Leon stays top of Liga MX Power Rankings, Pumas keep climbing
It was an odd Week 3 in Liga MX as four games finished with scoreless draws and three games finished with 3-1 final scores. Clubs like Puebla, Pumas and Santos have had impressive starts to the Clausura, but will they able to build on them over the coming weeks?
Here are the Power Rankings for Week 3:
1. LEON (no change)
After the scoreless draw against Cruz Azul in Mexico City, manager Gustavo Diaz noted that his team created enough chances in the first half to take the lead but couldn't do it. Luis "Chapito" Montes was Leon's best player after producing five key passes.
2. CLUB AMERICA (no change)
Cecilio Dominguez's inclusion in the starting XI gave a little more spark to America's attack and while Renato Ibarra started off in excellent fashion during Sunday's Clasico Capitalino, but their contributions weren't good enough to escape from Ciudad Universitaria with a win.
3. TIGRES UANL (no change)
Although Tigres took five shots on target, they were unable to score against Queretaro. The final result was 0-0 and now their three next games will be against Pachuca, Pumas and America. All three opponents will be a good chance to measure where Tigres stand at the start of the new season.
4. PUMAS UNAM (+3)
Nicolas Castillo didn't have an easy match against America; he had to battle every ball to get a good look on goal but still managed to hit the crossbar once with a furious header. Pumas have a distinct playing style, which is organized and lethal in open space.
5. CRUZ AZUL (-1)
Cruz Azul has only conceded one goal since starting the season but its first two home matches have ended with scoreless draws. Defensively, La Maquina is quickly catching Pedro Caixinha's ideas but offensively, players like Walter Montoya and Carlos Fierro have to be more decisive in the final third.
6. MONTERREY (-1)
Monterrey's pervasive penalty problem continues. Once again Aviles Hurtado missed a penalty and it was bad. The fans at Estadio BBVA Bancomer booed Hurtado after the miss, mainly because it could have been the winner in a match that finished 0-0 against Xolos.
7. SANTOS LAGUNA (+2)
Santos defeated Morelia 1-0 thanks to Djaniny Tavares's goal, his fifth of the Clausura. After the match, manager Roberto Siboldi highlighted the importance of Santos winning its first two home games of the season. The best seasons Santos has had in recent years are those when it wins almost all its home games.
8. CLUB TIJUANA (no change)
To start off the season with visits to Cruz Azul and Monterrey isn't an easy task but in both matches, Xolos finished with a 0-0 final score. Diego Cocca's team is the only team that has yet to concede a goal and captain Pablo Aguilar once again looked solid in the defensive end against Monterrey, completing 16 clearances.
9. PACHUCA (+1)
Keisuke Honda got two assists in Pachuca's 3-1 win over Lobos BUAP. Honda has yet to score this season but already picked up three assists. His contributions in Pachuca's XI become more noticeable with each passing day.
10. MORELIA (-4)
Overall, Morelia had a bad day in its visit to Santos and ended the game with one of the most strangest Liga MX debuts in recent memory. Ray Sandoval stepped onto the field in the 83th minute for Monarcas, and two minutes later was sent off after an ill-timed tackle.
11. PUEBLA (+2)
Puebla's start to the Clausura has been impressive because newcomers like Alejandro Chumacero have quickly adapted. Its 2-0 victory over Veracruz was simple but now comes a tough schedule with visits to Xolos and Leon, as well as a home game against Chivas in between. If Puebla is able to come out of those games with some victories, Los Camoteros could be the real deal.
12. CHIVAS (-1)
Guided by an inspired Rodolfo Pizarro, who was seemingly all over the field throughout the 90 minutes, Chivas got a 3-1 win over Necaxa. Striker Ronaldo Cisneros scored his first goal for Chivas in his first start, just like Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez once did.
13. TOLUCA (-1)
Toluca went to Atlas' Estadio Jalisco and offered a different look than what they'd shown in the opening weeks of the Clausura. Players like Luis Quinones and Rubens Sambueza scored goals, which left manager Hernan Cristante pleased.
14. QUERETARO (no change)
Against Tigres, Queretaro had zero shots on target, which reflects that Los Gallos still don't have an intimidating attack that will allow it to make a run at reaching the Liguilla.
15. NECAXA (+2)
Even though Necaxa lost to Chivas 3-1 and now has two defeats already this season, the team looked different. Against Chivas, Los Rayos took 21 shots, six of them on target. Next up for Ignacio Ambriz's team is a visit to Leon.
16. ATLAS (no change)
Although Ravel Morrison scored a goal in each of Atlas' last two games, Los Rojinegros lost both of them and now they're on the verge of restarting a new process with a new manager, who has yet to be announced.
17. LOBOS BUAP (-2)
In their visit to Pachuca, Lobos were lucky that their hosts didn't score more goals than the three that it put past Lucero Alvarez. Their daring style of play demands a lot of precision and at the moment, Lobos are committing a lot of turnovers away, which has led them to lose three games in a row.
18. VERACRUZ (no change)
If Veracruz continues to show the poor form it has shown so far in the Clausura, it could ultimately confirm its relegation before Week 10.
Nayib Moran covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @nayibmoran.