Cementeros top first Liga MX Power Rankings

Cruz Azul players celebrate after defeating Toluca to displace the Diablos Rojos atop the Liga MX table. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Cruz Azul players celebrate after defeating Toluca to displace the Diablos Rojos atop the Liga MX table. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /
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Liga MX Power Rankings 1
Guillermo “Pol” Fernández was on the trading block before the Liga MX season, but he has scored in each of the past two games for Cruz Azul, including the game-winner against Toluca. (Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

Cruz Azul tops the inaugural Liga MX Power Rankings this season, a circumstance that is entirely unexpected after the Cementeros completely collapsed in December. After suffering a 4-0 rout in the Liga MX semifinals, “La Máquina Azul” turned in an embarrassingly lethargic effort in the Concacaf Champions League.

Through 7 weeks thus far, Juan Reynoso has the Cementeros playing confidently and they climbed into first place unexpectedly after América was docked 3 points for violating league rules regarding eligible players.

The biggest disappointments thus far are the Pumas and the Chivas. The Pumas lost only one game last season and reached the Final but have lost four times already. The Chivas, meanwhile, announced that they would claim a Top 4 seed after seventh-place finish in the Guardianes 2020, but they have just one win through seven matches.

We’re starting a bit later than usual this season, primarily because the Guardianes 2021 calendar has been a bit muddled. First, Monterrey was hit by a Covid outbreak that forced two postponements and then the Tigres had to tweak their schedule to attend the FIFA Club World Cup. As a result, the Rayados and León will play their Matchday 3 game on March 10 and the Tigres and FC Juárez will complete Matchday 5 on April 14.

A reminder: The Playing for 90 Power Rankings are not a prediction of where the teams will finish. The rankings simply reflect the team’s performance to date, while taking into account form, trends and injuries.

The numbers inside the parentheses represent the club’s record (win-draw-loss), their points total and their goal differential.

1. Cruz Azul  (5-0-2, 15 points, +7)

The Cementeros are on a 5-game win streak after shaking off the doldrums from last season’s disastrous finish and the impetuous resignation of coach Robert Siboldi. Coach Reynoso took over just days before the Guardianes 2021 began and finally righted the ship after the club started out 0-0-2. On Saturday, the Cementeros had to overcome a ridiculous mistake by the referee before eventually defeating Toluca.

2. Toluca  (4-1-2, 13 points, +6)

The Diablos boast the highest-scoring offense in Liga MX (15 goals) but must find the consistency that was lacking last season, especially on defense. Veteran Rubens Sambueza, 37, lead the league with 4 assists.

3. América  (4-1-2, 13 points, +1)

The Aguilas sat atop the Liga MX table after defeating Atlas 2-0 on Saturday night, but Liga MX officials determined the club violated Article 48 of the league rules – fielding an ineligible player. Federico Viñas was inadvertently left off the team roster ahead of the game but warmed up beforehand and sat on the bench in uniform during the first half. Atlas filed a protest on Sunday and was awarded a 3-0 win, knocking América into third place in the table. They are ranked third here because they have struggled on offense and have yet to adapt to new coach Santiago Solari’s style.

4. Monterrey  (3-2-1, 11 points, +3)

The Rayados burst out of the gate with two convincing victories before getting waylaid by a virus outbreak. Javier Aguirre’s team went 17 days between games and have yet to regain the rhythm they demonstrated back in January. Los Regios have been very sturdy on defense (2 goals allowed), but continue to misfire on offense (5 goals in 6 games).