Here are your five conclusions from the fifth week of play in the 2019 Liga MX Clausura.
Club América return to winning ways
Anyone wondering if back-to-back losses in Liga MX and Copa MX were going to send Club América in a tailspin were left disappointed when on Saturday Las Águilas returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Querétaro. It was certainly an improvement on prior defeats to Monterrey and San Luis, but against an opponent of Querétaros standard, a win was always likely.
Gallos Blancos did put up a fight, however, and it wasn’t until the final minutes of the match that América put the game away with a Roger Martinez penalty.
For fans wishing for something more, the good news is that América are certainly going to get better. The defending champions managed to complete the signing of Chilean striker Nico Castillo before the end of the transfer deadline, in what is arguably one of the biggest signings of the Clausura.
Tigres continue positive start
We are five weeks into the campaign, and Tigres are sitting in third in the league standings after beating Santos Laguna 2-1 on Saturday. Ever the team that likes to start the season slow, it’s a bit too early to say Tigres are functioning at full tilt, especially considering that key signing Carlos Salcedo is yet to start a game for the team, but it’s nonetheless interesting to see Ricard “Tuca” Ferretti’s team do so well so early.
As the league settles down, it will be interesting to see just how committed Tigres stay to earning points in Liga MX. It’s no secret that the Felinos are deprived of international titles, and with the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League coming up, they have another huge opportunity at making history.
Cruz Azul fall for the second time this season
Cruz Azul fans are praying for consistency in what has been an up and down start to campaign for La Máquina. In their most recent meeting, Cruz Azul were unable to overcome an early red card to lose 2-0 to León.
Ultimately, Cruz Azul will be judged by how they finish their campaign, and that makes complete sense after making it all the way to the Liga MX Final last season. But apart from their win over Tigres at the Estadio Universitario, Cruz Azul haven’t quite found their rhythm. It’s also frustrating to have lost arguably their best player, Ivan Marcone, during the offseason, and then subsequently his replacement to a season-ending injury.
At this point, it is hard to tell what will happen with Cruz Azul, but in a strange way, not many will be surprised to see La Máquina drop even more games. Losing a final is hard, and it’s obvious a lot of their players are currently struggling to get back into form.
Tijuana down declining Toluca
Xolos de Tijuana celebrated arguably their most impressive game in the Oscar Pareja era as they defeated Toluca 2-0 on Saturday. Tijuana looked like the dynamic, menacing side that we were all expecting when the Colombian took over and seized the perfect opportunity, against a Toluca team that has been in a slow decline for the last three weeks.
Following a fiendish opening from the Diablos Rojos, they have now lost three straight games and are looking relatively far from the team that made the Liga MX Final just a year ago. Usually, Toluca are quite patient with their managers, and at the moment, Hernan Cristante remains pressure-free in charge of the Diablos Rojos. That probably won’t change, but it’s hard to justify Toluca as a real contender based on what we have seen from them in the first five weeks.
Chivas fail to get past Veracruz goalkeeper
At 21, Veracruz goalkeeper Sebastian Jurado is making quite a name for himself. On Monday, Jurado collated a clean-sheet and earned his side an unlikely point in their visit to the Estadio Akron. Jurado finished the match with six saves and was by far the best player on the field.
For Chivas, it was a disappointing result, facing arguably the worst side in all of Liga MX. It’s Chivas’ habit to drop points in these types of games, and it’s something they will need to shake off if they plan on making the Liguilla. More specifically, Chivas have had a hard time sourcing goals in the past, and with players like star offseason signing Alexis Vega struggling to find the back of the net, it’s something they will need to find a solution for and fast as the season progresses.