Three Points: LA Galaxy return to winning ways with SuperClasico victory
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano’s Three Points to LA’s 1-0 SuperClasico victory over Chivas USA. The win snaps the Galaxy’s four-game winless streak and extends Chivas’ winless run to ten games.
WATCH: Zardes' game-winning goal
THE ZARDES SHOW
Gyasi Zardes has put together a few uneven performances in his last several starts, but the 21-year-old forward was electrifying in 86 minutes of work during LA’s 1-0 victory over the Rojiblancos.
Dynamic from the start, Zardes put the Galaxy on top in the 44th minute when he nodded a Landon Donovan free kick off the post and past Dan Kennedy for the game-winning goal. Had his finishing been a little cleaner, Zardes may have scored many more times after racking up eight shots on the night—which was exactly half of his team’s total on the night and two more than the entire Chivas USA squad.
The match was as complete a performance as we’ve seen from Zardes all season as the forward was able to not only use his speed to beat players off the dribble, but also make intelligent off the ball runs to find space for himself and his teammates. If Zardes can begin to string together these types of showings then it may signal the end of LA’s recent offensive woes.
THE GANG IS BACK TOGETHER IN DEFENSE
The return of the LA Galaxy’s classic back four paid off on Sunday as LA earned their sixth shutout of the season and second in two matches.
With Omar Gonzalez rejoining his usual defensive partners of Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza and Todd Dunivant, LA were solid in the back as goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini needed to make only one save on the night—a diving stop on a volley by Jose Manuel Rivera in the 20th minute of play. The match was the back four’s first appearance together since LA’s defeat at the hands of the New York Red Bulls on May 19. Cudicini’s limited number of saves didn’t mean that LA wasn’t tested, however, as LA needed its defenders to snuff out a late run by Chivas.
Not only did the Galaxy keep a clean sheet, but their passing was particularly crisp as the team held an 86.2% passing accuracy throughout the match as a controlled possession in their SuperClasico win.
SCORE FIRST AND WIN THE GAME
If the LA Galaxy scores first, they’ll usually win. That statement has been true throughout the 2013 MLS Regular Season and once again held up on Sunday.
With the victory over Chivas USA, the Galaxy snapped their four-game winless streak in all competitions, but extended their record when scoring first to 7-0-3. Taking this rule into account, the Galaxy began the match in an offensive posture, but struggled to break down an organized Chivas defense until Zardes broke through just a minute before halftime.
When LA concede first, they are a winless 0-6-0 this season.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com