Busy international schedules are taking a toll on Liga MX title favorites and Matchday 8 results demonstrate this will not be your ordinary season. Well, except for América playing with ruthless efficiency, that is.
The Aguilas are threatening to run away with the regular-season title as Santiago Solari’s men are the lone undefeated team remaining after Monterrey and Santos Laguna suffered upsets. The Rayados and Guerreros lost while resting key players who were active during the international break and both have midweek contests that will add to the fatigue building up.
At the other end of the spectrum, Querétaro, Tijuana and FC Juárez removed the “0” from their respective win columns, while erstwhile Big 4 members Guadalajara and UNAM put on a depressing show at the Estadio CU on Sunday that suggests neither team is truly a contender.
Nonetheless, there were a pair of thrilling 2-2 draws and a couple golazos to mention before we turn our attention to the Concacaf Champions League semifinals, the Leagues Cup semifinals and next week’s “Clásico Regiomontano.”
América is class of Liga MX
With the Apertura 2021 only at the midway point of its schedule, “Los AzulCremas” appear to be a sure-fire finalist. Despite having four players on duty with El Tri during the just-completed FIFA break, América’s depth allowed coach Solari to select a potent line-up that steam-rolled Mazatlán FC without really breaking a sweat.
Nico Benedetti was only recently added to the club’s official roster (after the front office backed out of a trade deal with Mazatlán) and he contributed mightily in his first start (and first appearance) of the season. “El Poeta” delivered a nifty assist to open the scoring in minute 28 (Álvaro Fidalgo was the beneficiary) and the Aguilas coasted to a 2-0 win, improving their record to 6-2-0 (and a Liga MX-best +9 goal differential).
América’s 20 points is 5 points clear of second place León and a win next week at Toluca would practically assure the Mexico City powerhouse of a playoff spot since two of last year’s wildcard qualifiers had fewer than 23 points.