Title favorites Tigres and Monterrey are perched atop the Liga MX standings after three matches, shadowed by another northern power, Santos Laguna (in third place with a 2-0-1 record).
Tigres – the club with the biggest payroll in Liga MX – struggled to a 1-1 draw at lowly Tijuana, a bit of a surprise after two dominant performances.
Striker André Pierre Gignac scored for the third consecutive match as “Los felinos” moved to 2-1-0 on the season, good for first place.
In Monterrey, netting twice in the Rayados’ 3-1 win over Atlético de San Luis was Rogelio Funes Mori – top scorer in Liga MX with 4 goals. Víctor Manuel Vucetich’s men climbed to 6 points with the victory (2-0-1), its second straight since being stunned at home by the Chivas in the season opener.
Aguilas with clipped wings
Meanwhile, the other member of the league triumvirate – América – has stumbled out of the Clausura 2023 gate and remains winless, settling for three draws, a start that has them down in 12th place after Saturday’s 2-2 tie against visiting Puebla.
The Aguilas are still expected to challenge for the title, but as it has been eight seasons since they last hoisted a Liga MX trophy, the demanding fan base is already getting restless.
Another Mexico City team riling up its supporters is Cruz Azul. After claiming the preseason Copa por México, “La Máquina Azul” is playing like it is satisfied with that piece of hardware.
The Cementeros crashed to a 1-0 loss at modest Necaxa Saturday night and sit in 16th place (0-1-2), very reminiscent of last season’s disastrous start that found them just a step above the cellar. It will be interesting if they can turn things around again.
Sunday’s Liga MX calendar
Three games remain on the Matchday 3 calendar with the Pumas hosting León in the noontime matinée, followed by the always contentious Atlas at Querétaro match with Pachuca-FC Juárez serving as the nightcap.
The UNAM-León contest features two coaches trying to establish themselves with new teams.
Rafa Puente, Jr. is in charge of a young Pumas side looking to rely on its once-dynamic academy while also dealing with the loss of the legendary Dani Alves who was unceremoniously cut this past week after his arrest on sexual assault charges.
Nicolás Larcamón moves to León after a very successful stint at Puebla where he led the light-spending Camoteros to four straight playoff appearances.
The Querétaro-Atlas match marks the return of the Zorros to the scene of one of the most disgraceful incidents in Liga MX history. Rival fans brawled in the stands the last time these two teams met in Estadio Corregidora and the riot spilled onto the field forcing the stoppage of the game. Querétaro club and city authorities were heavily sanctioned for the episode, a one-year stadium ban was imposed and ownership is being forced to sell the club.
In Pachuca, the defending Liga MX champs face visiting FC Juárez while trying to figure out how to deal with the absence of leading scorer Nicolás Ibáñez whose sale to Tigres was completed last week.