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:
Guardado & Moreno For PSV
Andres Guardado was the ultimate midfielder over the weekend in PSV’s 5-0 victory against Willem II on Sunday. From the beginning of kickoff, Guardado controlled the process of the game which was impressive considering the injuries that left him out of the qualifiers almost two weeks ago. He gave the corner kick that led to Isimat scoring the goal in the extra minutes of the first half. He then gave van Ginkel another assist in the 56th minute before scoring a goal of his own in the 82nd minute that reminded some people of his Atlas days. Guardado’s return and the confidence that has come with it shows why he is an integral part of the national team and how much they will benefit from his contribution.
Couple that with Hector Moreno’s goal on April 6th against Twente and one can continuously see the benefits being on PSV has done for both Mexican players. Moreno now has six goals this season as a central defender for the team.
PSV is currently in 3rd place in the Eredivisie with 68 points.
Carlos Vela Reaches 200 Games
Mexican striker Carlos Vela was given the starting positions for both Real Sociedad that took place this past week. In the 1-0 loss against Atletico Madrid, Vela was given the full 90 minutes. On Monday against Sporting, Real Sociedad came out victorious in a 3-0 victory. Vela was subbed out of the match in the 81st minute but this match marked his 200th appearance with the club.
Vela currently has seven goals this season.
After missing a penalty last week for Eintracht Frankfurt, Marco Fabian returned to the penalty box to redeem himself in a Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen. Frankfurt was down 2-1 when the team was awarded a penalty in the 73rd minute. Fabian got the ball in the back of the net and equalized the game 2-2.
Fabian also played against Koln on April 4th but was subbed out in the 66th minute. The striker made a conscious choice to stay with the team during qualifiers time to improve his game. Despite the hiccup missed penalty, Fabian is progressing with his game and is earning more playing time. Unless another injury comes about, his chances of returning to the national team seem very likely.
— FOX Deportes (@FOXDeportes) April 7, 2017
Jonathan Dos Santos was given the full 90 minutes for Villarreal’s match against Real Betis on April 4th. Villarreal took home the three points in that game with their 1-0 victory. Despite receiving a yellow in the 70th minute, Jonathan contributes continuously for the midfield and his absence is noted when he is not on the field.
For Villarreal’s match against Athletic Club, Jonathan did not play due to a hamstring injury however during the press conference, manager Fran Escriba stated that the midfielder would return for their match against Alaves on April 17th. “Against Alaves, we will have Jonathan back and we will have well rounded squad,” he stated.
Espanyol: Reyes With More Game Time
Espanyol leveled out this past week with one win and one loss against Alaves and Athletic Club. Diego Reyes would receive the full 90 minutes for both games, adding more time under his belt with the Spanish club. The loss against Athletic Club on April 4th once again showed the errors the Mexican defender is prone to have while the Alaves victory on April 8th showed Espanyol’s strengths. The playing time Reyes receives with the club is amongst the most in comparison to the rest of his Mexican Abroad comrades but to really distinguish himself as one of the best, he’ll need to grow more as a leader who initiates aggressive playing.
Porto Boys Dwindling Down
Porto gained three points this past weekend against Belenenses but the victory was bittersweet for the three Mexicans playing on the team. Not one of the players started the Primeira Liga match (Miguel Layun was not part of the roster) and both Hector Herrera and Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona were subbed in during the later parts of the second half. ‘Tecatito’ managed to get an assist on Tiquinho’s goal in the 70th minute but the performance from Herrera once again lacked momentum. The roller-coaster tone has now become a habit for the “Three Amigos” despite the team’s overall good record.
The playing time for the three has fluctuated and it would be wise for the performance level to rise for them, considering they are some of the primary members of Mexico’s Confederations Cup squad.
Porto is currently in 2nd place with 67 points.
Ochoa Tries But Defense Makes Too Many Mistakes
Granada FC has stopped the shutouts from happening every game and is improving but is still making defensive mistakes, leaving Ochoa without much to do to stop them. The improvements can be seen in matches like April 5th against Deportivo where Granada’s defense was able to shut out any opposition and even had Guillermo Ochoa blocked a penalty shot.
However, their loss against Valencia April 9th shows the issues the defense has. The three goals came in opportunities where the defense failed to mark their man and left Ochoa alone without much help to avoid the goal. Despite being on a team that is at the bottom of table in Primera Division and at risk for relegation, Ochoa recently stated that he is glad he went to Europe. He explained that staying in Mexico and playing for the Liga MX keeps players in a bubble and doesn’t expose them to the differences in expectations for players that they get once they are abroad.
Not Feature: Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez (Hamstring Injury; RB Leipzig 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen); Raul Jimenez (Did not play; Moreirense 0-1 Benfica)