Well, that stinks. After running the LA Galaxy off the field in the first half, having Carlos Vela score a brilliant goal for the first goal in El Trafico history, it all came apart in the second half, and LAFC got Zlatan’d, going from a 3-0 lead at the 60-minute mark to a 4-3 loss.
The reaction from the team and the manager are about what you’d expect, disappointed but convinced the team would learn from this moment.
“The most important thing for us is that there are moments in football games where as a group you have to be resilient,” LAFC head coach Bob Bradley said after the game. “The first two games went our way. 3-0 – things seemed to be going our way, we lost the ball and then at that moment we needed to find our way back to playing football the way we can and obviously momentum and some incredible moments by Ibra and so we end up in the back end but we’ll learn.
“It’s going to be important for us. This day is going to go a long way towards making us a really good team.”
When asked if Ibrahimovic was the reason for the result flipping, LAFC midfielder Benny Feilhaber pointed to himself.
“That is not true. We were doing very well until I lost the ball in the middle of midfield. Zlatan [Ibrahimović] came on when it was already 3-1, the game had changed so we know what kind of player he is. He’s a very special player and he showed it today but my mistake in the middle is what changed the game today.”
Feilhaber is referring to the first goal the Galaxy scored, when he was tackled in the middle of the field which led to the first LA Galaxy goal by Sebastien Lletget. It’s true this was a mistake, but Feilhaber was far from the only culprit for the collapse in the second half.
What can be learned from such a collapse?
“One big thing is we really changed the way we played, I think in the last 30 minutes we were a little bit more tentative we weren’t playing through the middle of the field,” Feilhaber said. “We weren’t creating as many opportunities on the counter attack as were in the first half. Like I said the fact that I lose a ball in the midfield and we give them a gift of a goal. We gave them life and it took away a little of our confidence and I think and our willingness to play so we have to make sure in any game that that happens, because that can’t happen again, we can’t allow ourselves to change the way we play because we know we can be very good when we play our style.”
Carlos Vela, who had a terrific performance that ended up being overshadowed by Zlatan and the result, noted the loss has to be taken as a learning opportunity.
“We are taking this and learning from this. Being a new team, we learn from tough games and I think today is one of those games.
“I think when you’re winning everything is great but then you don’t value it, you don’t work hard on what you don’t see, you just focus on the result. Today is going to be a good day to look back at and see what we have to improve on because we are a new team and we have to remember that we are still building the team and we have a lot to improve.”
Vela was also asked about his performance in the game: “I thought I had a great start trying to help the team out by scoring goals and creating chances but what is important is the result. When you don’t win I can’t say that I am going home happy.”
The reaction is what you would like to hear from the team, they are disappointed at the result, but convinced that this will be a learning experience from them. That their first defeat came to the LA Galaxy hurts a lot, but in the end it is still just one loss. And with Atlanta United around the corner, LAFC don’t have time to dwell on this loss.
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