By Chris Smith.
Los Angles FC climbed to fourth in the Western Conference with a dominant 2-0 El Trafico win over LA Galaxy on Sunday.
With Galaxy centre-back Giancarlo Gonzalez sent off after just 25 minutes, the Black and Gold were given the freedom of the pitch, controlling possession and creating a huge quantity of chances against their fierce rivals.
The breakthrough for Bob Bradley’s men finally came in the 58th minute when Danny Musovski chipped over the onrushing Jonathan Klinsmann after being set free by Diego Rossi, while Carlos Vela came off the bench to finish the game in similar style at the end.
While LAFC are looking dangerous heading into the MLS Playoffs, the Galaxy remain rock-bottom of the West with just four games remaining to save their season.
Here is how every player rated at Banc of California Stadium.
Los Angeles FC
Goalkeeper: Pablo Sisniega — 6 — Was able to sit back and relax as LAFC completely dominated.
Right-back: Mohamed El-Munir — 7 — Spent most of his time pushing into the Galaxy half to assert LAFC’s numerical dominance. Pinned Insua back and provided Bradley’s team with a strong attacking presence down the right.
Centre-back: Jesus Murillo — 8 — Displayed a wonderful range of passing to break Galaxy lines and get LAFC forward quickly, while keeping things tight at the back with four clearances, two tackles and four interceptions.
Centre-back: Eddie Segura — 8 — Rock-solid at the back, snuffing out the Galaxy regardless of whether they had 10 or 11 men on the pitch. A little fortunate to keep the ball in during the build-up for the goal, but once under control, he fired a superb pass into Rossi to set the Black and Gold on their way. Even looked at home when pushed into midfield late on.
Left-back: Jordan Harvey — 6 — A reliable option down the left, was given the freedom to push forward and, in turn, restrict Araujo’s effectiveness for the Galaxy.
Central midfielder: Jose Cifuentes — 9 — Arguably LAFC’s most threatening player, especially in the first half when the Ecuadorian made himself impossible to mark with his movement and positional intelligence. Ended the match with four chances created, two dribbles and four shots on goal. Could have had a couple of goals and assists on another day.
Central midfielder: Eduard Atuesta — 9 — Another supreme midfield performance from a player who has a European move written all over him. Atuesta completed more passes (91) than any other player on the pitch at an astonishing 92% success rate, made four tackles and completed four interceptions. There’s nothing the Colombian can’t do and he comfortably controlled this El Trafico clash.
Central midfielder: Francisco Ginella — 7 — Set up a couple of chances and was given plenty of freedom with the ball at his feet as the Galaxy backed off. A solid performance from a player who has struggled at times this season.
Forward: Brian Rodriguez — 7 — Attempted more dribbles (6) than any other player on the pitch before being withdrawn. Although his final ball continues to frustrate, Rodriguez’s talent was on full display here and he could have had an assist on another day.
Forward: Diego Rossi — 8 — Up there with Cifuentes as LAFC’s prime attacking outlet. Rossi created two chances and was unlucky not to score himself when he rattled the crossbar in the opening 15 minutes. Like Atuesta, Rossi is pushing himself ever closer toward Europe with performances like this. The only downside was that he didn’t strengthen his Golden Boot claim.
Forward: Daniel Musovski — 8 — Sent a brilliant chip over the top of Klinsmann to open the scoring and was unfortunate not to double his tally minutes later. Was a constant threat for LAFC with his movement and used the ball well to combine with his fellow forwards.
Fantastic finish! The kid is in incredible form and has @LAFC up in El Trafico. #LAFCvLA pic.twitter.com/3qoeiOBEa5
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 25, 2020
Latif Blessing (for Ginella, 61 minutes) — 7 — Added a ton of energy to LAFC’s midfield from the moment he stepped foot on the pitch and nearly found the net with a curling effort in the 65th minute, but fired just wide.
