The LA Galaxy walked away from their matchup with the New England Revolution over the weekend with three points after two early goals, but it was not the most convincing performance from the Galaxy. Should you be impressed that LA was able to hang on for three points, or worried at the performance itself? I'll hopefully help you find out.
In terms of the team statistics, New England had a dominant 62.3%-37.7% edge in possession. They also completed a quality 86.7% of their passes, while LA was only able to complete 75.8% of their passes. The Revs also led the xG's battle 1.9-0.9.
LA's goals came early in the 4th and 15th minutes. The initial goal came very early in the fourth minute on a quick pseudo-counter attack up the field. Jonathan Bond played the ball up to Chicharito who sent a beautiful through ball forward to Daniel Aguirre who split the New England backline and was able to beat the keeper with a quality finish to put the Galaxy ahead early.
Then LA doubled their lead to 2-0 in the 15th minute on another fantastic ball up the middle that picked a part the Revs. It was Chicharito on the receiving end this time as he received the ball forward from Ricard Puig and Chicharito put the ball home to put LA up 2-0.
At this point, it felt as if the Galaxy would cruise, but it arguably ended up being more of them holding on for a win. The Revs began to turn to the tide and arguably were in control across the final hour-plus.
The eventual goal from New England to get a goal back came late (in the 82nd minute) on a golazo from Carles Gil. It's hard to put blame to LA on this goal, it was a nice team goal from the Revs that led up to a really good finish from their star.
New England had great chances throughout the match as well. They had a fantastic chance in the 29th minute, as Dejuan Jones got behind the LA backline, but his shot hit off the post and then the Revs couldn't quite get a handle on the rebound. Bond also made a great save about seven minutes later as he stood his ground and made strong save on a fierce shot by Emmanuel Boateng.
Bond would deny Boateng again at the beginning of the second half to once again keep LA ahead 2-0 at the time.
There was also a bit of controversy late, as New England thought they had earned a penalty kick from a Galaxy handball in the box. However, VAR (and the referees on the field at the time) felt that it was not enough to get the call.
Now to the discussion of the performance for LA. At the end of the day, it's hard to ever be upset with three points, especially when you're in a playoff race and need points any time and way you can get them. However, you can also look at this match and be worried that LA was not necessarily the better team in this match. The Galaxy might not be able to perform the way they did on Sunday and get the win, especially in the playoffs.
Another factor to take into consideration when looking at the way the final 75 minutes is that LA already had a 2-0 lead. New England was on the front foot because they needed to be. They were the ones chasing the match and chasing a result. However, you would also likely rather see LA do a bit better in terms of seeing the match out.
You do also have to give a lot of credit to Jonathan Bond in goal for LA. He made several really big saves, and might be one of the biggest reasons that the Galaxy walked out of this match with a win.
At the end of day, here is my opinion on the match. Yes, you would like to see the Galaxy play a big firmer in the midfield to help hold onto this match, but they got the win against a quality team. Sure, you get take away points of improvement from the match, but at this point of the season LA needs points. That's what they got on Sunday night.
You can also make the argument, LA did not play their best match and still picked up three points against a quality team. I still believe the Galaxy are a dangerous team in the west and this match did not change my opinion in that regard.
As mentioned, these were three massive points for LA. The Galaxy end the weekend above the playoff line and in sole possession of seventh place in the Western Conference. They currently have 37 points through 26 matches. LA is also just two points out of fifth place, but they are also just one point ahead of eighth, three points ahead of ninth, and five points ahead of eleventh. The Galaxy have eight matches left this season, with another coming midweek this week.