Welcome to our weekly highlight of all things ‘Europeos.’
It was another week in the European Leagues and here are the key points you might’ve missed from this weekend from our favorite Aztecs:
During PSV’s match against Go Ahead Eagles on Saturday, Andres Guardado and Hector Moreno were given the full 90 minutes. Inspired by Hector Moreno’s goal last week, Guardado would get a goal of his own. The game was completely dominated by PSV, with S. de Jong scoring in the 40th minute and L. de Jong scoring in the 61st minute. The team collaborated well throughout the entire match and when it was finally time for Guardado to score his goal in the 85th minute, he touch play with S. Bergwijn was perfectly executed. This Guardado’s first goal of the Eredivisie season and comes at a perfect time.
Both he and Moreno have been consistently gaining minutes and momentum with the team who is currently in third place in the Eredivisie. To have both of them score goals one week apart and just ten days before the qualifiers should give them confidence when they return to the national team.
De derde treffer werd gemaakt door onze Mexicaan op het middenveld: @AGuardado18 ??
— PSV (@PSV) March 13, 2017
Marco Fabian Returns
After having to rest due to a back injury he sustained in January, Marco Fabian finally returned to the Bundesliga in Eintracht Frankfurt’s 3-0 loss against Bayern Munich. He was subbed in until the 78th minute but his recovery is the most important. He might be called up for the qualifiers although, given the extent of his injury, might only be used a substitute but the playing time he received with Frankfurt on Saturday and will most likely receive in their match against Hamburger SV on March 18th will be beneficial to his recovery and his long term contribution to the national team.
Porto Amigos Inconsistent From Injuries
Porto FC gave no playing time to the Three Amigos during their regular season match against Arouca who they beat 4-0 on March 10th. Miguel Layun was benched the duration the game. It has not been a fortunate time for the Mexican players playing at Porto. Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona is currently facing injury and was not part of the substitutions for their Champions League match against Juventus on Tuesday. Hector Herrera is finally coming back from a severe injury and was part of the bench for the Juventus match but wasn’t given any playing time. Miguel Layun was given the full 90 minutes against Juventus in the second leg of their Champions League match for Round of 16. Juventus came into the game with an advantage of two goals from the previous leg but had trouble commanding the game during this second leg. With the help of Layun in the back, the defense provided strong marking and would close the gaps for the Juventus attackers.
However, close to the end of the first half, the ref would reward Juventus with a penalty kick that would lead to their advancing to the next round.
Current and recovering injuries will probably keep ‘Tecatito’ and Herrera out of the call-ups for the qualifiers which are less than two weeks but Miguel Layun’s playing is probably the most important for El Tri right now. Juan Carlos Osorio’s coaching has always had flaws but its biggest are highlighted in the defense. With Layun is good physical condition, it will be beneficial for the Aztecs to have someone to defense against Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago.
‘Chicharito’ Starts For Bayer
Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez was given the starting position in Bayer Leverkusen’s Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen. The match ended in a draw and added fuel to the fire of what is in store for the club as well as the Mexican striker himself. Last week we spoke about Roger Schmidt being let go and the arrival of new manager Tayfun Korkut. Perhaps there is a correlation between the new manager and ‘Chicharito’ being subbed out in the 82nd minute or maybe the team being in 10th place could suddenly make the club go in a different direction but so far, ‘Chicharito’ is still being given minutes. And that’s the most important thing for his development. Bayer Leverkusen takes on Atletico Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League on Wednesday, March 15th.
Espanyol Wins, Reyes Gets Playing Time
It was a back and forth match on March 10th at RCDE Stadium between Espanyol and Las Palmas. Diego Reyes played the full 90 minutes of the match and unfortunately was mistakes that led to Las Palmas’ goal-scoring escapade. Espanyol started off literally off the bat, scoring their first goal in the first minute of the game off a header from David Lopez. The rest of the game consisted of goals being scored back and forth within 10-20 minute intervals. The game was exciting and the energy was felt from both teams. From Diego Reyes, however, the exposure of his defensive skills was once again to put light. There was a lack of marking, not enough aggression and a failure to close the passes.
Granted, both teams defensively were all over the place. But, for the Mexican defender, and the earlier mention of JCO’s national team weaknesses, those kinds of mistakes should be resolved before Reyes is called up.
Ochoa Saves Granada
Granada, who is currently in 18th place took on fourth place Atletico Madrid in a regular season match on Saturday. Given Granada’s past, the game should’ve been very one-sided. However, Guillermo Ochoa proved to be the hero of the game and only allowed one goal that was scored in the 84th minute by Griezmann. Ochoa has consistently proven to be a strong goalkeeper despite the lack of defensive skill from his teammates. But this loss was a win for him personally. With just ten days before the qualifiers, this allow the goalkeeper to maintain a positive image when it comes to who should be called up.
Jonathan Gets the Full 90 Minutes
Jonathan Dos Santos was given the starting position and the full duration of the match during Villarreal’s match against Celta Vigo. Jonathan’s playing time is crucial for him. Being a midfielder, he is making a name for himself in the team of strong midfielders. With Hector Herrera injured, it would be beneficial for him to gain as much confidence in Europe as he can before he goes back to the national team. He was responsible for the free kick that led to the goal that gave Villarreal the win when Soldado managed to get the ball in the back of the net. There is a level of intelligence to Jonathan’s style of play that heavily benefits the future of El Tri’s squad and he shows aspects of it when he plays with Villarreal.
Carlos Vela Loses His Luster
If ever there was a story of redemption, it has come from Carlos Vela. As someone who at one point was dropped out of the conversation when it came to Mexican call-ups, his performances at Real Sociedad have proven he is still one of the best attacking players El Tri has to offer. However, during the match against Athletic Club, there was a lack of luster. His usual form was not there. Overall, the attack from Real Sociedad had trouble finding their footing until the end of the match and by then, the referee disqualified one of their goals due to a foul. Vela is still a strong contender to be called up for the qualifiers. However, given the number of eligible players Osorio has and the recent performance, he might’ve hurt his chances.