsides in the build-up.

Pachuca had some spells of possession, but they were thwarted in the final third. Monterrey did a very good job of limiting the chances from los Tuzos, as the defensive pair of Cesar Montes and Nico Sanchez were excellent at limiting the time and space of the Pachuca forwards. New signing Victor Dávila was kept quiet, as well as Franco Jara. Barovero was only really challenged once, but he was more than up to it.

Jonathan Gonzalez opened his account in the Clausura by taking another wonderful pass from Rodriguez and rounding the keeper to slot home in the 50th minute. Once again, the vision of Rodriguez to pick out a player in the box was remarkable, and Gonzalez did very well to take a few touches to get both the keeper and a desperate Tuzo defender to bite, allowing him to shoot into an open goal, with Funes Mori off to the side in the box, drawing attention and leaving Gonzalez open on his run.

Funes Mori got his own goal a few minutes later, after his rocket of a shot went off the post after a save from Blanco. However, Pabon beat everyone to the rebound, and while Blanco did well to save that shot, Funes Mori was first to that rebound and slotted home a goal. Rather lazy defending from los Tuzos once again on that goal from los Rayados.

After the third goal, the wheels came off of Pachuca, as they seemed unable to keep possession and the defenders seemed to be resigned to give up goals. Sanchez was left unmarked at the near post on a corner kick, and only a brilliant intervention from Blanco kept the central defender from scoring, as he will be looking to repeat as leading scorer for los Rayados in the Clausura 2019.

Monterrey added a fourth goal in the 73rd minute as Rodriguez, who was the best player on the pitch by a mile, picked out Pabón in space on the right hand side of the pitch. Pabón then did what he does best, streaking down the pitch and he picked out Funes Mori, who once again showed his brilliant movement off the ball by getting himself into some space in the box and made no mistake and scored his second goal of the night.

Monterrey would add insult to injury in the 84th minute, as former Chivas player Angel Zalvidar, who came on for Pabón, opened his scoring for Monterrey after another new player, Adam Bareiro. Bareiro had gone down under a hard challenge, which looked like it could have been a decent shout for a penalty, but the ball popped out straight to Zalvidar near the edge of the box, and it was an easy goal for him to convert.

The ref blew the whistle with no stoppage time in the match, and Monterrey ran out to a big win in the opening match of the Clausura 2019. The result is sure to turn some heads across Mexico, as Monterrey will be looking to take the next step to return to the finals of the Liguilla and compete for another Concacaf Champions League title.