Will Bruin 2

Talking about the big Houston Dynamo doings …

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D.C. United is one of the league’s big dogs; it’s been that way since Bruce Arena (playing a little fast and loose with the roster rules, it should be said) put together those early, wow-wow MLS Cup winners of the late 1990s.

So no matter how far we stray from United’s salad days, a 4-0 loss for one of the league’s high-profiles clubs, plus a manager whose job is in real danger, are going to be big talkers. But …

We really should say some words about what Dominic Kinnear’s Houston Dynamo just accomplished. Because a team that has never been great shakes on the road (except for the playoffs, of course) has just pulled off a stunning road double.

Firsts was the 1-0 win at the LA Galaxy. That was on Sunday, followed by a cross-country road trip into the nation’s capital, which ended with Houston atop the Eastern Conference standings based on points-per-game.

Six points on the road over four nights? That’s like the best meal of your life … and the owner comps your food!

Wednesday’s 4-0 win was anything but a fluke. Kinnear’s men, guided by Will Bruin’s two goals and two assists, were all over a listless and lethargic United from the opening. Aside from scoring twice in the first half-hour, the Dynamo hit the post one and forced a very nice save from United ‘keeper Bill Hamid.

Meanwhile, tidy in the back, Houston didn’t allow a good scoring opportunity for the home team until after the break.

By the way, U.S. international Ricardo Clark was out of the Dynamo lineup for this one. But as we keep telling you, the Dynamo midfield is Major League Soccer’s deepest; in came Brad Davis to partner with Adam Moffat in the middle. With Andrew Driver, the hero of Sunday’s win in L.A., able to fill the left side more than adequately, the visitors’ midfield was at full rev for Wednesday’s ambush.

MLS Snapshot: Colorado Rapids 1-2 Real Salt Lake

SANDY UT - MARCH 14: Olmes Garcia #13 of Real Salt Lake celebrates his goal during their game against the Philadelphia Union at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 14, 2015 in Sandy, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
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The game in 100 words (or less): Real Salt Lake stays alive in the hunt for a playoff berth in the Western Conference with a crucial 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. After falling behind early, RSL scored twice before halftime and held onto the lead for the rest of the match, moving within three points of the final playoff spot in the West. Real Salt Lake has three matches remaining, including a massive clash against the Portland Timbers, which will pretty much decide their season. For Colorado, it’s another year without playoff soccer.

[ MORE: FC Dallas clinches playoff berth ]

Three moments that mattered

16′ — Doyle heads Colorado into the lead — The former Premier League man gave the home side an early lead, thanks to a powerful header from quite a bit out. Sean St. Ledger played in a cross, where Doyle snapped a header into the top corner past Nick Rimando.

33′ — Joao Plata bends in the free kick — Trailing 1-0, Joao Plata drew RSL level with a brilliant free kick. Plata’s shot dipped over the wall and under the crossbar, as Clint Irwin stood helpless in goal for Colorado.

43′ — Mulholland fires home a volley to put RSL ahead — Luke Mulholland scored his first goal of the season, and it was a beauty. A corner kick popped out to the midfielder at the top of the box, as he rifled a shot off the bounce and into the side netting.

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Man of the match: Luke Mulholland

Goalscorers: Doyle (16′), Plata (33′), Mulholland (43′)

Wenger lauds team spirit following Arsenal’s big win

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Arsenal put on a superb performance against Manchester United today, flying out to a three-goal lead in the opening 20 minutes of the match.

[ RECAP: Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United ]

United was stunned by the fast-paced, free-flowing Arsenal attack, unable to recover from the Gunners’ early dominance.

All of this came on the heels of a disappointing loss to Olympiacos in the Champions League, after which many questioned manager Arsene Wenger and his side.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Arsenal’s win vs. Manchester United ]

Following the big 3-0 win at the Emirates, Wenger praised his team’s spirit, saying there were outstanding performances throughout the side.

You go from Petr Cech up to Theo Walcott, and we had only outstanding performances. Sometimes we have that magic side in our game.

[Against Olympiacos] maybe we lacked a little bit of urgency and discipline, and that’s why we lost the game. But let’s not forget, last Saturday we won 5-2 at Leicester. Today we beat Man United 3-0.

[The players] have shown that we have an outstanding spirit in the squad. To respond the way we did after what happened to us, you need to have an exceptional spirit.

The Gunners’ performance today immediately silenced all the critics, as Wenger’s side put out on a display that many have been waiting for all season. The combination play of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott was brilliant, as Santi Cazorla continued to impress in the center of the midfield.

Wenger’s teams have not always been known to show strong heart and resiliency, but that’s exactly what they showed today against a Manchester United side that was in great form. Now sitting second on the table, Arsenal continues to climb up the Premier League.