Liga MX recap: Cruz Azul drubbed at hands of rivals America; Chivas bounce back

To the displeasure of those who were basking in the problems of Liga MX‘s major powerhouses, Week 10 of the 2022 Apertura was all about multi-goal victories for the league’s two most prominent clubs: Chivas and Club America.

Once held back by poor runs of form earlier in the season, both teams appeared eager to push away negative narratives. While Chivas claimed a 4-0 away win over Necaxa, Club America overwhelmed crosstown rivals Cruz Azul 7-0 in the Clasico Joven. Not to be outdone, Santos Laguna found a few goals of their own in Week 10, embarrassing Dani Alves and Pumas in a 5-1 result.

In the weekend’s other rivalry match, a tense Clasico Regio battle between Monterrey and Tigres finished in a scoreless 0-0 draw, which didn’t stop some of the festivities at the Estadio BBVA Bancomer that went viral. In spite of not scoring, and thanks to a loss for Toluca, Monterrey moved back up to first in the league table.

There’s plenty to cover from the latest Liga MX action and in case you missed anything, here are three talking points and additional observations from Jornada 10 of the Apertura.

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America’s ‘Clasico’ drubbing sees Cruz Azul oust Aguirre

The signs were there of a potential disaster for Cruz Azul, but few could have predicted the historic drubbing that rivals Club America were about to take part in. With Club America marching in with three consecutive wins, Las Aguilas pounced on a feeble La Maquina through a stunning 7-0 result in last Saturday’s Clasico Joven that featured seven different goalscorers.

The defeat marked the worst-ever Liga MX loss in Cruz Azul’s history. On Sunday morning, Diego Aguirre was fired as Cruz Azul manager less than 100 days in charge and after just two wins in 10 matches this season. By early Monday, groups of supporters began protesting outside of Cruz Azul headquarters.

As for Club America, there was elation from the team and their fanbase that have been watching the squad gain a near-frightening amount of momentum. No longer near the bottom of the league table, they’ve scored 15 goals in their current four-game winning streak that have pushed them up to fourth in the table. Skeptics would point to the fact that they had a 10-man advantage in each of their last two games, but that won’t do much to halt the buzz and enthusiasm for the Mexico City giants.

“These historic moments very rarely happen against a rival in a clasico, enjoy it,” said a satisfied Club America manager Fernano Ortiz in a message to fans after the match.

“It doesn’t happen everyday.”

Chivas snap skid ahead of free entry game

Perhaps the free tickets worked after all. After extending their winless run to eight games in Week 9 and offering free entry to their next home game against Monterrey in an upcoming Week 11 match-up, Chivas dramatically turned things around with an eye-catching 4-0 away victory over Necaxa last Friday.

Los Rojiblancos were determined in front of the net, scoring three times in open play and once through a penalty. Had they scored once more, they would have doubled their tally from the first nine weeks of the Apertura — which says plenty about how dire things had been for the Guadalajara club up until now.

Before recently moving up to 13th in the table, Chivas spent the last few weeks in second-to-last place. On Friday, goals from Roberto Alvarado and Fernando Beltran, as well as a brace from Angel Zaldivar not only halted the club’s winless streak, but also potentially saved the job of manager Ricardo Cadena, who was undoubtedly on the hot seat.

Whether Chivas can build off of this victory is now the big question ahead for them. It’s one thing to defeat strugglers like Necaxa and it’s another to host Monterrey, the top team of the season, this Tuesday. They’ll have the full support of their fans, who reserved every free ticket available for the match at the Estadio Akron, but there have been reports of some selling those passes…

Honeymoon over between Pumas, Dani Alves?

It has been somewhat of a rude awakening for Dani Alves in his early days with Pumas in Liga MX. Now that the celebratory confetti has settled from his mid-July arrival, the Brazil international has been left hopelessly watching his team go through three consecutive losses with 11 goals allowed this month — which isn’t counting a 6-0 defeat by Barcelona in the Joan Gamper Trophy exhibition.

On Sunday, Santos Laguna did their best Blaugrana impression, putting a handful of goals past Pumas in a 5-1 win over Alves and his teammates at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario. With technical staff from Brazil’s national team watching in the stands, boos rained down from the Pumas supporters who had become frustrated with the team’s performances. Occasionally when the ball landed on Alves’ feet, the jeers and heckling grew even louder.

“The boos don’t seem normal or proper to me,” said Pumas manager Andres Lillini after the one-sided loss. “I ask for calmness and patience from the fans.”

Lillini, now with just one win in his first nine games of the season, brushed away any notion of a potential resignation.

“It hasn’t crossed my mind to quit because I don’t want to leave the group adrift,” the manager added.

Additional observations

– Elsewhere in Week 10: Queretaro secured their first win of the season with a 2-0 result over Club Tijuana, Atlas earned a 1-1 draw at home with Puebla, Tigres hit the woodwork twice and Monterrey had a goal disallowed in a scoreless Clasico Regio draw, FC Juarez and Mazatlan earned a 1-1 draw of their own, San Luis sneaked past Toluca with a 1-0 victory, and Pachuca claimed a 1-0 win over Leon.

– Speaking of Pachuca, a quick shout-out to the weekend’s youngest goalscorer: 20-year-old Israel Luna. Making just his third professional appearance and sporting a No. 100 jersey, Luna received a perfect cross from new signing and former San Jose Earthquakes/Chivas player Javier “Chofis” Lopez, providing Pachuca with a game-winner in the 86th minute.

– We’ll close things out with some of the partying at the Clasico Regio. Although there were reports of fights outside of the ground, the inside of the Estadio BBVA Bancomer was an entirely different matter. With both Tigres and Monterrey supporters standing side-by-side, videos went viral of the two fanbases dancing together at the Liga MX rivalry match.

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