Here are some of the main takeaways from the ninth week of play in the 2019 Liga MX Apertura.
Siboldi era at Cruz Azul off to a quiet start
Perhaps no team made more noise during the international break than La Máquina Cementera de la Cruz Azul. After a string of somewhat negative results, upper management decided to go into complete utter meltdown. Eventually, all parties opted to vent their frustrations on live television, and long story short, coach Pedro Caixinha and well-respected sporting director Ricardo Pelaez turned out to be the team’s only casualties. With Robert Siboldi now as manager and against a Veracruz team that hasn’t won a game in literally ages, it was only fitting that they had to settle for a quiet 0-0 draw against Los Tiburones.
At first glance, not much changed, and it’s hard to really say if this sudden transition is going to really do anything for La Máquina. Siboldi did make some tweaks to his starting XI, but it could have just been a bit of rotating ahead of the Leagues Cup final against Tigres. Whatever the case, Siboldi has been thrown straight into the line of fire, and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Cruz Azul fans have already gone 20+ years without a League title. They can probably go another one.
Campeonitis or empatitis?
Speaking of the Leagues Cup Final, Tigres is also not doing so hot. At this point, if you are a betting person, you might want to put your life-savings on the Leagues Cup Final ending 1-1 because each of Tigres’s last five Liga MX games have ended with the exact same scoreline of 1-1. Their latest 1-1 draw was away to Xolos de Tijuana on Saturday in a match in which they led for more than 60 minutes despite going down a man in the 32nd minute. At the end, it was only a late penalty from Miller Bolaños that gave Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti and his side two dropped points in Tijuana.
The good news for Tigres is Vegas is only a short plane ride away from Tijuana, and with all the aforementioned problems with Cruz Azul, Los Felinos have to really like their odds.
Chivas take home the Clásico Tapatío
Chivas breathed new life into Tomas Boy’s tenure as coach of the Rojiblancos after his side conquered the Clásico Tapatío over rivals Atlas with a score of 1-0 at the Estadio Akron.
It’s hard to say it was a routine match for Chivas, but following a stunning goal and peachy celebration from Alexis Vega, their lead never really seemed in doubt. Atlas, who had arrived to this match on the back of an impressive 3-0 win over Club América, failed to live up to pregame expectations, and at least tactically, were thoroughly outplayed.
For Tomas Boy, this win broke a five-game winless streak across all competitions, and with Chivas’ second-half of the season schedule looking amongst the toughest in the league, all signs seem to point to Boy staying... Well, at least for now.
Necaxa go top
There has been more changes at the top of this season’s Liga MX table than tequila shots in a Mexican Independence Day celebration. The latest team to surface as league leaders is none other than Necaxa, who shocked Monterrey 2-0 at the Estadio BBVA Bancomer to go top of the league table on goal differential.
Perhaps this speaks more of Monterrey’s inconstancy than Guillermo Vazquez’s Jr’s success with Los Rayos. It’s not a surprise anymore. Vazquez is a proven manager in Liga MX, and it’s good to see one of the good guys finally get some sort of brief recognition.
For Monterrey, if Vazquez is receiving praise, then Diego Alonso is receiving the opposite. Los Rayados have lost three of their last four matches, and it’s hard to imagine he isn’t feeling some sort of pressure right now, especially considering the type of team he has at his disposal and the fact that the team hasn’t won a league title since
Pumas miss opportunity in Clásico Capitalino
Pumas played most of the match with a man up but was unable to earn their first win over Club América at the Estadio Azteca since 2011, settling for a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
You can put that down as a missed opportunity for the Universitarios. At times it even looked like Pumas was the team that got red-carded. The game only picked up in intensity after debutant Federico Viñas scored the go-ahead goal late in the second half to give Las Águilas the lead, forcing Pumas to do some sort of attacking.
In fact, such was the timidity in Pumas’s play that América could even look at this as their own missed opportunity. Miguel Herrera’s side is in something of a slump and injuries to key players have been a concern throughout the campaign. Here, they put Pumas against the ropes and almost came out with the win.