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Monterrey get a deserved victory against a lackluster Chivas

Rayados were the better team in this one.

Chivas v Monterrey - Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX Photo by Simon Barber/Getty Images

Monterrey handed Chivas their first home loss of the season when they defeated them by a 2-1 score on Sunday. They were overall the better team against a Chivas side who improved in the second half after a terrible display to start the game. The home team suffer their second consecutive loss and drop from first to fourth place just prior to the FIFA break. Monterrey will return to action by facing Leon at home while Chivas will play in the biggest match in Mexican football, when they travel to Mexico City to face Club América in the Superclásico.

The match started with Chivas making some moves like replacing the suspended Alexis Vega with Ricardo Marin while also giving Yael Padilla the start. A run into the area finished with a cross into the area that Rogelio Funes Mori would head wide, wasting a good chance. Then a great combination play between Jordi Cortizo and Funes Mori would end with a pass back to Sergio Canales, who got off a great right-footed shot past Miguel Jimenez to score the match’s first goal. Monterrey had been the only team to show any danger at that point and had a deserved lead.

Off a corner kick, it appeared Christian Calderon made a handball after Stefan Medina got a header in. The ref went to VAR and decided to give Rayados a PK. Sergio Canales stepped up to take it with a great left-footed shot into the net to give Monterrey the 2-0 lead. There was controversy when off a slide, it looked like Victor Guzman’s arm made contact with the ball during his slide, his but nothing was given. A long ball into the area got to Funes Mori who almost got past Jimenez, but he was able to steal it from Funes Mori’s feet. Although Chivas improved somewhat in the final minutes, it wasn’t enough to change things.

The second half had Yael Padilla subbed out for Erick Gutierrez. A cross into the area almost created a huge mistake when Esteban Andrada bobbled the ball, but it was cleared by a defender before Roberto Alvarado could get to it. A cross into the area found Medina, but his volley went wide. After getting injured, Rogelio Funes Mori had to be subbed out for Ali Avila. After a cross into the area was headed by Ricardo Marin back to Alvarado, he would score with a header. It appeared Chivas had scored, but after going to VAR, it was decided Marin was offside and the goal was controversially called off.

El Rebaño answered back when a cross into the area was headed by Ricardo Marin past Andrada and into the net to give Chivas the goal that placed things at 2-1. Off a counter, Marin got a shot off inside the area, but it went just wide. There was a accidental clash between a Chivas player and Omar Govea, who was already playing with a fractured hand. He would have to be subbed out along with Maximiliano Meza for Jonathan Gonzalez and Joao Rojas. Off a counter, Monterrey came close to scoring when Rojas got into the area and looked to be possibly tripped by Jimenez, but nothing was called. After a combination play, Brigido got a great right-footed shot that was brilliantly saved by Andrada. A throw in was badly cleared by Andrada right to Gutierrez, who then sent his ball well wide and missed a great opportunity. Chivas kept at it, pushing for that final goal, but couldn’t get it and Monterrey took the three points.

After a great start, Chivas are full in their first slump of the season. A week after losing their unbeaten record against Santos Laguna, they once again gave a lackluster performance and Monterrey were the deserved winner. While Chivas improved in the second half, it didn’t take much after a first half where they didn’t have a single chance and couldn’t gain possession. Chivas might be appreciative of the FIFA break, but they’ll have their biggest match when it ends as they face Club América in the Superclásico, the biggest match in Meixcan football. Chivas will hope they get it together or a bad loss could have people talking about a crisis, despite them still comfortably occupying Liguilla spots. Monterrey were coming in after having four straight losses. They lost in the Semifinals and the 3rd place match in the Leagues Cup, in which they were the Liga MX side that went furthest in the tournament. More worrisome though, was coming to Liga MX and losing at home against Cruz Azul and then Toluca. The Chivas win gives them a huge boost as they climb in the standings into the Liguilla zone and still have a game in hand.