Diego Palacios (for Harvey, 61 minutes) — 6 — Picked up from where Harvey left off, driving into the Galaxy half and helping LAFC overwhelm their opponents.
Bradley Wright-Phillips (for Musovski, 70 minutes) — 8 — Chipped the ball beautifully beyond Klinsmann but saw his effort ruled out by VAR for a tight offside call. No matter, though, as BWP charged into space and set up Vela to do exactly the same thing.
Carlos Vela (for Rodriguez, 70 minutes) — 8 — Even coming off the bench and not fully fit, Vela had his moment, dispatching a trademark chip over Klinsmann to finish the game.
Tristan Blackmon (for Cifuentes, 77 minutes) — 6 — Rarely tested as LAFC dominated the final 10 minutes.
Of course Carlos Vela scores. Decent goal too. Bradley Wright-Phillips assist. 🇺🇸🇲🇽⚽️ #ElTrafico #LAFCvGAL pic.twitter.com/RBkIHeJvN4
— James Nalton (@JDNalton) October 25, 2020
Goalkeeper: Jonathan Klinsmann — 5 — Ruined a solid first half by racing out and effectively opening his goal for Musovski after the break. Was beaten in similar fashion by Vela and BWP, although the latter was disallowed, but their starting positions were much closer to goal.
Jonathan Klinsmann coming up big time with a massive save to keep us level#LAGalaxy | #LAFCvLA pic.twitter.com/vv33AJG1pA
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) October 25, 2020
Right-back: Rolf Feltscher — 5 — Given a rough ride of it by both Rodriguez and Rossi as the Uruguayan pair swapped and changed. Feltscher gave as good as he got with five tackles, but he was often isolated against much quicker players.
Centre-back: Daniel Steres — 5 — Couldn’t cope with the movement of LAFC’s forwards and was almost punished for it when he let Wright-Phillips run free late on, but the Englishman was ruled offside having found the net.
Centre-back: Giancarlo Gonzalez — 2 — Looked suspect defensively from the word go and was sent off midway through the first half after clipping Diego Rossi as he raced toward the Galaxy penalty area. Gonzalez has been a fading presence for a while now and it really showed here.
Left-back: Emiliano Insua — 6 — Made some promising runs into the LAFC half early on but was limited to stopping the Galaxy following Gonzalez’s red card.
Central midfield: Jonathan Dos Santos — 5 — Unusually sloppy in possession and was nearly punished for it in the first half as his misplaced pass set Rodriguez free down LAFC’s left. Doesn’t look fully fit yet.
Central midfield: Sacha Kljestan — 6 — Tried to get the Galaxy moving but had nothing to aim of in front of him. Made a goal-line clearance to deny Cifuentes after the break.
Right-wing: Julian Araujo — 5 — Barely saw the ball and was forced to sit back and try to protect Feltscher as LAFC flooded forward.
Attacking midfield: Sebastian Lletget — 6 — About as good as it got in an attacking sense for the Galaxy, with Lletget driving at the LAFC defence and winning some free-kicks high up.
Left-wing: Cristian Pavon — 4 — A miserable 55% pass success rate tells you all you need to know about Pavon’s performance here. Uncharacteristically quiet, although it’d be harsh to expect much else of him given the early red card.
Striker: Yony Gonzalez — 5 — Tried his best to be an outlet for the Galaxy, winning three aerial duels during his time on the pitch, but was too isolated. Withdrawn after just 30 minutes as Schelotto reshuffled following the red card.
Nicholas DePuy (for Gonzalez, 30 minutes) — 5 — Better than Gonzalez, but that’s not saying a lot. Still prone to lapses in concentration, just like Steres.
Carlos Harvey (for Dos Santos, 68 minutes) — 4 — Replaced Dos Santos but was even more sloppy with his passing than the Mexico international.
Joe Corona (for Lletget, 85 minutes) — 5 — Not enough time to change the game.
Kai Koreniuk (for Araujo, 85 minutes) — 5 — Like Corona, didn’t have chance to make a meaningful contribution.