CARSON, Calif. (AP) Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice to help the Los Angeles Galaxy beat Real Salt Lake 3-0 on Saturday night
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Salt Lake City (7-6-1) had its three-game win streak snapped.
Ibrahimovic put away a header in the 61st minute to open the scoring. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando’s punch of a cross by Chris Pontius deflected directly to Ibrahimovic for the point-plank finish into an empty net. Moments earlier, Salt Lake City’s Justen Glad blocked what looked like a certain goal for the Galaxy, slipping behind a pair of L.A. players to deflect it at the goal line.
Ibrahimovic outdueled Glad at the top of the 6-yard box and side-netter a header off an entry by Servando Carrasco from 35-yards out to give the Galaxy (5-7-2) a 2-0 lead in the 67th.
Ola Kamara rolled a left-footer past Rimando from the top of the area to cap the scoring in the 77th minute.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a man who loves his record of collecting trophies, but his LA Galaxy are nowhere near any sort of playoff-touching form, let alone potential trophy-hoisters.
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The Swede snapped his scoring slump with two nice goals in Wednesday night’s 3-2 loss to FC Dallas, both coming after the Galaxy went behind 3-0.
It’s a familiar story for Sigi Schmid’s men, who are two points back of the West’s final playoff spot and under .500 at home and on the road.
Mount Ibra could erupt at any time, and there are certainly rumblings in his post-match comments. From LAGalaxy.com:
“Every game we shouldn’t be losing two or three goals and then you have to catch the game and try to win. This is not the game; this is absolutely not the game. Even if you are in MLS or Premier League, wherever, it doesn’t work like that. We need to be the leading team and play from there, not to catch the goal all the time, so obviously it’s not good.”
And he doesn’t want to hear about heart, grit, effort, or anything like that.
“It doesn’t matter how much you give if you don’t win,” Ibrahimovic said. “If the other team would be Barcelona or Real Madrid then I would say yes, we put in the hard work today and it was not enough, but we didn’t play against those teams so, no.”
There are four Major League Soccer matches on Wednesday, each carrying a different bit of drama.
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New England Revolution vs. Atlanta United –7:30 p.m. ET
It’s just the second time New England has gone winless in two matches under Brad Friedel. The last time it happened, the Revs responded with an impressive-enough 1-0 win over Sporting KC. Now comes Atlanta, itself stung for two losses in three.
Philadelphia Union vs. Chicago Fire –7:30 p.m. ET
It’s a bit of a separation day for Philly and Chicago, who are both a win or worse shy of sixth place. Bastian Schweinsteiger has been very good for the Fire, but Nemanja Nikolic hasn’t been firing hot.
Philly has allowed just one goal over a three-match unbeaten run, but has the potential departure of its architect, Earnie Stewart, looming overhead.
Real Salt Lake vs. Houston Dynamo –9:30 p.m. ET
Only the Red Bulls have been as prolific as Houston this early season — is this still early season? Is it midseason now?!? — with both sides bagging 26 goals in 11 matches. The Dynamo are also unbeaten in four with three wins in the run, and only Montreal is worse at keeping balls out of the goal than RSL. Goal fest?
LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas –10:30 p.m. ET
Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns from suspension to find the Galaxy winners of two-straight and facing a Dallas side unbeaten in four. Ibrahimovic hasn’t scored in five matches, with four of those Galaxy losses.
MONTREAL (AP) Playing a man down after Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic got a red card in the 42nd minute, the Los Angeles Galaxy got past the Montreal Impact 1-0 Monday on a goal by Ola Kamara.
The Galaxy (4-6-1) ended a four-game losing run. Montreal (3-9-0) has lost three in a row, all by shutout, with the last two coming at home.
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Ibrahimovic was sent off after slapping Michael Petrasso, who had stepped on Ibrahimovic’s foot while marking him well away from the ball. After consulting video, referee Ismail Elfath showed Ibrahimovic the red card and Petrasso the yellow.
Both went down after the slap, and Ibrahimovic was limping as a trainer helped him off the field.
With 10 men, the Galaxy stayed back in the second half, looking for counterattacks.
In the 75th minute, substitute Emmanuel Boateng headed a ball forward that Kamara took on the run. He beat Marco Donadel and Jukka Raitala with a cut into the middle and scored his team-leading fifth goal on a low shot from inside the penalty area.
Montreal had some chances, including back-to-back shots in the 55th minute by Alejandro Silva and Raheem Edwards that were blocked by goalkeeper David Bingham.
Nemanja Matic would like to see a bit more veteran bravery in his Manchester United side.
The title-winning 29-year-old midfielder finished second in the Premier League this season, his first with the Red Devils after a strong run with Chelsea.
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The Blues beat United in Saturday’s FA Cup Final, and Matic says the answer to winning hardware isn’t in talent as much as it is wisdom.
From the BBC:
“The only team who is better than us this year is Man City,” said Matic. “Obviously, they play amazing football. But we are second and we are in the Champions League next year, which is the most important thing. I think we need some players with some experience to bring some more qualities to our team.”
United loses one veteran cog in Michael Carrick, and both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney have skipped town in the last year.
Who could fit the bill in terms of old hats in current United positions of weakness? Well, a full offseason for Alexis Sanchez will help, and perhaps the rumors of Toby Alderweireld make the most sense of any we’ve seen in recent weeks.