This weekend provided a chance for Mexico – now employing its third national team manager in a fortnight – to return to normalcy. Concerns about El Tri slid down the pecking order as Liga MX and the top European leagues returned to the field. A distraction or two won't reduce the gravity of the situation ahead in October, but it does provide a nice reprieve for a beleaguered country in need of a respite from the difficulties of the recently concluded international window. Read on to learn more about Alfredo Talavera's star turn at the other end of the field and Villarreal's impressive result against Real Madrid in this week's look at Liga MX and Mexicans Abroad.
Another season of toil
Ajaccio enters most Ligue 1 matches with scant hopes of collecting three points. The perennial relegation contenders spurned a chance to take advantage of one of those rare opportunities – a home match with Evian – by conceding the first three goals in a 3-2 defeat. Memo Ochoa must wonder what he needs to do to lift the rest of his side onto his level and pull clear of the relegation scrap once and for all.
Madrid expected the surprise package of the La Liga campaign to cede the floor in Gareth Bale's debut. The match – even with Bale's debut goal – did not unfold according to plan. Mexican internationals Javier Aquino and Giovani dos Santos featured from the start in Villarreal's 2-2 draw with Madrid. Dos Santos even contributed the equalizer as the Yellow Submarine continued its assured return to the Spanish top flight.
Ghost from the past
Former manager Tomás Boy somehow managed to inspire Guadalajara's second side into the upper reaches of the table during the Clausura. Boy departed during the close season and Atlas inevitably returned to its usual level. Chiapas FC – a mid-table side in the Apertura, though not one of the league's stronger outfits – reinforced the steep decline by scoring three times inside the first 31 minutes en route to a 3-0 victory on Saturday.
Man of the moment
No one quite knew how this peculiar affair between Puebla and Toluca would end. Puebla scored on a bouncing free kick from Diego de Buen shortly before halftime. The referee retracted a penalty award for Toluca on the advice of his assistant early in the second half. It looked like the match would end there until fate intervened. Talavera stepped up in the 90th minute after Toluca received a second penalty award with a chance to equalize. The veteran number one thumped his penalty past Jorge Villalpando to hand the Red Devils a share of the spoils on a rainy afternoon at Estadio Cuauhtemoc.
To the rescue
It is too much to ask for Mexico's crisis club to pick up all three points at home against mid-table Club Tijuana. But should it require an 82nd-minute equalizer by Fabián to secure a late point against the Xolos? Probably not. At this stage of the proceedings, Chivas – now mired in 15th place in the table – cannot afford to quibble about the manner of the results, though. This mess needs fixing sooner rather than later. The only problem: there are no readily apparent solutions on the horizon.