Can the Galaxy play a top opponent every week? A beleaguered LA Galaxy sprang back to life Monday night, routing Montreal CF 4-0 on July 4th in front of 23,855 at Dignity Health Sports Park.
LAFC, Austin FC and now Montreal. When Greg Vanney’s squad battle with intensity and focus vs. top opposition, the level of the squad rises.
“Today was a result based off of intensity, hard work and dedication” said Vanney during the postgame press conference.
“Doing what you need to do and executing on the transition when we needed to. It wasn’t a game of tactical superiority on the day. It was a game where the guys just put it in and they got the job done.”
With Kevin Cabral and Douglas Costa out due to red card suspension, Efrain Alvarez slotted into the midfield with Chicharito and Dejan Joveljic starting up top together in a 4-4-2.
One of the benefits of having two strikers up top? LA become exponentially more dangerous in the attack. In the 8th minute, it was Chicharito sneaking to the back post to re-direct Efrain Alvarez’s header past keeper Sebastian Breza to crucially put the Galaxy up first. (The Galaxy are 1-4-1 when giving up the first goal).
Soon afterwards it was Jonathan Bond bailing the Galaxy back line out in style, diving to his right to acrobatically save a sure equalizer for Montreal.
Right before the half LA doubled their advantage when Dejan Joveljic drew a penalty kick inside the area. After waiting with the ball while the referee checked VAR, the Serbian gently slid a low finish past Breza. At the hour mark, Julian Araujo’s inch-perfect service from the right flank located the marauding Rayan Raveloson who tapped into an empty net from point-blank range and the rout was on.
Raveloson completed his brace in the 79th minute off a moment of pure brilliance from Sacha Kljestan, who’s Cruyff-like backheel beat a pair of flat footed defenders on its way to the Madagascar international who roofed a close range effort past Bresa.
LA are now up to 4th in the Western Conference standings with El Trafico coming up on Friday.
Mark Delgado echoed the team’s commitment to intensity postgame.
“I would say, just from the begging, our intensity and mentality of each and every member on the field was sharp, it was excellent. From the beginning everyone was locked in. We gave them nothing.”
Sacha Kljestan ended the night on a somber note, as the veteran midfielder delivered a powerful message on the horrific events happening across the U.S. with a plea to end gun violence.