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Liga MX Power Rankings: Cruz Azul stays top, Chivas continues to rise

MEXICO CITY -- Last week's flutter of activity in Mexican first-division soccer ended with very different results for two of the league's title candidates. Cruz Azul retained its undefeated status through a slate of tough games, while Club America was unable to pull off a single win from their three matches.

Chivas, however, benefitted greatly from the condensed schedule. A week ago, they were mired near the bottom of the league table with just one point. Today, goal difference is the only thing keeping them out of postseason position. At the other end of the spectrum, an embarrassing 2-2 draw to nine-man Club America on Saturday at the Estadio Azteca left Pumas fans disheartened after a great start has dissipated.

Here are the Power Rankings after week 7:

1. CRUZ AZUL

Record: 5W-2D-0L
Week 6 ranking: 1

A 1-0 win at home against Toluca was coupled with an exciting 1-1 draw against Santos Laguna on Sunday that saw the Azules face their toughest challenges yet. Through seven games, Pedro Caixinha's club has yet to lose, fomenting hopes that the team can make a deep postseason run in their return to the Estadio Azteca.

2. SANTOS LAGUNA

Record: 4W-2D-1L
Week 6 ranking: 6

Despite grabbing just five of nine points from their week of games against Tigres, Tijuana and Cruz Azul respectively, Santos has positioned itself near the podium of the Apertura table, trailing only Monterrey and Cruz Azul after seven weeks. Jonathan Rodriguez and Julio Furch have combined for eight goals, the league's best scoring tandem thus far.

3. MONTERREY

Record: 5W-1D-1L
Week 6 ranking: 4

The impressive debut season with Diego Alonso at the helm has resulted in five wins through the first seven matches. On Saturday, faced with a tough visitor in Morelia, the Rayados took a strong 2-0 lead through the first half. However, the home team bequeathed possession (Morelia handled 62 percent of the ball) and the lead, settling for a draw.

4. CLUB AMERICA

Record: 3W-2D-2L
Week 6 ranking: 3

Late in the derby match against Pumas on Saturday, there were plenty of reasons to think Club America was approaching a freefall following two straight matches without a win. Down 2-1 with nine men on the pitch, Miguel Herrera's team somehow rescued a draw via Henry Martin's stoppage-time header. Sunday's game against Lobos BUAP should be a great opportunity to get back on track.

5. MORELIA

Record: 3W-3D-1L
Week 6 ranking: 7

Despite winning just one of their three matches this week, Morelia sits fourth in Liga MX and just five points off the pace. On paper, their roster looked mid-table at best, but a strong showing thus far makes the case they could go far in the liguilla.

6. QUERETARO

Record: 3W-2D-2L
Week 6 ranking: 10

One of the big risers this week, Rafa Puente Jr.'s team picked up seven out of nine possible points against Club America, Pumas and Lobos BUAP, moving into postseason position after a disappointing start. Friday's upcoming match against Morelia now looks like one of the more watchable games of the weekend.

7. PUMAS UNAM

Record: 3W-2D-2L
Week 6 ranking: 5

Dread has overpowered the Pumas faithful after a rough week capped off by a choke job against their biggest rivals. At the Estadio Azteca, coach David Patino dropped his players back despite having a two-man advantage and a one-goal lead in enemy territory. The result? A late-game collapse that prompted many fans to call for the manager to be removed.

8. CHIVAS

Record: 3W-1D-3L
Week 6 ranking: 13

Nine out of nine. Sure, they beat Atlas, Necaxa and Veracruz, but Jose Cardozo's team still had to go on the road twice and win against teams playing as bad as they were a week ago. Chivas has a ways to go, but the strong stretch of play has some thinking they can sneak into the playoffs.

9. TOLUCA

Record: 3W-1D-3L
Week 6 ranking: 2

Following their 3-0 destruction of Tijuana on Sunday, the Red Devils fell off sharply, losing twice to Cruz Azul and then to Leon at home. It was a disastrous stretch that saw them go down in both the league table and the power rankings.

10. UANL TIGRES

Record: 3W-1D-3L
Week 6 ranking: 8

A 4-0 win against Veracruz on Wednesday seemed to steer the Monterrey side back on track after a string of negative results. However, the 1-1 draw last weekend against Necaxa exposed some of the issues the team has been struggling with all season: Despite the glut of talented attackers, finishing is still a problem.

11. PACHUCA

Record: 2W-2D-3L
Week 6 ranking: 12

The talented corps of young offensive players at Pachuca is starting to catch up to the strong defensive work the back line has been producing all season. Despite allowing just six goals in seven games, Pachuca sits 12th in the league, though it has not lost in its past four matches.

12. LEON

Record: 3W-1D-3L
Week 6 ranking: 14

Two wins in the past three matches have since pushed Leon back into the mix of the playoff conversation with 10 points overall. Their next two games, against Pumas and Santos, will tell us a lot more about whether this team is a pretender or a contender.

13. NECAXA

Record: 2W-2D-3L
Week 6 ranking: 9

The Aguascalientes side has shown us both massive heights and dreadful lows this season, none more apparent than their past two results: a pale 1-0 loss against Chivas followed directly by a heroic 1-1 draw against Tigres where, frankly, they deserved to win.

14. VERACRUZ

Record: 2W-1D-4L
Week 6 ranking: 16

Their 1-0 win against Tijuana on Saturday provided an instant morale boost following a 4-0 thrashing against Tigres just days before. Although their new coach Juvenal Olmos has not yet taken over for the departed Memo Vazquez, the team has seemingly responded well to the change on the pitch.

15. CLUB TIJUANA

Record: 1W-3D-3L
Week 6 ranking: 11

There are rumblings that coach Diego Cocca will not be at the club much longer. Tijuana has been one of Liga MX's most undisciplined teams this season, coupled with one of its weakest defensive units. Combining the two has meant just six points through the first seven weeks of the season.

16. PUEBLA

Record: 2W-1D-4L
Week 6 ranking: 15

Puebla's lofty ideals in terms of strategy on the pitch requires better quality players. They simply commit too many defensive mistakes to justify pressing so high on the pitch. On Saturday, Pachuca made them pay dearly, with a 2-0 result that could have easily been much worse.

17. LOBOS BUAP

Record: 1W-1D-5L
Week 5 ranking: 17

In their past 24 league matches, Lobos has salvaged just 13 points. Through seven games this season, it boasts Mexico's second-worst offense, with just four goals scored.

18. ATLAS

Record: 0W-2D-5L
Week 6 ranking: 18

It has now been 129 days since Atlas won a Liga MX game or scored a goal. To cope with the drought, the team signed ... Nicolas Parejo, a central defender.