Liga MX Power Rankings: América claims top spot

América trounced Guadalajara 3-0, earning a measure of revenge after the Chivas eliminated them in the playoffs last season. (Photo by Alfredo Moya/Jam Media/Getty Images)
América trounced Guadalajara 3-0, earning a measure of revenge after the Chivas eliminated them in the playoffs last season. (Photo by Alfredo Moya/Jam Media/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Liga MX Power Rankings 11
América striker Henry Martín pays tribute to Cuauhtémoc Blanco after scoring the opening goal against the Chivas. Martín would score again in leading the Aguilas to an easy 3-0 win. (Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images) /

The Guardianes 2021 season is entering the final turn and will be at the top of the home stretch when play resumes after the FIFA break. With an 11-day break after this weekend’s games, many Liga MX teams will be desperately jockeying for position in hopes of setting up a playoff run.

Matchday 10 produced some dramatic changes in our Power Rankings (five teams moved at least 3 slots up or down). There was even movement at the top where América displaced Cruz Azul thanks to its dominant 3-0 rout of the Chivas in the “Super Clásico.”

How does a team on a 9-game win streak get dropped in the rankings, you ask? Let me assure you, it is certainly not a condemnation of the Cementeros, but their last four games have been pragmatic 1-0 victories.

Admittedly, a 1-0 win over Monterrey is nothing to sneeze at, but Juan Reynoso’s club is not playing with the same intensity and efficiency as they were during their perfect 4-0 February.

Capital city showdown

Simply put, if the two Mexico City rivals were to play this week, I think the Aguilas would win. And let’s keep this in mind: If not for a “clerical error,” América would be in first place. Liga MX officials stripped the Aguilas of a victory and docked them 3 points after the team secretary forgot to include a player’s name on the pre-game line-up sheet, resulting in the club being punished for “fielding an ineligible player.”

All that being said, the top spot and the No. 1 seed for the Liga MX playoffs could very well be determined when the crosstown rivals meet in Estadio Azteca on Matchday 15 (April 17).

Elsewhere, the two Guadalajara clubs are moving in opposite directions. Atlas is in sixth place in the Liga MX table and climbed to fifth in our rankings after stretching its unbeaten streak to 7 games (4-3-0) while city rivals Chivas plummeted six spots as a result of their disastrous showing against América.

One anomaly I must point out. There seems to be significant separation between the top seven teams and a pack of clubs mired in mediocrity. This is indicated by the omission of the No. 8 and No. 9 rankings, instead lumping three teams in a tie at No. 10 and going on from there.

So, before we move into this week’s Playing for 90 Power Rankings, a reminder that the figure in parentheses after each club reflects the movement compared to the previous rankings.

1. América (+1)

Record: 8-1-2     25 points

The Aguilas swarmed all over the Chivas in Sunday’s “Super Clásico” and appear to have grasped the tactical strategies of Santiago Solari. Late acquisition Alvaro Fidalgo seems to have taken hold of the playmaker role in central midfield and he flashed some fancy footwork at Estadio Akron.

2. Cruz Azul (–1)

Record: 9-0-2     27 points

The Cementeros have settled into a comfort zone as their defense has jelled, while the offense is patient and opportunistic. “La Máquina Celeste” has a favorable schedule from here on out with only one of its remaining six games away from Estadio Azteca.