Liga MX

Liga MX Weekend Review: Jornada 6

Each week Tom Harrison has you covered with his Liga MX weekend review.


The Results

The Headlines

Dominant first-half lifts Chivas to Tapatío victory

In a heated Clásico Tapatío, Chivas’ rampant first-half display was enough to give the visitors the win.

Goals from Ángel Zaldívar, from the penalty spot, and Orbelín Pineda, after a shocking goal kick by Óscar Ustari, gave Chivas a comfortable half-time lead. El Rebano Sagrado were then able to sit on the 2-goal cushion and hold Atlas at arms’ length for the majority of the second half.

Atlas did threaten a dramatic comeback late on when Martín Barragán headed in after good work from new signing Clifford Aboagye, but Los Rojinegros weren’t able carve out any more meaningful chances. Clearly frustrated, Daniel Arreola boiled over in the 94th minute, and was shown a second yellow card for shoving Carlos Fierro, capping a bad night for Atlas.

Atlas coach “Profe” Cruz will be left wondering why his side gave so much space to Chivas during the first-half. Perhaps they missed the influence of Rafa Márquez, maybe the tactics were wrong, too attack-minded, or the players could have got taken away with the incredible atmosphere on Saturday night, and lost concentration. Whatever the reason, probably a combination of all 3, it was a very disappointing night for the Atlas faithful.


Champions Tigres shut out again

André-Pierre Gignac, Ismael Sosa, Javier Aquino, Jurgen Damm, Lucas Zelarayán and Eduardo Vargas. Tigres have the most star-studded attack in Liga MX. Despite this, Tigres have now failed to score in 5 of their 6 Clausura games. The latest shutout came at the hands of Pachuca, who won thanks to a Franco Jara goal.

In a disappointing game considering the level of talent on show, Pachuca were the only side to create any meaningful chances. During a first-half spell, Los Tuzos put together some superb attacking moves, with the best one being finished by Jara. Hirving “Chucky” Lozano found Jonathan Urretaviscaya, with one of his finest passes in a Pachuca shirt, before the Uruguayan crossed for Jara to finish at the far post.

In many ways, it was a typical bad day at the office for Tigres. The Monterrey side dominated possession, but looked slow and laboured, and couldn’t break down Pachuca’s defence. Javier Aquino’s sending off confounded a poor night, with Tigres resigned to staying near the bottom of the table.


Toluca celebrate 100th birthday by moving top of Liga MX

A 1-0 home win for Toluca against Veracruz moved Los Diablos Rojos top of Liga MX, after Tijuana lost to Necaxa on Friday.

The only goal of the game came in the 23rd minute, as a fantastic run and cross by Rubens Sambueza set-up an easy header for Fernando Uribe.

Uribe should have had more goals on the day, which would have made Toluca’s afternoon a lot more comfortable. The Colombian striker was sent through one-on-one with Melitón Hernández on multiple occasions during the 2nd half, but wasn’t able to find a way past Veracruz’s keeper.

Los Tiburones Rojos rarely threatened though, and the victory was a rather simple one for Toluca. 3 points were a good way to celebrate their 100th birthday, the question now is, how far can Toluca go this season?


The Analysis

Isaác Brizuela adds balance to Chivas’ front line

There was a surprise late change to the Chivas line-up for Clásico Tapatío. Despite being named in the team pre-game, Alan Pulido turned out to be on the bench, with Brizuela taking his place in the starting Xl.

This meant Brizuela would play on the left-wing, with Ángel Zaldívar moved to his favoured position up front. Zaldívar had been ineffectual on the left so far this season, but had a very good game against Atlas, linking up Chivas attacks to great effect.

Meanwhile, Brizuela caused nightmares for Atlas right-back José Maduena, and despite often missing the target with his shots on goal, Brizuela proved to doubters that he is capable of playing on the left, and cutting inside.

With Chivas’ front line more balanced and more effective with Brizuela on the left and Zaldívar up front, Alan Pulido should be concerned. He may not make it back into the starting Chivas team.


La Pausa

One of the most interesting technical ideas in football to have developed in recent years is the concept of la pausa (the pause). This is the concept of delaying a pass in order to draw in a defender, or wait for a teammate to move into in an optimum position. Being able to execute la pausa can greatly help a team to retain possession, and penetrate the opposition through their passes.

The great Barcelona teams, and players like Andrés Iniesta and Xavi, are known as the main protagonists of this concept. One team in Liga MX demonstrate a superb understanding of la pausa, Chiapas.

Chiapas produced the most remarkable, and entertaining, of performances against Morelia on Sunday, with an extraordinary short pass and move game. They lost the game due to defensive errors and missed chances, but produced a work of art.

The best example of Chiapas being able to effectively execute la pausa was in the build up to their goal, an own goal by Gabriel Achillier. The video below shows the goal.

In the build-up, Marcelo Estigarribia picks up the ball just outside the box. His most obvious option was then to put a cross into the box, or perhaps to take on a defender. Instead, the Paraguayan pauses. He waits a while for the run of Brayan Angulo, which he may expect to come due to Chiapas’ tactics. As Angulo overlaps, Estigarribia plays the ball perfectly into the left-back’s path, whose cross is then turned in by Achillier. La pausa helped Chiapas to penetrate Morelia, and led to a (slightly fortunate) goal.


Golazo of the week: Dorlan Pabón- Monterrey v Pumas



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