Galaxy stall to fall to LAFC in electric El Trafico

Los Angeles FC v Los Angeles Galaxy. Dave Bernal/ISI Photos/GettyImages
Los Angeles FC v Los Angeles Galaxy. Dave Bernal/ISI Photos/GettyImages / Dave Bernal/ISI Photos/GettyImages

The LA Galaxy fell to LAFC 3-2 in another instant classic of the LA Derby on Friday, July 8th. Samuel Grandsir and Rayan Raveloson scored the goals for the Galaxy.

It felt as if the Galaxy arguably deserved better than the result they got in this match. I felt like they played well enough to at least get the point, but they were unable to do so against the Supporters Shield-leading LAFC.

After falling behind early and trailing at the half, the Galaxy drew even with Grandsir's goal in the 55th minute. Raveloson had the ball on the left side of the box, and then played it back to the edge of the box to Grandsir, who sent a low shot in which megged a defender and then snuck past LAFC's keeper Maxime Crepeau. The goal was Grandsir's first of the season (and first since one against LAFC last season).

After LAFC scored two quick goals after that to go up 3-1, Raveloson continued his strong run of recent form with a goal in the 81st minute to draw the Galaxy a goal back at 3-2. After the ball had been played through the box once, Victor Vazquez sent the ball back in and Raveloson skied high into the air to forcefully head the ball in for the goal. Raveloson has now scored three goals in his last two matches, plus had the assist in this match, and has also completed over 86% of his passes in each of the last two matches.

LAFC beat LA Galaxy 3-2 in 'El Trafico'

Jose Cifuentes got the early goal for LAFC in the 17th minute as he headed home a corner from Kellyn Acosta. This was one of the few mistakes in the match for the Galaxy, as they left Cifuentes unmarked and he made them pay.

LAFC's two quick goals to go from even at 1-1 to leading 3-1 came in the 70th and 72nd minutes respectively. Cifuentes once again scored in the 70th minute to get a brace when Carlos Vela crossed the ball into the box to meet his great run from the second level to cut in front of Galaxy defenders and redirect the ball into the net. Cristian Arango then scored just two minutes later on a fastbreak. Vela played the ball from the midfield up to Arango who pulled a shot from right outside the box and beat Jonathan Bond to make it 3-1.

In terms of other chances, LA had a great chance to equalize in the first half as Dejan Joveljic had a great look on a breakaway, but Crepeau got just enough on the ball to send it wide. Bond made a big save as well early in the second half for the Galaxy as he came off his line in the 63rd minute to stop a shot from Ryan Hollingshead.

The team statistics tell the story of the Galaxy playing well enough to get at least a point in the match, but the scoreline didn't end up reflecting it. The Galaxy held the advantage in possession 56.1%-43.9%. They also outshot LAFC 15-11 and held the edge in shots on target, 6-5.

LA Galaxy also had the better match passing-wise, as they completed 80.7% of their passes. LAFC completed just 74% of their passes.

The Galaxy also held the edge in expected goals 1.8-1.5, but you have to give LAFC credit for being more clinical in the chances that they did have. They are arguably the best offense in the league for a reason.

Raveloson was arguably the man of the match for the Galaxy. He scored the goal, but also picked up an assist and completed 86.5% of his passes.

Grandsir also had a strong match as he completed 83.3% of his passes and had a key pass on top of his goal.

This was the 16th meeting of El Trafico since LAFC entered the league in 2018. The Galaxy still own the advantage in the rivalry with seven wins to LAFC's four (there have also been five draws). This does, however, continue the struggles of the Galaxy playing on the road in this rivalry. The Galaxy have won just one of eight matches in the rivalry hosted by LAFC (LAFC has won four, and then there have been three draws).

The loss continues the up-and-down form for LA, who in their last seven matches have gone win-loss-draw-loss-win-draw-loss. The Galaxy need to find some more consistency in their results in order to make the run that they arguably have the talent to make.

The Galaxy are now tied for fifth in the table in the West as they sit on 27 points through 18 matches. LA is just three points out of third place with a legit chance of moving up, but they are also just one ahead of ninth and three points ahead of 10th place. The middle of pack in the West is very tight, so every match and every point will be crucial for the Galaxy.

There are several ways of looking at this match for the Galaxy. On one hand, the performance was promising for the most part. There were a few defensive lapses, but I believe overall the Galaxy played well. However, not getting a result will sting, especially against your arch-rival (who are about to get reinforcements). I believe the Galaxy are close to taking that next step this season, but the fans are just waiting for that step to be taken.

Up next will be a chance for the Galaxy to get a win as they face off against the San Jose Earthquakes (currently tied for 13th in the West with 19 points) on Wednesday night, July 13th.