In resounding fashion, the LA Galaxy dropped their first points at home this season as NYCFC cruise comfortably to a 2-0 victory.
The Galaxy started the first half on the wrong foot as NYCFC controlled possession. They were chasing ghosts.
The away side created majority of the chances early on and they could have been up 1-0 as Giancarlo Gonzalez made a key block on Maxi Moralez.
NYC chipped away and finally got the goal they needed as keeper David Bingham saved a Moralez shot which Heber slotted home from six yards out.
Things went from bad to worse for the LA Galaxy as Uriel Antuna was called for a handball after a VAR ruling. Moralez slotted home the ensuing penalty passed Bingham to make it 2-0 at the stroke of half-time.
The Galaxy started the second half better than they did the first. Emmanuel Boateng brought them the width they needed, but they still weren’t creating chances. Antuna got into good positions, but couldn’t put clean shots on target.
The home side didn’t register a shot on target until the 80th minute as Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw keeper Sean Johnson off of his line and attempted a shot in which Alexander Callens blocked.
Ibra would get another chance as he chipped Johnson but it hit the crossbar. Pontius failed to put away the ensuing rebound.
The score would remain the same at full-time.
For the LA Galaxy, they’ve played three games in seven days, which would be tough for any team but Galaxy manager Guillermo Barros Schelotto got his tactics wrong.
At the start of the match, GBS deployed a back three with Giancarlo Gonzalez, Diego Polenta, and Steres as the centerbacks and Diedie Traore and Julian Araujo as the wingbacks to provide the width.
The problem is, a back three works when you control possession, which the Galaxy didn’t have.
NYCFC controlled the run of play which meant Traore and Araujo were pinned in their own half which turned it into a back five with the away side controlling the flanks.
With the absence of Jonathan dos Santos, there was no outlet from which the team could spring from defense to attack.
Schelotto made the change to a back four with Boateng coming on, Traore coming off, and Gonzalez moving to left back. This change had an impact at the start of the second half, but NYCFC adjusted accordingly.
For the LA Galaxy, they dropped crucial points in their quest to keep pace with western conference leaders and crosstown rivals LAFC. They will look to write their wrongs when they play Colorado Rapids on Sunday May 19.
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