Saturday, May 21, 2011
SUPERCLASICO: Galaxy wins battles, war
By Scott French
CARSON -- The Kings of Carson live on.
The Galaxy conquered their cross-stadium rival in Saturday night's SuperClasico, using another superb David Beckham free kick for a 1-0 triumph in front of a sellout crowd of 27,000 at Home Depot Center.
The Galaxy put on a possession clinic in the first half -- against a Chivas side that takes great pride in its possession game -- went ahead when Chad Barrett nodded home Beckham's cross, and were willing to sit back, defend and counterattack in the second half.
A quick look at the Galaxy's victory:
BEST PLAYER: Landon Donovan has been in MVP form the past month or so, and -- forget that his five-game scoring streak was halted -- he was again terrific, setting the pulse for the Galaxy attack while roaming both flanks and interchanging capably with Beckham.
Donovan played linkman in this one, keeping the ball moving among teammates and playing the pivotal role in L.A.'s possession superiority, and he was just as good on defense as the Galaxy shut off Chivas in midfield much of then night.
BEST GOAL: The only one wasn't quite as pretty as Beckham's free kick to the upper-left corner, from just a few steps away, in last week's rout of Sporting Kansas City, but it was just as effective. Barrett found a place in no man's land, between Chivas' defensive wall and the scrum in the goalmouth, and Beckham put a perfect ball on his head for a glancing header to right corner.
BIGGEST STRUGGLE: Chivas found chances hard to come by, no matter how hard it worked, are created just three genuine opportunities. The Goats, suffocated in midfield, found it difficult to maintain possession until the second half and managed little from that possession against a Galaxy defense content to protect a narrow lead.
Justin Braun should have put away Heath Pearce's corner kick after just 51 seconds, and Alejandro Moreno got more than he should have after schooling Omar Gonzalez in the 22nd, but L.A. keeper Donovan Ricketts was up to the task.
Ben Zemanski nearly tied the score in the 65th minute, volleying a poor clearance header off the left post.
WORTH NOTING: Nine of 18 Galaxy goals this season have come from free kicks, corners and penalties. … Beckham's assist was his sixth this season, tying Houston's Brad Davis for the MLS lead. … The Galaxy improved to 15-3-6 in all meetings, playoffs and U.S. Open Cup included.
NEXT: Galaxy plays Wednesday vs. Houston Dynamo at Home Depot Center, 7 p.m. (Prime Ticket). Chivas plays next Saturday at Columbus, 4:30 p.m. (Prime Ticket)
Home Depot Center (Carson)
Chivas USA: Dan Kennedy; Zarek Valentin, Andy Boyens, Heath Pearce, Ante Jazic; Ben Zemanski, Simon Elliott, Nick LaBrocca, Jorge Flores (Francisco Mendoza, 58); Justin Braun, Alejandro Moreno. Unused subs: Victor Estupiņan, Gerson Mayen, Zach Thornton, Mariano Trujillo, Michael Umaņa.
Chivas USA 0, Galaxy 1
LA -- Chad Barrett (David Beckham) 26
Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts; Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; Landon Donovan, David Beckham (Michael Stephens, 89), Juninho (Michael Stephens, 85), Mike Magee (Chris Birchall, 65); Juan Pablo Angel, Chad Barrett (Miguel Lopez, 71). Unused subs: Gregg Berhalter, Paolo Cardozo, Frankie Hejduk, Josh Saunders.
Yellow cards: Elliott 50, Valentin 73.
Referee: Jair Marrufo. Att.: 27,000.