Following a short winter break, Liga MX resumed play last week with the start of the 2022 Clausura season. There's plenty to cover from Jornada 1, and in case you missed anything from the first few days of the new Liga MX tournament, here are three big talking points from the weekend.
Chivas make early statement with dominant win
The winter transfer market has been a fairly dull one for Chivas. Appearing to be in need of reinforcements after an underwhelming spot at 10th in the table last season, they've instead shed more talent than they've added. Roberto Alvarado, who joined from Cruz Azul following a swap for Uriel Antuna Alejandro Mayorga, remains as their only major signing who could dive straight into the XI.
And yet, during Week 1, it was Los Rojiblancos who earned the most impressive result. Thanks to a blistering six-minute run before halftime in which all of their goals were scored, Chivas secured a 3-0 win at home against Mazatlan.
A couple of those chances late into the first half were golazos as well. Moments after 21-year-old Alan Torres had an mesmerizing chip from outside of the box in the 47th minute, teammate Alexis Vega collected a highlight of his own with a beautiful freekick goal.
😎 ¡SEÑOR GOLAZO!— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) January 10, 2022
💣 Imperdible el remate de 3 dedos de @LaloTorres_56... ¡A lo grande! 👏
🔥 ¡Lo gana @Chivas!
Síguelo EN VIVO por 📺 @Telemundo y nuestra 📱 APP Telemundo Deportes ➡️ https://t.co/Z3doIf1DMv#ChivasEnTelemundo pic.twitter.com/5A3LZ4AdSr
👊 ¡DÓNDE LA PUSO ALEXIS! ⚽— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) January 10, 2022
El delantero @Alexis_Vega9 se tomó confianza y marcó de tiro libre para el tercero de @Chivas 🐐
Síguelo EN VIVO por 📺 @Telemundo y nuestra 📱 APP Telemundo Deportes ➡️ https://t.co/Z3doIf1DMv#ChivasEnTelemundo pic.twitter.com/J9FvfdYtKq
If Vega and Tores can maintain this form, and if someone like Alvarado is able to quickly adapt to his new surroundings in a supporting role, Chivas could become a dangerous side to face.
America already with immediate problems
Although Club America needed just 10 seconds to get their first goal of the season, things quickly unraveled for the Mexico City giants during last Friday's match against Puebla. Following a yellow card for winger Roger Martinez, manager Santiago Solari made the bizarre decision to rush onto the field and argue with referee Oscar Mejia Garcia, who showed him a direct red in the 32nd minute.
😱🟥🔥 ¡Expulsado Santiago Solari! Entra a la cancha muy enojado a reclamarle al árbitro y le muestran la roja— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) January 8, 2022
🔴 EN VIVO
📺 TUDN#TuClausura2022 I #GritaMéxicoC22 pic.twitter.com/l7BGqPZY0H
By the 36th, Martinez earned a second yellow, thereby being shown a red as well in the first half. With a man advantage, Puebla bounced back with an equalizer and were unlucky to not earn a second goal in the eventual 1-1 result.
Perceived as being level-headed and almost too cautious with his style of play, Solari's unexpected outburst was a perplexing one. By Saturday morning, most of Mexico's sports papers had the incident as front page news.
In a club with lofty expectations, moments like these won't do much to help the former Real Madrid manager that will be expected to fight for a Liga MX title this season.
High profile newcomers carry Cruz Azul
Cruz Azul took a gamble on their roster this winter. With a long list of changes and additions that will only continue to grow before the end of the transfer window closing, it was difficult to know what to expect from them in Week 1.
Fortunately, some of their marquee signings needed little time to adjust. Mexico internationals Erik Lira, Carlos "Charly" Rodriguez and the aforementioned Antuna were all impactful in their debut for the team during Saturday's 2-0 win over Club Tijuana. Rodriguez, who had a goal in the 43rd minute, was especially noteworthy with his workrate and distribution in the final third.
All that said, it was Cruz Azul veteran Rafael Baca who stole the show with his long-range goal that was arguably the best of the Liga MX weekend. Criticized in the past by fans who have questioned his lack of influence on the pitch, the strike from the 32-year-old former San Jose Earthquakes player will do plenty to silence his doubters.
¡Goooooooooool de @cruzazul! 😎— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) January 9, 2022
Golaaaaaaazo espectacular de Rafa Baca que le pega con todo para vencer a Jona. 🔥
🚂 2-0 🐶#TuClausura2022 | #SábadoFutbolero | #CruzAzul | #PerroAmor
🔴 ¡EN VIVO!
📺 TUDN y @univision
📲👉 https://t.co/IVpiFf4cTx pic.twitter.com/rfQ0FKQt08
Additional Liga MX notes
Jornada 1 matchups continue Monday with Pumas vs Toluca, as well a Wednesday clash between Santos Laguna and Tigres, which was delayed due to a high number of positive COVID cases within the Monterrey club's roster last week.
And finally, we'll have to end the wrapup with an award for the odd moment of the Liga MX weekend, which will be given to Spiderman -- with a Chivas jersey -- in attendance at the Estadio Akron.