LA Galaxy dominate Montreal in 4-0 win

Houston Dynamo v Los Angeles Galaxy. Shaun Clark/GettyImages
Houston Dynamo v Los Angeles Galaxy. Shaun Clark/GettyImages / Shaun Clark/GettyImages

The LA Galaxy picked up an impressive 4-0 win over CF Montreal on July 4th. Chicharito and Dejan Joveljic (a PK) scored a goal apiece, and then Rayan Raveloson scored a second half brace to give LA the big win.

The win puts LA in a really good spot in the playoff race. The Galaxy are now in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Western conference alongside Nashville and FC Dallas. LA currently has 27 points through 17 matches. They're just two points behind Real Salt Lake for third, but are also just three points ahead of ninth. It's a tight race in the middle of the West, and so getting these points for LA was big.

Chicharito got the scoring starting in the eighth minute after a good build up by the Galaxy. Raveloson played the ball out left to Samuel Grandsir who beat his man and put a cross into the box. The ball was deflected by Efrain Alvarez at the back of the box and it went to the right to Chicharito who had gotten free and he smartly directed the ball into the net from a tough angle to give LA the early lead.

Joveljic scored his goal on a penalty kick in first half stoppage time. A penalty wasn’t initially given, but VAR checked and then rewarded LA a PK for a handball in the box by Montreal. Joveljic sent the keeper the wrong way and put the ball in the right side of the net to double the Galaxy’s lead right before the half.

Raveloson scored his first of two second half goals in the 60th minute. Daniel Aguirre played the ball up the right side of the box to Julian Araujo who then played a really nice low cross into Raveloson who put it home. 

The 2nd goal from Raveloson and fourth of the match for LA came after a beautiful build up with several fantastic passes. It started with a nice backheel down the left flank. The ball eventually ended up going to Sacha Kljestan at the edge of the box who played a beautiful side-heel’d ball into Raveloson's path who beat the keeper to secure the brace for him and the big 4-0 victory for LA.

Jonathan Bond made a huge save in the 11th minute in net for LA. Lassi Lappalainen had a chance from about 15 yards out, but Bond made a diving save. The save seemingly helped LA take the momentum from there, and to keep Montreal on the back foot. 

Raveloson also had a great chance early in the fourth minute as he had a header right in front of goal off of a corner, but couldn’t direct on target and the shot went wide left. 

The Galaxy were out-possessed 61.7%-38.3% (which is a bit surprising considering the Galaxy are one of the best possession teams in MLS this season), but LA was more dangerous in the possession they did get. LA also only put four shots on target, but obviously all four turned into goals. 

LA only completed 77.9% of their passes, while Montreal completed 85.9% of theirs. Those passing numbers aren’t surprising when you look at the possession. However, neither tells the full story of the match. Not much of Montreal’s possession or passes were overly threatening towards LA. LA also held the edge in Expected Goals 2.9-1.0. 

This was arguably LA’s best performance of the season, and it came against a strong team in Montreal (even if they were missing Djordje Mihailovic). It should give Galaxy fans plenty to be happy about moving forward and might give the squad confidence to make a run.

Next up for LA is the huge "El Trafico" derby match against rivals LAFC (who currently sit atop the table) on Friday, July 8th. A lot of eyes throughout the league will be on that match come Friday.