The first five minutes of the match was open with both teams creating a few half chances and enjoying even possession
In the 13th minute, Atlanta’s winger, Yamil Asad glided past marker then whipped a cross into the 6-yard box where Josef Martínez was there to pass the ball into the net to take a 1-0 lead. Atlanta’s goal came from a counter-attack that started in their own defensive third and ended with Martínez.
In the 16th minute Atlanta United scored again making it 2-0. The second goal came from the Argentinian winger Yamil Asad when a rebound from his teammate Miguel Almirón’s shot fell to him.
In the 20th minute, Atlanta United and Yamil Asad found the back of the net again with a tap in to take a 3-0 lead. Asad’s second goal was Atlanta’s third goal in seven minutes. In the first 25 minutes of the match, Atlanta United look a class apart from the Los Angeles Galaxy. The three devastatingly quick Atlanta United goals left the Galaxy looking utterly shell-shocked.
The first real chance for the Galaxy fell to the Mexican international, Gio dos Santos in the 32nd minute took a snapshot from just inside the 18-yard box that went just wide of the post. The chance came from a long winding run into the box from French winger, Romain Alessandrini. The ball then fell to Gio dos Santos.
In the 38th minute, there was a bit of controversy in the match when the referee went to Video Assistant Replay, or VAR, to judge whether LA’s Jermaine Jones deserved a red card. The verdict was that Jones deserved the red for kicking is leg out at an opposing player.
Atlanta’s dynamic Miguel Almirón in the 40th minute received a through ball from Asad, and perfectly chipped the ball over the Galaxy keeper, Jon Kempin to take the 4-0 lead. Atlanta instantly capitalized on their man advantage.
The first half was a story of Atlanta United high-pressing the Galaxy, which turned into opportunities on the counter-attack. Atlanta capitalized on most of those opportunities since they ended the half with a 4-0 lead.
The second half started similar to how the first ended, Atlanta was in complete control. Atlanta United started to look like they were playing keep away from Los Angeles by stringing over 15 passes together without the Galaxy even touching the ball.
Through the first 10 minutes of the second half saw the Galaxy struggle to string together five passes in a row. It was evident that LA was down a man and they struggled to compete.
In the 58th minute, Atlanta earned a free kick in which Martínez took it, but the shot went well over the goal. By this point in the match Atlanta United seemed content with keeping possession and retaining control of the game instead of putting their collective foot on the gas and trying to create more chances.
Atlanta’s next chance came in the 73rd minute with a low hard corner coming into the Galaxy 6-yard box where Hector Villalba was there to take the half volley but it went wide of the goal.
In the 81st minute Atlanta substitute Brandon Vazquez was subject of another controversial red card. He was pressing the Galaxy man, Michael Ciani, and Ciani cleared the ball and hit Vazquez on his follow through. The referee initially gave Vazquez a straight red card, but he eventually took the time to consult the VAR system. After going to VAR the referee still gave the red card.
Winning this match sees Atlanta United extend their unbeaten streak to five games and ten at home. Their next match is against the Montreal Impact on Sunday, September 24th at 5:00 p.m. ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
This match also sees the Galaxy continue their struggles they have been plagued with this season. LA’s next match is against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, September 24th at 2:00 p.m. ET at Children’s Mercy Park.
When asked on whether his team is in playoff form or if they can improve Atlanta head Coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino had this to say, “We can’t ever lose the hope to keep improving because there are always certain things to improve. It’s true that since we moved to Mercedes-Benz Stadium that we’ve been playing well… But, we’re still not in the playoffs yet so we know we still have work to do and some things that we can still improve on.” With that being said it will be interesting going forward if Atlanta United can continue to improve while on this run.
Atlanta United starting XI: [G] Brad Guzan; [D] Chris McCann, Leandro González Pirez, Michael Parkhurst, Anton Walkes; [M] Carlos Carmona, Jeff Larentowicz, Yamil Asad, Miguel Almirón, Hector Villalba; [F] Josef Martínez
Los Angeles Galaxy starting XI: [G] Jon Kempin; [D] Ashley Cole, Michael Ciani, Dave Romney, Rafael Garcia; [M] Jermaine Jones, Jonathan dos Santos, Emmanuel Boateng, Giovani dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini; [F] Gyasi Zardes.
Fun Fact: Atlanta United striker Josef Martínez continued his scoring streak tonight. He has scored an incredible eight goals in his last four matches.