Liga MX's Week 10 is now in the books! The latest round of matches saw unified demonstrations for peace, a revitalization for this season's current top goalscorer, another noteworthy result for new league-leaders Pachuca, and much more.
In case you missed any of the action, here are three talking points and some additional observations from Week 10 of the 2022 Clausura tournament.
- Hernandez, Gomez: Liga MX violence - what happened, what has changed?
Liga MX shows unity after fan violence
Beginning with Necaxa's match against Queretaro, which was held behind closed doors last Friday, all nine Liga MX fixtures from Week 10 featured a break in play and huddle with players and referees during the 63rd minute -- the minute when fan altercations escalated during a game between Queretaro and Atlas on March 5, that left 26 injured.
Mensaje por la paz— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) March 12, 2022
Minuto 62. Se detiene el partido y los jugadores se reúnen en el centro de la cancha
📲🔴 ¡En vivo! https://t.co/G8KnnR4D4S
📺 TUDN #FutbolSinColores | #UnidosSomosMasFuertes pic.twitter.com/h5Q7cE3GKh
In the first game since the violence broke out, a much-needed moment of positivity quickly arrived in the 10th minute of Necaxa vs Queretaro. Heriberto Jurado, 17, who made his Liga MX debut last October when he was just 16, scored the lone goal and game-winner in the 1-0 win for Necaxa.
Before FC Juarez played Atlas in the second match of Week 10, doves were released in a display of peace. Some of the birds didn't get the memo that a game was about to kick off, leading Atlas' Julian Quinones to gently carry one off the field. Soon afterwards, it was Quinones who would go on to take flight. A goal from long range and an assist from the 24-year-old Colombian helped Atlas to a 2-1 away win.
On Saturday, during the main event of the weekend and in the biggest game of the Liga MX regular season, both Chivas and Club America teamed up to stage a "Clasico Sin Colores" (Clasico Without Colors). Although the bitter rivals would go on to underwhelm in a 0-0 Clasico Nacional draw, the true victory of the night was the image of countless supporters who arrived in white, instead of their usual team colors, as a sign of peace.
Pachuca in first, Puebla second after undefeated run ends
After sitting in the shadow of Puebla's fairy tale run, Pachuca stole the spotlight as the new leaders of the Liga MX table. A 3-0 away win over Toluca, which featured two assists from Fernando Navarro, pushed Los Tuzos up to first place with 22 points.
Under the new leadership of Guillermo Almada starting late last year, Pachuca is playing attractive and attack-minded soccer. No team has outscored them so far this season, and most notably, Almada isn't afraid to utilize young options. The 23-year-old Kevin Alvarez, 20-year-old Daniel Aceves, and 22-year-old Erick Gutierrez were all in the latest XI, while 22-year-old Roberto de la Rosa was brought off the bench.
As Almada put it in his post-game press conference, there are budding talents within his squad that are "dreaming and evolving." Sanchez, who provided an assist for the first goal, was one of the more impressive names for Pachuca in the victory.
As for Puebla, it was only a matter of time before their undefeated streak came to an end. After defying all odds with six wins and three draws in their first nine Liga MX games of 2022, the "Larcaboys" (named after manager Nicolas Larcamon) lost in dramatic fashion after allowing a 96th minute game-winner for San Luis. The goal resulted in a 2-1 loss for Puebla and a move down to second place.
Gignac turns back clock with scoring run
Nevermind the fact that he's now 36 years old, France striker Andre-Pierre Gignac remains king in Liga MX when it comes to scoring. He needed some help with a mistake from Leon goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota, but after finding the back of the net with a clever little strike in last Saturday's 3-0 away win, Gignac now has eight goals in his last seven appearances.
At the moment, no top-flight player in Mexico has scored more often than the former Marseille star, who is averaging a goal every 98.75 minutes this season. With Juan Pablo Vigon, Luis Quinones and fellow Frenchman Florian Thauvin chipping in on the attack in recent games, all signs point to Tigres becoming one of the favorites for the Liga MX title once the playoffs roll around.
With 20 points in hand, Tigres are in third, just one point behind Puebla, and two points behind Pachuca.
- Monterrey claimed consecutive victories for the first time this season after defeating Mazatlan 2-1, Santos Laguna demolished Club Tijuana with a 4-0 win at home, and Cruz Azul claimed a 2-1 victory against Pumas thanks to this Puskas Award-esque goal from Juan Escobar.
- The second legs of the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal round return this week. Leon and Pumas, both down 3-0 after trips to Seattle and New England, respectively, need to have multi-goal comebacks at home. Cruz Azul, with a 1-0 win in their first leg over CF Montreal in the Estadio Azteca, appears to have the best chance from the Liga MX clubs when they visit Canada this week for the next leg.