Monterrey and Santos Laguna both came into this match needing a win, as both teams had gone six matches in Liga MX play without a win. And while Santos Laguna’s Concacaf Champions League dream had ended in the semifinals against Tigres UANL, Monterrey at least had an overwhelming 10-2 aggregate victory to fall back on in order to keep the wolves of disgruntled fanbases at bay.
Santos have not looked convincing away from home this season, and they were in the unfortunate position of having to get a win in the Estadio BBVA Bancomer in order to put themselves back into the race for the Liguilla. On the other hand, despite not winning in six Liga MX games, Monterrey were still in the top half of the table, largely because of their rather impressive record, having only lost twice all season, 1-0 on the road to Club Tijuana and last weekend’s ugly 5-1 loss at Toluca.
Neither team looked especially convincing early, with both teams a little on the back foot and not looking to make a mistake or let the other team get an advantage.
However, the damn would be broken in the 23rd minute, as Rodolfo Pizarro did well to get his foot to a cross from Mexico international Miguel Layún. The goal seemed to calm the nerves of the hosts, and they started to press a bit more.
Avilés Hurtado slid into Santos keeper Jonathan Orozco in the first half, in what appeared to be Hurtado merely misjudging his tackle on a ball in the Santos box. Both players were down, and while Orozco tried to tough it out, he was subbed off in the 38th minute for backup keeper Carlos Avecedo.
Los Rayados would also be forced to make a first-half change, as Celso Ortiz was forced off in first half stoppage time, with Eric Cantú coming on to replace him.
The second half started with Monterrey again looking the more confident of the two teams. And while Santos tried to play their way back into the game, the quality and depth of Monterrey started to shine through the longer the game went on.
Rogelio Funes Mori would get his first of the night in the 62nd minute, as he and Hurtado combined well to take advantage of the inexperienced keeper. Funes Mori moved to third place all-time on the Monterrey scoring list with his first goal tonight, and with the way he’s been playing, he might challenge for the top spot in a few more years.
Wide gaps at the back had begun to appear as Santos started to try and get back into the match, and with the Monterrey’s dominance in midfield, with Charly Rodriguez playing extremely well.
Funes Mori got his second goal in the 77th minute, as once again Hurtado and Pizarro were involved in the build-up play. Another good goal from the Argentine, and Monterrey started to put the game away.
Dorlan Pabón came off in the 81st minute for Argentina international midfielder Maxi Meza, as the embarrassment of riches for Monterrey were once again made obvious. Hurtado looked to have won a penalty a few minutes later, but after consulting VAR, the referee waved play on.
Funes Mori would complete his hat trick in the 88th minute, as he simply beat the Santos defenders on a run from near the half-way line, and he simply made one defender miss and ran straight at the keeper and made no mistake, putting the ball at the near post after it appeared he was going far post, getting the keeper to commit before taking his shot. Another great goal from the striker and Monterrey put some of the misery of the bad loss to Toluca behind them with a well-earned 4-0 win over a hapless Santos Laguna side that seems to far away removed from their Clausura 2018 victory. The win also puts Monterrey back into third place in the Liga MX table.