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Atlas defeats Chivas in incident filled Clasico Tapatio

Atlas gets a 1-0 win over Chivas in a match where two Chivas players were red carded.

Chivas v Atlas - Torneo Apertura 2021 Liga MX Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images

Atlas won their first Clasico Tapatio in three years in a game which was marred by incidents. Chivas ended the match with nine players after getting two early red cards in which they couldn’t overcome. Still, Atlas was only able to get a 1-0 win in a match in which they showed a lack of ambition. Chivas will now look to bounce back after the FIFA break with a home match against Toluca, while Atlas climbs into first place waiting for Sunday results to see if they are still in that position when they return in an away match against Mazatlan.

The first half started with both teams looking to get the victory and coming out with their best lineups. Chivas had the first chance when off a corner kick, Hiram Mier got to the ball but failed to properly connect with it, wasting a great opportunity. Minutes later Mier would make a terrible mistake trying to make a back pass that instead was played perfectly for Julian Quiñones. Chivas’ goalkeeper Raul Gudiño however was able to scramble and clear the ball of his feet. Mier made things even worse for himself when he missed a ball and instead kicked Julio Furch in the face. Furch turned out to have a bad cut, and Mier got a yellow card. Minutes later referee Fernando Guerrero went to VAR and judged the foul to be a red card in what was a controversial call, the first of many for him. It was a blow to a Chivas team that had been playing evenly with Atlas and now looked to be disadvantaged. Off of a corner kick, the ball was left bouncing in the area and Luis Olivas slid into Quiñones, which the referee judged to be a penalty kick. It was another controversial call, as Olivas seemed to slip and Quiñones looked to have been quick to fall from the contact. Protesting the call, Cristian Calderon was given a yellow card. Aldo Rocha stepped up and lobbed a beautiful right footed shot past Gudiño, making the score the 1-0 in favor of the visitors. After scoring, Rocha celebrated in front of Chivas fans which produced a fight between players. Quiñones and Calderon would fight between each other, and the referee gave them each yellow cards, which meant that it was Calderon’s second and thus he was sent off. Not only was Chivas trailing but they were down to nine players, an incredibly tough hole to climb out of. Chivas made their first move by subbing out Jesus Sanchez for Antonio Briseño. Atlas came close to scoring again when after a shot by David Barbosa, the ball was deflected into the path of Luis Reyes., Reyes went into the area and hit a left footed shot that just went inches wide. There wouldn’t be another chance in the half as Atlas looked a little conservative, trying to take advantage of their two player advantage against a Chivas team that had a disastrous first half.

The second half started with Chivas subbing out Sergio Flores for Carlos Cisneros. As expected, Atlas started the half controlling possession with a Chivas team that sat back. After a couple of even minutes, Atlas had their first chance of the half when a header from Furch was brilliantly saved by Gudiño. Atlas made their first move by subbing out an injured Anderson Santamaria for Gaddi Aguirre. Atlas then had their best chance when off of a corner kick the ball reached a wide open Jesus Alberto Angulo, who got off a left footed shot. Gudiño however made a great job of dashing and getting a close range block that saved Chivas from suffering the second goal. To the surprise of everybody, Chivas came close after getting a free kick that Alexis Vega took. It was a great shot that forced Atlas’ goalkeeper Camilo Vargas to make a great save. On the ensuing corner kick, Chivas came close when a header by Briseño was almost reached by Uriel Antuna but he couldn’t quite get there, and it went wide. The game continued, but even though Atlas had two more players they still looked to be very conservative and defensive, without making substitutions or taking it to a Chivas team who are their biggest rival. There was even a stretch where the Atlas players just kicked the ball around as if they were making time against a Chivas team that was sitting back because of their situation being down two players. Chivas subbed out Jesus Molina, Alexis Vega, and Jesus Ricardo Angulo for Alan Torres, Angel Zaldivar, and Cesar Huerta while at the same time Atlas subbed out Jairo Torres for Jeremy Marquez. Atlas came close with a long range shot from Barbosa that went wide. Atlas made their last move by subbing out Julian Quiñones for Cristopher Trejo. Another sign of the lack of ambition by Atlas was that they only made three substitutions out of a possible five. In almost the last play of the match it looked like Briseño got taken down in the area, but nothing was called and replays showed that it was the correct call. That match ended and to the surprise of nobody, there was a minor scuffle between both teams after such a chippy match.

The Clasico Tapatio turned out to be a very controversial game. Atlas won the Clasico for the first time since 2018, and temporarily get first place in Liga MX and yet their fans didn’t seem to be happy after their performance. With Chivas down to nine players at home, it was a prime opportunity to get a very big result and yet Atlas played like they were happy with the 1-0 lead. It was a very conservative display that overall showed a lack of ambition and wasted an historic opportunity. Meanwhile Chivas might have the excuse of the controversial display by Referee Guerrero, but they also didn’t help themselves especially with Calderon and more importantly Jesus Molina, who started the fight with a shove on Jairo Torres. As the captain, it was a totally unnecessary move and ended up costing Chivas the match. After the FIFA break both teams will have tough matches with Chivas staying home to face a quality side in Toluca, while Atlas has a tough away trip to face Mazatlan.