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Chivas vs. América: What we learned

Chivas v America - Torneo Clausura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images

Club América dominated Chivas Guadalajara on their way to two Clásico Nacional victories in a span of four days, as las Águilas first killed off the Rebaño Sagrado’s Copa MX hopes at the Estadio Azteca before doing the same in Liga MX. Here’s what we learned.

Chivas let their fans down once again

No team in Liga MX is perhaps more disappointing than Chivas. Club América’s success in recent months has been a constant irritant for Rebaño fans, and here, their team had a phenomenal opportunity to make amends by spoiling las Águilas’ season. Instead, Chivas were thoroughly outplayed through the course of two games and never really looked eager enough to change that.

Chivas not only didn’t have the pace or technical ability to compete with América, there was never really any sense of direction coming from coach Jose Saturnino Cardozo. While las Águilas’ game-plan was pretty straightforward in both games, Chivas’ players were frequently unable to even string a few passes together, with only Dieter Villalpando looking up to par in the midfield.

Ultimately, as Chivas’ season starts showing signs of exasperation, we might look back at these two performances as the moment where Cardozo’s tactics started to crack and the team started showing its signs of frustration.

Club América made it look easy

In reality, there was only ever one team on the field in both games and that was América. From the get-go, Miguel Herrera clearly believed the fullbacks were Chivas’ weakest links, and while Guadalajara’s tactics were hugely accommodating, Herrera could have hardly imagined that it was going to be this easy.

Indeed, las Águilas had Chivas regularly playing catch-up, and América’s wingers took every opportunity to devastate their fullbacks. Add to all this the fact that América now have arguably one of the best strikers in the league in Nico Castillo and that was enough to create plenty of nervous moments for the Rebaño.

You can say what you want about Miguel Herrera and Club América, but they have been provided the framework for another season of success. Here, Herrera relied heavily on his wingers, but his system can vary from time to time. At the end, this will, no doubt, go down as two important victories for América, but more than anything, it showed why their tactical flexibility still makes them one of the top candidates to win the title once again.

Chivas’ future remains uncertain

So what now for Chivas? Let’s be honest, this was not a one-off week for Guadalajara. Chivas have now won just once in their last seven matches across all competitions. They spent millions in December for players like Alexis Vega in the hope of returning to the Liguilla, but they have now been defeated twice by their biggest rivals in four days and are officially out of Liguilla positions. The only thing that gives Chivas hope is there is still six games remaining in the regular season, but with games against Pumas UNAM, Puebla, Club León, and Tigres still to play, things are looking tough for Jose Saturnino Cardozo and his team.