Here are five of some of the main takeaways from the seventh and eighth week of play (doble jornada!) in the 2019 Liga MX Apertura.
Atlas get it done at home
Somebody at Atlas must have read last week’s article. After going winless in three straight games, the Rojinegros bounced back with a 1-1 draw versus Tigres and a shock 3-0 win over Club América.
For coach Leandro Cufre, the results couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Cufre was starting to feel the pressure, and it was precisely at home where his team was struggling the most. Prior to the win over Club América at the Estadio Jalisco, Atlas had gone winless in four of the five matches played at the Jalisco this semester.
Of course, this is Atlas we are talking about, so let’s not get too excited now. But their next league rival is none other than Chivas, and perhaps a win there could get us talking more optimistically about the Rojinegros, especially considering they are just four points off league leaders Querétaro at the moment.
Are Tigres finally suffering from “campeonitis”?
One team whose international break couldn’t come any sooner was Tigres. The defending champs have hit something of a rough patch and have drawn each of their last four league matches with the exact same scoreline of 1-1.
It could be that Tigres just have a mild case of “campeonitis”, but the fact of the matter is that Los Felinos aren’t looking their old self. In Saturday’s game against León, the team walked off the field to a chorus of boos at halftime, and even after eventually salvaging the draw, the home fans didn’t look all that happy at the final whistle. Tough crowd but what do you expect from a team that has won four league titles in four years.
Cruz Azul and Chivas finish in stalemate
Speaking of teams begging for the international break to arrive, Cruz Azul and Chivas settled for a 1-1 stalemate on Saturday night. Both teams had arrived to this match in questionable form and needing to avoid further pressure heading into the international break.
While ultimately it wasn’t the result both Cruz Azul and Chivas were expecting, you get the feeling that it also wasn’t the worst result. Losing at home would have been catastrophic for Cruz Azul, while a defeat would have not fared well for coach Tomas Boy and his growing discontent amongst Chivas fans. It’s all a matter of perception, and in the regard, a point is as good as a win
Update: Evidently, the Cruz Azul board didn’t perceive it the same way and has officially relieved Pedro Caixinha of his duties.
FC Juárez surprises Monterrey
It’s almost like there is one of these “shock” victories in Liga MX every week now. On Sunday, FC Juárez broke a three game losing streak by beating favorites Monterrey 1-0 at the Estadio Olímpico Benito Juárez.
The result was no doubt a big one for the Liga MX newcomers, but perhaps more than anything else, this result highlighted Monterrey’s continuous lack of consistency through the course of the Apertura. Los Rayados have been up and down all season, which is something that was not expected from a team many had as contender for the league title at the start of the season. Coach Diego Alonso has received all types of criticism, and a lot of certainly it has its merit, particularly the one criticizing his team’s style of play.
That said, the fact of the matter is Monterrey s still eighth in the league table, and in a league as forgiving as the Mexican one, that’s all you need to have a chance at winning the title.
Halfway point of the season is nearly here
Believe it or not, we are nearly at the halfway point of the regular season and judging by the results of this “doble jornada”, we should be expecting a more wacky stuff by the end of the season. So far, there doesn’t seem to be a team ready to take over the league table like León did last season, while other teams just seem to be bouncing in and out o Liguilla positions. Even a team like Club América isn’t safe after losing 3-0 to Atlas. Then there is Querétaro, who out of all teams find themselves at the top of the league table after eight weeks. The unpredictability is part of the allure behind Liga MX, and at least in that regard, the 2019 Apertura is getting it done.