Chivas got their fourth straight victory over their intra-city rivals Atlas, getting a 2-1 win in a game that had both teams end with 10 players. There were no surprises when Chivas got their win over an Atlas team who has now lost five straight games this season and has yet to win under new coach Rafael Puente. It wasn’t the best win for Chivas, but they were the better side and the deserved winner against an Atlas team whose struggles continued. Chivas will now stay in their home city for their game against another struggling team in Monterrey while Atlas will have to travel to another tough game, away to Toluca.
The game started with the return of Uriel Antuna to the starting lineup after being suspended by the team for a game. To the surprise of many, it was Atlas who had the first chance when Ignacio Jeraldino got wide open in the area, but his shot was saved by Chivas keeper Jose Antonio Rodriguez. The game later evened out, and there wasn’t a meaningful chance until Isaac Brizuela missed a chance in the area and the ball got deflected out for a corner kick. In the ensuing corner kick, a header by a Chivas defender fell to Atlas defender Hugo Nervo, who just left the ball in the area. Jesus Molina got to the ball and took a right footed shot past Atlas’ keeper Camilo Vargas, for the 1-0 lead. With the goal, Molina broke Alexis Vega’s two game streak of scoring all the goals in the Clasico Tapatio.
Even though Chivas wasn’t playing well, they got the lead. Atlas tried to come back and Chivas held on. A massive brawl almost broke out after Chivas’ Jesus Sanchez got into it with Luciano Acosta, that resulted with yellow cards to both after the end of it. Immediately after it, the ref went to a VAR to check a foul and the hero of the last two Clasicos Alexis Vega was shown a red card. Atlas looked to have been thrown a lifeline. Atlas took control of the offense, but after a great play from Antuna, he got taken down by defender Nervo who was red carded. Atlas’ man advantage had only lasted a few minutes. Jose Juan Macias took the free kick and came close to scoring with a shot that just went inches wide. Then after a great combination play with Brizuela, Macias got past two Atlas players and then got his shot off past Vargas for the 2-0. Chivas fans started to celebrate by throwing stuffed animals that were supposed to be thrown at halftime in a toy charity event.
Atlas went into the attack and had a close chance when Acosta had a shot from outside the area that came close. Then after another tackle by Fernando Beltran, brought down an Atlas attacker, the ref gave his third straight red card. The ref however went to VAR and rightfully decided it wasn’t a red but a yellow card, saving Chivas. The halftime whistle blew with Chivas getting all the breaks and Atlas cursing their luck.
The second half started with Atlas making two substitutions. Luciano Acosta and Edson Rivera got subbed out while Cristopher Trejo and defender Brayton Vasquez got subbed in. Atlas started into the attack and had a good chance when Vasquez got a free header off a corner kick, but it went right into Rodriguez. Chivas slowly started getting back into it, and had an incredible chance when Molina was able to get a bicycle kick shot that Vargas barely saved. Atlas tried to correct things with their last substitution when they subbed in Mauricio Cuero for Javier Correa. Chivas had another opportunity when a Brizuela cross found Antuna in the area but his volley went wide. Atlas started to pressure, and thus Chivas made their first move when Jesus Ricardo Angulo got subbed in for Antuna. Chivas came close after a great individual play from Macias, who went past a defender but his shot went wide. Chivas then subbed out Beltran for Dieter Villalpando. Later on Molina did a clumsy tackle and brought down Jeraldino, which the ref gave a penalty kick. Cuero took the PK and converted it for the 2-1. It was the first goal Atlas scored against Chivas since 2018.
Atlas pushed for the tying goal as Chivas looked a little out of it physically. Still Chivas held on and got the deserved victory although the score was closer that it deserved.
Chivas was heavily favored before the game and the delivered on their expectations. It’s clear they have improved and are in the Liguilla zone, although it has to be said that they have had some luck in that their rise has been with a streak of games against teams who are struggling. First it was Xolos, who has only won one game so far in the season. Then they faced a Leon team that although they have been a top team in the league, they were coming from getting eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions Leauge with a 3-0 loss to LAFC and then they gave their worst performance in the season against Chivas. Now it’s an Atlas team that now has their fifth straight loss. The good news is that they will have another team like that as they face Monterrey next week, who currently sits in last place. Atlas meanwhile gets another hit with their fans. The pressure will be on Coach Rafa Puente and he might not survive. They have a tough match next week against Toluca, so chances are that their struggles will continue for the near future.