Monterrey leads table-topping trio after 3-0 drubbing of Pumas

Also sitting on 22 points, Cruz Azul and Pachuca share Liga MX spotlight

Monterrey's Brandon Vazquez scored in minute 52 to kick-start the Rayados' second-half offensive explosion in their Liga MX match against UNAM. Monterrey defeated the Pumas 3-0.
Monterrey's Brandon Vazquez scored in minute 52 to kick-start the Rayados' second-half offensive explosion in their Liga MX match against UNAM. Monterrey defeated the Pumas 3-0. / Jam Media/GettyImages

Liga MX pace-setters Monterrey, Cruz Azul and Pachuca won this weekend, all three clumped together at 22 points and with the Rayados on top of the table with an impressive +13 goal differential.

The Northern giants roughed up UNAM 3-0 on Sunday with Brandon Vázquez opening the scoring in minute 52. Sergio Canales knocked home his team-leading 5th goal a half-hour later and Gerardo Arteaga completed the rout in minute 89, his first goal since returning to Liga MX this season.

A day earlier, Cruz Azul was a mirror image of Monterrey, recording all three of its goals in the first half in its 3-0 pummeling of Guadalajara. Lorenzo Faravelli slotted home in minute 7, opening his Liga MX account after joining the Cementeros from Ecuadors’ Independiente. Former Chivas winger Uriel Antuna – booed throughout the night by the vociferous Guadalajara contingent in the stands – supplied a brace (27’ and 33’) and that was that.

In Pachuca, the Tuzos scored three times in a 9-minute stretch on Saturday to overturn a 1-0 deficit in a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the winless Bravos of FC Juárez. Erick Sánchez (73’), Nelson Deossa (75’) and Salomón Rondón (82’) were the heroes for Pachuca, the highest-scoring team in Liga MX (24 goals in 10 games).

Champs serve notice they won’t give up crown without a fight

Also Saturday, holders América announced its intention to defend the title, crushing 10-man Atlas 5-1 to move to 21 points. The host Zorros scored first and goalie Camilo Vargas blocked a Henry Martín penalty shot in minute 17, but then the bottom fell out.

Former Atlas star Julián Quiñones started the fight-back for the fourth-place Aguilas while Martín and Alex Zendejas contributed a brace each. 

Liga MX, Julian Quiñones, America
Julián Quiñones begs pardon from Atlas fans after scoring for América at Estadio Jalisco on Saturday. Quiñones helped the Zorros win two Liga MX titles before joining América last season. / Jam Media/GettyImages

In the Saturday matinee, Toluca kept its perfect home record (5-0-0) with a testy 2-1 triumph over Tigres, the game-winner coming from the penalty spot off the foot of Diablos Rojos goalie Tiago Volpi. The Brazilian netminder is now 11-for-11 in PKs for Toluca.

With this result, the Diablos Rojos (19 points) leap-frogged “los felinos” (18) into fifth place.

Elsewhere in Liga MX

Late Sunday, Tijuana profited from a stoppage-time penalty to salvage a home draw against León. The Xolos are still winless, however, so manager Miguel Herrera's job is not secure.

For their part, the Esmeraldas continue to sputter, and dropping points so late in a match is painful. Making it doubly so, José Alvarado muffed a chance to snatch a winner in minute 90+12, hitting goalie Antonio Rodríguez in the gloves with his shot.

Federico Viñas put "La Fiera" ahead just before the hour mark, banging a shot home with his trusty left boot, his team-leading fifth goal this season.

Matchday 10 kicked off Friday night with a triple-header that was all about streak-busting.

Mazatlán FC handed visiting Necaxa its first loss of the season, taking advantage of a first-half red card that allowed the Cañoneros to dominate possession (75% on the night). After finishing last season at the bottom of the Liga MX standings, the Rayos opened the Clausura 2024 with a 3-6-0 record before losing 2-1 at El Encanto.

Next. Barça lose Frenkie de Jong and Pedri. Barça lose Frenkie de Jong and Pedri. dark

Earlier Friday, Atlético de San Luis ended its seven-game winless streak with an easy 4-0 victory over last-place Puebla, while Santos Laguna earned its second consecutive win at Querétaro, stopping the Gallos Blancos' four-game unbeaten run.