Takeaways From Liga MX Apertura Week 8 Play
Photo Courtesy of the Official Liga MX Facebook Page
After having been off last weekend due to the slate of national team games that were played during the FIFA designated calender, the Liga MX Apertura 2014 season returned this past weekend with the hopes of potential excitement with a few intriguing games on the slate in Week 8 play. It all began on Friday when the one and only Ronaldinho finally was officially introduced to the Mexican public as a new player for Queretaro. After that initial burst of excitement of a star player being introduced, it was a weekend which was rather weak as 6 of the 8 games that were played to the full 90 minutes finished in draws while the other game scheduled for the weekend only lasted 12 minutes. Even with so little to takeaway from as a whole from the entire weekend, there are a few things which we can highlight as the main takeaways from this past weekend’s action:
Putting Of Players Safety In Risk
Scheduled for Saturday early evening was Monterrey vs. Chivas in a game of much intrigue for a number of different reasons. Yet for those of us who turned on the TV to watch the game what we saw was a flooded field in several areas and a a field that clearly was unplayable. Yet because of incompetence from either the referee Miguel Angel Reyna or his bosses in the league office and on-site allowed this game to start. Yet after 12 minutes in and an unnecessary injury to Monterrey defender Hiram Mier who on Monday was diagnosed with a torn meniscus and will miss the next 4-6 weeks (this is better than what I feared) the match was finally suspended. Frankly the fact it took an injury to a player to have this game suspended was ridiculous and a failure on the part of a number of individuals who put the safety and health of the players at risk.
Controversial Player Losses His Cool…Again
Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jesus Corona has been known to let his temper on the field of play over the years. Lately he is known for being a player who fainted a neck injury in order to not be called into national team duty because he is still hurt Mexico coach Miguel Herrera chose Guillermo Ochoa as his starting goalkeeper during the World Cup. Corona once again made the headlines for the wrong reason as after Cruz Azul lost 2-1 to Toluca on Saturday, Corona once again let his temper get the better of him as he got himself red carded, after the game for saying the wrong words to the referee. It’s clear Corona has not and will never learn to keep a lid on his emotions, even if he is in the wrong, which is usually the case.
Reigning Champions Lacking Discipline
The bad Apertura 2014 season for Leon continued on Friday night as they lost 2-0 to Santos Laguna away from home. The loss in itself is not something that would make one bat an eye given that they did lose to a tough team at their home ground. What is standing out and stood out about Leon and their play on Friday and in previous game is the fact that a team who was very well disciplined in the past this season has been anything but as once again they saw a player red carded. There are a number of reasons to explain why Leon have not played well this Apertura 2014 season but the fact they have been so undisciplined certainly plays a role into their struggles.
Improved Defensive Play Is Noticeable
Speaking of the team that defeated Leon on Friday night, Santos Laguna moved into third in the league standings with 15 points thanks to their win. The fact that Santos looked as solid as it did on Friday night is a common theme from them so far this Apertura season and this is especially true of their play on defense. Despite having made it to the semifinals of the Clausura 2014 playoffs, Santos Laguna gave up the most goals of any team during the Clausura 2014 season and there was no way they could expect the same run this Apertura 2014 season. Whether it be because the young defenders are better as individual players, improved defensive play from the midfield, Santos Laguna have only conceded 5 goals through 8 games. This vast improvement in defense will certainly make Santos Laguna a bigger threat later on in the season and into the playoffs.
Lucas Carreras is a contributing Liga MX and Mexican National Team writer for Stoppage Time Soccer. You can follow Lucas on Twitter by following him @maldini3fan