Well, that one stung. LAFC was riding high coming in against a Galaxy team that seemed to be reeling.
But the Fighting Zlatans came out on top in this game, 3-2. Here are some very early reactions describing how things stood out in the game.
LAFC’s attackers struggled to create chances
LAFC scored first again in this matchup, Carlos Vela winning and then converting a penalty in just the 4th minute of the game. But after that, LAFC were shut down for much of the game.
Vela was corralled on the right, either closed down or fouled by Galaxy defenders and not able to influence play. He was able to score right at the end, but in between his two goals, Vela really struggled to impose himself on the match.
Diego Rossi was largely invisible in the first half, and beyond hitting the post and shooting just over the bar, was not able to do much in the second half either.
Adama Diomande was good in the match, able to maintain possession and drive through the heart of the Galaxy’s defense a few times. Unfortunately Dio was not able to find the net either.
Through a combination of good defense and off games from LAFC’s forwards, the vaunted LAFC attack was largely stymied in this game.
LAFC was sloppy with the ball
It was very uncharacteristic, and this was not just on the forwards. The entire team gave the ball away way too much. Whether they were trying to push attacks forward, or clear the ball from their own defensive area, LAFC frequently turned the ball over and the Galaxy punished them for it, especially on their second goal of the night.
The Galaxy’s plan worked very well
The Galaxy gave up a ton of shots and got crushed by their Northern California rivals the San Jose Earthquakes last week.
But in this game, they were able to limit LAFC’s shots, clogging the passing lanes, defending deep, and aggressively closing down whichever LAFC player had they ball.
This seemed to through many of the LAFC players off, and led to many of the aforementioned turnovers. On the other end, the Galaxy played well on the counter, and were frequently able to outmuscle the LAFC defenders on long balls and crosses played in up top.
This was a perfect storm for the Galaxy, and that storm blew LAFC off the field tonight.
Nguyen and El-Munir’s entrance briefly swung the game
After things were just not working in the second half, Bob Bradley made a double switch, bringing in Lee Nguyen and Mohamed El-Munir for Mark-Anthony Kaye and Jordan Harvey.
Nguyen was able to create some chances in midfield, and El-Munir’s runs from left back also drove the play forward.
LAFC finally looked like themselves, and they created some good opportunities.
But then Diego Rossi hit the post on a good chance, and the Galaxy scored on the other end to make it 3-1, and that was that. Speaking of which...
That guy again. He really shows up in the big games. And those goals he scored weren’t exactly tap-ins either.
LAFC have a chance for revenge next month at home. Let’s hope that game goes better than this one.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!