Still the Kings
By Blake Fogg
Recent Superclasicos have lacked the intensity a city rivalry should have and Sunday was no different. The L.A. Galaxy turned a must win game into a mid-afternoon stroll in a convincing 5-0 win against Chivas USA.
Coming off a controversial loss to the Portland Timbers that saw manager Bruce Arena banned for this match and four consecutive games without a win, the pressure of making the MLS playoffs was mounting.
“Today was as close to a must win as it can get,” Donovan said after the game.
But Chivas appeared to have no plans capitalizing on the vulnerability of their opponents and the Galaxy sensed this was a game that could easily put them back on track.
They put away any pressure they might have had with first half goals by Robbie Keane, Gvasi Zradrdes and a double by Donavon, who is now tied as the all-time MLS goalscorer. Keane tacked on another late in the second half. Chivas, with their season’s future already sealed, put in a rather unenthusiastic game overall. Disappointing in a rivalry that has seen fiery exchanges in past.
“Chivas has been the second worst team in the league this year so we’re not exactly doing cartwheels all over the place thinking how great we are. It’s going to get a lot more difficult now,” said Donovan. The Galaxy face San Jose and Montreal in their upcoming fixtures.
The Galaxy threatened from the very beginning and should have opened the scoring with Keane missing an open goal from Gyasi Zardes' low cross.
But moments later, Zardes sent a left-wing cross that found the onrushing Donavon at the back post. Instead of testing Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, he distincly passed back across goal to his strike partner Keane to finish.
The second goal came in nearly identical fashion. In the 23rd minute, Zardes was found out wide and put another low cross in the box to find an unmarked Donavon for an easy finish.
The Galaxy also got the luck of the bounces. Three minutes later, Keane’s through ball bounced off a Chivas defender and found Zrades. The winger controlled the deflection and slotted past Kennedy at the near post.
The goal sucked the life out their rivals as their sharpness on the field dulled and the Galaxy dominated play.
And to add to the already dominating performance, Donavon broke through the Chivas defense high up the field and sent a dipping chip from 20-yards over Kennedy and into the net.
In the second half, Chivas became more defensive as to not concede anymore goals and the Galaxy were reluctant to pass around to kill the game off.
But Keane treated the majority of Galaxy fans in attendance a supurd goal late in the match. The Irish forward chested down a long through ball by substitute Laurent Courtois and drove his shot low and away from Kennedy.
The win puts the Galaxy into fourth place and level on points with the Colorado Rapids and four points in front of their next opponent, the San Jose Earthquakes.