Three Points: LA Galaxy 3-1 victory over Chivas USA

Adam Serrano's three keys to the Galaxy's victory over in-stadium rivals

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Photo Credit: 
German Alegria/LA Galaxy

DONOVAN AND KEANE COMBO OVERWHELMS CHIVAS DEFENSE

Chivas USA entered the SuperClásico with one of finest defenses in MLS, but the Galaxy tandem of Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan ultimately proved too much for the Rojiblancos. Dangerous from the outset, the pair combined for what was ultimately the game-winning-goal when in 48th minute when Keane launched a pass through the Chivas defense to Donovan, who scored his first of two goals on the night.

The pair was unlucky not to get several more as they combined repeatedly in both halves to create dangerous opportunities that were either denied by the woodwork or Chivas’ Dan Kennedy. Although the pair amazed in this match, they will be unable to combine in next week’s game against FC Dallas as Donovan will be suspended due to yellow card accumulation.

GONZALEZ HELPS LA WITHSTAND LATE PRESSURE

Omar Gonzalez remains a ways away from full health, but on Saturday, he showed flashes of last year’s stellar form. With Chivas pressing for an equalizer late, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena brought on Gonzalez in the 68th minute in place of Hector Jimenez in a move that paid immediate dividends for LA. 

Teaming up with David Junior Lopes in central defense, Gonzalez marshaled the Galaxy back four to snuff out several forays forward for the Rojiblancos. With Gonzalez and the Galaxy defense limiting Chivas’ opportunities, the Galaxy would hit back, getting the third goal in the 78th minute of play. A goal that Gonzalez would play a role in as the defender headed it into the box, creating a scrum that ended with Donovan’s second goal of the night.  WATCH

GAUL SOLID IN PLACE OF DUNIVANT

With Todd Dunivant absent due to a right calf injury, rookie Bryan Gaul put in a solid performance on the left side of the Galaxy defense. Gaul has been a “Johnny on the Spot” of sorts for the Galaxy this season by playing a variety of positions along the backline, but in his eight appearance of the year, the rookie shined on the left flank.

Throughout the match, Gaul neutralized the left side of the Chivas attack, frequently preventing Chivas’ attackers Ryan Smith and Jose Erik Correa making an impact on the game. Gaul was also dangerous in the attack as showing a willingness to go forward and use his dangerous crossing ability to create chances—eventually ending the match with an assist for his role in the club’s third goal.

The rookie did have one nervy moment, however, as in the 52nd minute; he was beat out by Smith in a play that ultimately led to Chivas’ only goal of the contest.

Read Adam Serrano’s LA Galaxy Insider Blog at lagalaxy.com/insider