Tijuana continues its excellent start as Tigres flop thanks to Sambueza golazo

Club Tijuana remains top of the league in the Liga MX 2017 Clausura, while Tiago Volpi shone for Queretaro and Morelia is now in deep relegation trouble.

Here's what you need to know from round five of matches:

1. Hurtado essential as Xolos stay top

A couple of weeks ago, Chivas coach Matias Almeyda labelled Club Tijuana forward Aviles Hurtado the best player in Liga MX, alongside Tigres striker Andre-Pierre Gignac.

In Xolos' 4-2 victory against Leon on Saturday, Hurtado gave credence to Almeyda's view. He was directly involved in three goals and turned the game when Tijuana was being outplayed.

Hurtado drew a foul from Osvaldo Rodriguez and then scored the resulting penalty in the 33rd minute to level the scores at 1-1 and change the match in the process. A few minutes later, the 29-year-old drew a foul from United States international William Yarbrough to win another spot kick and then followed up in the second half with an assist for Paul Arriola.

Still top of the league after five matches and aiming for a title, the key to stopping Tijuana is finding a way to keep Hurtado quiet, although that is proving easier said than done, as Leon found out.

Don't be surprised if Hurtado -- who could wear the Mexico shirt after he completes five years in the country next December -- is at the next World Cup with El Tri.

2. Champions Tigres upset by Sambueza golazo

The amount of attacking talent on the field for Tigres when the final whistle went inside Estadio Universitario was overwhelming, but the goals aren't coming for the Liga MX champions.

Saturday's 1-0 loss sees Tigres down in the bottom half of the table and while there is plenty of time for the side to click, there are questions to be asked about how coach Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti will harness his offensive options.

Toluca's organized play was a template for how to play against Tigres and get a result, with Rubens Sambueza's late free kick turning a good point into a very good three points.

The problem for Tigres is that other sides are bound to use the same tactic, especially in Estadio Universitario. When teams sit back and don't show too much attacking ambition, Tigres need to find a way around the defense and they aren't doing so this season.

Chile international Eduardo Vargas made his debut for Tigres Saturday off the bench, but will need time to adapt to Liga MX and his teammates. Thankfully for both him and Tigres, Liga MX's generous playoff system means his side will move into the Liguilla places with just a couple of back-to-back wins.

3. Is Volpi the best goalkeeper in Liga MX?

The two key storylines in Cruz Azul's 1-1 draw with Queretaro in Estadio Azul were La Maquina extending its run of winless games to six and Gallos Blancos managing to score their first goal of the Clausura after 433 minutes of play.

But this was once again Tiago Volpi's night. The Brazilian goalkeeper's shot-stopping for Queretaro was the main reason Cruz Azul -- who out-shot Queretaro 22 to five -- didn't take all three points on Saturday.

The fact the 26-year-old is shining is no surprise, but the regularity with which he is doing so begs the question of whether he is currently the best goalkeeper in Liga MX. Some would argue Alfredo Talavera, Agustin Marchesin, Rodolfo Cota or Nahuel Guzman are ahead, but Volpi has to be in the conversation.

And when people talk about players in Liga MX that could make an impact in Europe, Volpi should now be nearing the top of that list. Getting into the mix with the Brazil national team is obviously not easy, but Volpi may now be nearing the player pool.

The problem for Volpi at Queretaro is that those around him aren't up to the same standard at present. The midweek change of coach from Victor Manuel Vucetich to Jaime Lozano was risky. After all, if Liga MX legend Vucetich can't manage to get results, there may be deeper issues at Gallos Blancos than who is coach, like the quality of the squad in comparison to other clubs.

All that said, this was a valuable point for Queretaro on the road.

4. Morelia sinking in relegation race

Morelia's 2-0 loss to Club America on Saturday was expected and Las Aguilas put in their best performance of the Clausura, but concerns over Monarcas' future in Mexico's top division are now very real.

With Puebla picking up a point in its 1-1 draw Friday against Atlas and Veracruz defeating Chiapas -- also a relegation candidate -- 2-0, also Friday, Morelia is now five points adrift at the foot of Liga MX's relegation table. The side from the state of Michoacan has just two points from its last four games and has netted just twice over those matches.

Next weekend's trip to Chiapas will be another crucial one for Morelia, although the side isn't showing the necessary quality so far this Clausura to suggest it can stay in Liga MX.

5. Pumas, Santos fail to see out victories

Santos Laguna coach Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre returned to former club Chivas on Sunday and almost headed back to Torreon with a precious three points. A tap-in from Rodolfo Pizarro in the 93rd minute rescued a 1-1 draw for Chivas, who were playing against 10 players after Diego de Buen was sent off in the 76th minute.

The victory would've tasted sweet for De la Torre -- who was unceremoniously booted out of Chivas to make way for Matias Almedya 18 months ago -- though he can still be heartened by his team's display; the foundation for future success was evident, even if there is still work to do on the chemistry upfront.

Chivas gave their fans temporary joy via Pizarro's late equalizer, although the lack of goals at home may now be of some concern for Almeyda.

Over in Mexico City, Pachuca center-back Oscar Murillo lost Dario Veron for Pumas' opener in the 44th minute, but at least in part made up for it with an 86th-minute leveler as the teams drew 1-1 in the midday kickoff.

The Sunday results mean Toluca is second -- two points behind Xolos -- with Pumas on the same number of points in third. Santos Laguna is in fourth, three points off Xolos.